Wandering monks and housewives on motorcycles were not quite as prolific as a certain publication had lead us to believe but as we sauntered around the city we certainly found plenty to ensure that we felt a long way from home. Every day would deliver interesting new discoveries.

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A closer look at the thousands of tiles that formed the scales on the two dragons that encasing  the 300+ steps that you climbed to get to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep
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With over 300 Buddhist Temples (Wats) you are never far from one or two of them – Wat Pra That Doi Suthep

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Chiang Mai
Left unattended it would no doubt soon become a jungle relic.
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The skyline at Wat Suan Dok felt like a ‘Far Eastern’ version of Istanbul. Stupas rather than Minarets.
Chiang Mai
We did see a few monks – this was near a Buddist University. Spotted just after they has passed a revered Bho tree.

 

Chiang Mai
The gold plated structures and objects were dazzling, especially so in bright sunshine

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Cliffs ride around Chiang Mai
Some street art – Thai style
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I am not sure if it was holy water but the dog needed refreshment on a particularly hot day.
Hmong Village Doi Suthep
Colourful Hmong clothing
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There are still a few of the old cycle powered rickshaws on the streets, usually powered by older men who always look to be struggling under the strain of riding these incredibly uncomfortable looking bikes.
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After a couple of unusually cool days the returning sun and warmth were no doubt a relief to the coconut ice cream vendors. This one was spotted pushing his cart along a busy road.
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Even tuk tuk drivers need to catch 40 winks between jobs. We often noticed ‘swarms’ of tuk tuks that seemed to only service bus tours (as opposed to circling the city looking for a fare). There would be about 15-20 of them parked street side – when the order arrived they would all roar off in unison (impressive noise and choking if you happened to be near). You would later see them travelling in ‘conga fashion’ with the tourists on board. There seemed to be a set route – the way to see Chiang Mai for those who only have a day.
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The western side of the moat was the prettiest but also carried the heaviest traffic.
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In addition to the ribbons tied around the Bho trees it was not uncommon to see trees adorned with other decorations such as lanterns or in this case – ribbons
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This Orchid growing on a tree ‘moat side’ did not seem any worse for wear given the high level of emissions it would experience in it’s road side location.
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Up in the hills west of the city
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We regularly saw these squirrels in the middle of town – their flying skills when moving through the tree tops were impressive.
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A fruit and veg vendor plys their trade in one the quiet city lanes.
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While Ruth was learning how to do Batik I did a little tourist watching at Thae Pae gate – buy the seed and let the pigeons eat it out of your hand. 

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