The Streets of Chiang Mai

BurdenonabikeStreets in Thailand strike us as completely chaotic, just a mess of vehicles with motorbikes darting in and out constantly. It makes crossing the road a somewhat hit-n-miss affair, but at least the drivers slow down a little when they see a foreign family weaving its unsteady way across their path. One of the amazing sights is to see what fits on a motorbike. Often bikes pass with the whole family onboard – baby in front of Dad, Dad driving, the second child behind Dad, and then finally Mum at the back. Or we see bikes carrying unlikely loads – once we saw one with an adult pig strapped to the bag, in a basket. The traffic also creates a terrible smog in the busiest streets, where you’ll normally see the police wearing face masks, looking like surgeons ready to operate (on your wallet…)

Days of the week buddha

We visited Wat Chet Yot, with its Indian-style shrine. Wats provide one of the most common sightseeing opportunities in Asia, and although they may look superficially similar, there’s always something different inside the walls. In Wat Chet Yot we found ‘days of the week Buddha’, with a number of depictions of different Buddha images for each day of the week. It gave us the opportunity to try and work out who was born on which day of the week, from looking at the positions. We decided that Uncle Euan must have been born on a Tuesday, and I must have been born on a Monday (that body language sums it up!). The one thing that we couldn’t work out was why there were two Wednesday Buddhas – it seemed to be the case on every set we saw. (Our theory? People born on a Wednesday are fussy, and insist on a choice!)