Around the world. (Part 4)

Traveling to Asia was  fantastic . I hope to go back again. Today I will share a few shots taken in Thailand and  Vietnam. In the next post, I will share about  Cambodia and Hong Kong.

Let’s start with Northern Thailand . We visited Chiang Mai and many little villages. We discovered  temples and lovely architecture. We saw people working at markets.   I took lots and lots of photos.

Driving in the countryside , we could see smoke as the farmers burn the land to help the  future crops. We were traveling during the dry season but we have to assume there was no danger with the fires.

This is the White temple we can see in Chiang Rai. Very spectacular.

One week in this part of Thailand was not enough  but we were very happy with our visit. We had to fly to Bangkok and then to Hanoi in Vietnam  where we would meet our cycling group.   We visited Hanoi and  Halong Bay  before starting our 11 days cycling days. We did  around 450 km . With my photos you will get a sense of my trip in Vietnam. Motorbikes, bicycles, people everywhere…

We enjoyed the scenery on our way to Halong Bay. We did not  have great weather in the Bay but it was a great experience to see the floating villages.

We had an educational tour as we cycled in different areas of Vietnam. The weather was not that great to start but it got warmer as we got in the southern part of the country. We learned so much and people were friendly .

In 2 weeks, I had been in 2 countries I did not know at all before I got there. Now I look back at the photos and I appreciate so much this experience. Asia is so different than America  and for us it is an amazing discovery for all  our senses. I even tried to learn a few words in thai and vietnamese !

Next week, you will see  more photos taken in Cambodia and Hong Kong. Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (part 6)

On our last full day in Chiang Mai, we enjoyed a parade  before going up to Doi Suthep to see  one of the north’s most sacred temple. The road was steep with many curves. Half way up,  we spent time in a  quiet temple. Our friend told us that not too many people knew this place. I am happy to say that we stopped to see it . It was a  good place for photography and  it had a feel of peace .

… and then we arrived to the main temple , walked up 306 steps  to get to that busy place with many tourists. This place is over 600 years old and if you go to Chiang Mai you will want to see it.

We saw some little kids  playing on the steps. They were wearing traditional costume of the  Hmong tribe.

The Hmong are an ancient tribal people whose origins are something of a mystery. With no written script of their own, they have preserved their history through tribal traditions and folklore, but the identity of their ancestral homeland has been irrevocably lost in time and translation. It is known only that they traveled through ‘a land of dry sands and of cold and snow’ and ‘a land six months light and six months dark’, to Mongolia and southern China. Today, most remaining Hmong are still concentrated in remote, mountainous regions of southern China, but they can also be found in Burma, Laos and Thailand.

We had to say good bye to our friend Fred.  More travel days were ahead of us. I will   now post about  what we did after we left Thailand. Thanks again for reading.

 

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (part 5)

It was another day to enjoy in Northern Thailand. We got an early start as we wanted to go to the morning market. The sky was a delight. I took a minute to capture it but I think it is  a moment I will not forget. We walked from our little room to the market.

All kind of vegetables are sold at the market. But you can also buy souvenirs and have breakfast. I will show you some pics I took that morning.

This lady was making deep fried fingers of dough. I drank warm soy milk with it. I liked it.

Some fun things happened that morning . We had met the lady (to the left on the picture below) the day before. She showed enthusiasm to see us again.  The other lady  (right)  was dressed in traditional  Akha costume. You can see her teeth are stained because she must had been  chewing betel. Chewing the mixture of areca nut and betel leaf is a tradition, custom or ritual which dates back thousands of years from India to the Pacific. It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects.

I did not buy the hat I have on my head  but other little souvenirs.

We saw children walking to school.

and later by the road, the rice paddies.

In Chiang Rai, we  visited Wat Rong Khun, perhaps better known to foreigners as the White Temple. It is a contemporary, unconventional, privately owned, art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. We cannot take photos inside the temple.

Every day was fun and different. Weather was good , food was delicious and we were happy to discover another part of the world. I will share one more post on this  trip . Thank you for reading and commenting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (part 4)

More  details from my  trip in  Northern Thailand .

Almost everybody ride a motorcycle or a scooter. And seeing 3 or 4 people on it at the same time is not unusual. Wearing an helmet does not seem to be mandatory.

We visited around another village called Mae Salong. There were many large fields of tea plantations.

We got to a hill tribe village called Akha. Some older women were looking after the younger children. We tried to communicate with them  but they did not speak English  or French. Even Fred who can speak Thai could not say much with them as they have their own language. The younger woman in this photo arrived in that covered area and with photos we “communicated”.  I did not know that I would see her again the next morning at the market.

Again, we saw a woman making brooms.

