Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11: Chiang Mai

Today we left Bangkok and headed north to Chiang Mai which used to be the capital city of the old Lanna kingdom but is now part of Thailand and like Bhutan it is use to be rather cut off from the outside world until the early 1900s. But now this city is a regular vacation spot for many Thai people.

We had a special greeting when we came down to baggage claim because this the weekend of Songkran and in Chiang Mai the water festival is a big deal.

Our local guide took us to see three of the major temples.  And even though it follows the same school of Theradavan Buddhism, since it was not part of Siam until 1774, the architecture of the three oldest temples is different from what we saw in Bangkok.  Here, the pagoda is in the center or most holy place in the temple while in Bangkok it's usually the earth witnessing Buddha.

Following some down time during the heat of the day, we walked down to one of the large markets in Chiang Mai - leaving our big cameras at home since some of the children have started the festival early.

While in the market, we decided to play our own version of No Reservations (without the excessive drinking and foul language)

So our dinner consisted of a white meat sausage with glass noodles (on a stick), crunchy small crabs, spicy sausage with lime sold from the popular stall pictured above, rice flower paste desserts, and, of course, cooked swaps, worms, crickets, ants, grasshoppers and who knows what other bugs (the vendor was kind enough to give us the sampler pack).

 I skyped with the boys after coming back and they couldn't believe their mom would eat bugs.  But, when it Rome right?!

Tomorrow is elephant riding day!


Summer said...

Wow. Wow and wow. And yuck. I'm glad you're braver than I am so that I can learn about eating bugs vicariously!

Morgan said...

This sounds fantastic and I must say I am full of envy. Now it's been a while since I've read anything on Thai cooking but I think the first white sausage is a version of sai grök or grok Or something like that there are soany sausages which is traditionally made with rices, pork shoulder and rice noodles and the second one I do know is the chiang mai regions special blend and it's got red curry blue Ginger and pork in it as well as lime leaves. I hope the rest of te trip goes well.


ComplyKated said...

Morgan that sounds exactly like what both of them were. We decided you'd be in heaven here- all the spices and foods and everything. Oh and we tried Durian and all I have to say is BLAH!!!!! The taste at first bite isn't bad, but it has a funky aftertaste and then the texture- like slimy skin. The taste would have to amazing to compensate fort the texture.

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