We woke early in Ayutthaya to visit 700 year old ruins of palaces and temples. We walked around mainly brick and stucco structures and even saw a Buddha head entwined in some roots. One of the pagodas was hollow and had quite a few bats living in who did not seem too pleased that we had visited as well.
We drove from Ayutthaya to the Bangkok airport and took a one hour flight north to Chiang Mai. This large city has a population of about 1.5 million people. Our hotel was centrally located. Upon arrival we had a chance to shower and then all met for dinner. We walked to a nearby Thai restaurant and then had fun shopping in the night market. We bargained for scarves, t-shirts and elephant pants. Some stayed shopping and some of us went home. Then one of us found a massage parlor near the hotel. One hour for 250 baht ($9) – I’ll meet you back at the hotel!
The next morning we all woke up and took a taxi (cute mini mini van with 2 benches) to a local food market. There we met the chef for our cooking class named Kong. He took us shopping for the foods we would need for our class. He also explained a bit about the different foods.
Then we took another taxi to the cooking school. We learned how to make spring rolls, cashew chicken curry, chicken stir fry and banana cake. Kong was a great teacher and we all enjoyed eating everything that we cooked.
We learned about some of the different foods. I had never heard of Dorian but we tried some. It is a fruit with a creamy texture like avocado yet it is sweet and a bit grainy. It smells bad and is dangerous if eaten with alcohol due to the gas. In fact our hotel won’t allow you to bring it in. Tried it but probably never will again.
One of the travelers in our group successfully caught a rare Pokemon on our dining table so I am sure my blog has just gotten way cooler!
After cooking school, we walked over to visit the 14th century Wat Chedi Luang Buddhist temple. We took pictures and met some monks at the temple. We had time for a rest or swim back at the hotel, I chose a swim, then left to visit the golden Buddhist temple up on the mountain. The ride up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was quite curvy and we all felt a bit ill by the time we reached the steps. There are 300 steps or a tram that takes you to the temple. The views from the top were spectacular. We could see planes taking off below and all posed for amazing photos.
At 6:00 pm the monks knelt and chanted. Some visitors joined in as well. It is a very spiritual feeling to be surrounded by such dedicated faith.
I found a local restaurant after a bit of supper to reflect on my trip so far and write my blog. I am enjoying writing and traveling and spend little time thinking about the loss of my husband and being a widow. For me this is the best therapy and I could travel all the time.
We started a whatsapp group with our travel buddies to share photos and videos so it took longer to download it all to my iPad. Thanks for reading my blog and sharing in my adventures!