From the village we went up 719 steps to see the temple Wat Pra That Mae Salong and the Chedi.   In Thailand being a Buddhist country, temples play an important role in everyday life for Thai people. People go to the temple for merit making, prey to the Buddha for things such as good health, good fortune and wealth and to seek advice from monks. There are literally tens of thousands of Buddhist temples in Thailand, most of which are active.

Chedi is an alternative term for a Buddhist stupa. They are  mostly seen in the form of a bell-shaped tower. It containing relics ( typically the remains of Buddhist monks or nuns) that is used as a place of meditation.

Ending  the day with a cold local beer was not a bad idea !!

It was another fantastic day of discovery. I hope you enjoyed reading this travel story. More to come soon.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (part 3)

More photos from our trip in Northern Thailand.

We had a wonderful time exploring around Thaton.  We went up on the mountain and saw different Buddhas statue and some Chedi.  It was a hot   but we walked slowly and enjoyed the day.

We saw some novices monks walking down on the road.  Here is some information I found on the web about this topic. “In the old days, in particular in the rural areas, many young boys would become novice monks as that was the only way for them to receive an education. As well as having a secular education, they were taught how to read and write. These days, many of the novices that you might see in temples are boys who have been abandoned by their relations. Sometimes their parents have died or they cannot afford to raise them. Then, there is another group who are only novices for a temporary period of time. For example, maybe their grandparent died and they ordained as part of the funeral ritual. Another group of novices are the ones that ordain during their school holidays. ”

We got to the village of the Hill tribe Lahu. This village is called Kengtung. The tribe people  live in small houses on stilts made with bamboo. The pigs live under the house.

We even found a little store where we bought some cookies and some water. I don’t think the lady was  too busy as  she was napping when we arrived.  We would never know how to find this remote place but Fred knew and it was really interesting.

We saw a lady making brooms.

We saw a woman and her kid going down hill to fetch water. They use plastic bottles and they carry them in a bamboo basket on their back with a strap on their forehead. It reminded me how lucky we are to have water from the tap.

When are arrived back in Tha Ton,  we took a short boat ride on the river called  the Kok River.  You may be able to get to Myanmar if you keep going  on that river as the country is next to Thailand. However  we stayed on Thailand side .

Exploring small villages  like Tha Ton was great  to understand life in that country. The next day, we went further north to another small village. I will show you on my next post.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week-end.

 

 

Memories from Thailand , 2014 ( part 2)

The story of our trip to Thailand continues. I hope you will enjoy the story as much as we enjoyed our trip . With all the photos I have taken I have very good memories of this trip even if it happened  more than 3 years ago.

We had a rental car and Fred was our driver. Did you know that Thailand is like England or Australia  ? What I mean is that they do not drive the same way we do in Canada. In Thailand people drive on the left side of the road. In Thailand, most people drive a scooter or a motorcycle. Here is a woman going to work on the fields.

On that day , we headed north until we reached a small village called Nawai. In the fields grow  many produces but don’t ask me what it is…

We walked up the mountain to enjoy the view.

By the side of the road, we saw some coffee beans  drying in the sun. As you know  they get the brown color after roasting.

The next day, we visited the Royal Agricultural Station Angkhang. Beautiful flowers everywhere .

We arrived in Thaton later that day and settled at the Old Tree’s house. The owner , a French man and his Thai wife , has a wonderful small resort for the tourists eager to spend time in Northern Thailand. We had our own bungalow.

The first night we had dinner in town at the Sunshine Cafe. Delicious food and very inexpensive. It was a simple restaurant. The lady here is working by herself .

I will tell you more about this trip another day.

Thanks for your visit .

Memories from Thailand, 2014 (Part 1)

Hello readers.

When I started this blog  3 years ago,  I wanted to share some fun time I experienced. Somehow I never shared this travel in Thailand I did with  my husband . It was February 2014 and  It was another exciting adventure for us . And a special one as it was also our  first trip to Asia.

As usual I will show you some photos and tell you a bit about this trip. Traveling from VANCOUVER  to Thailand with a connecting flight in Seoul was a long journey. At the  Seoul Incheon airport ,  we saw a parade of Royal family.

We arrived in Chiang Mai in the evening. Our friend Fred was waiting for us. We were going to spend the week with him as he lives there and know very well  the country.

After a good night of sleep, we were woken up with a bird song.  We spent the first day walking in the city, visiting beautiful temples . The weather was just perfect and of course much warmer than what we have in Vancouver in February ( and no rain).

We  went to the Sunday night market where I bought some pants as souvenirs. There were lots of products we did not know and it was fun to try to figure out what it was.

If you don’t want to walk you can always travel by tuk-tuk. They are inexpensive .

Some food we ate that day ;

Of course, we would see monks everywhere. They are easily recognizable with their orange clothing.

It was a full first day. We were happy to discover a new country and we were lucky to have Fred to answer our questions. The story will continues on my next post.

Thanks for reading!