Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
M. Jones
January 2004

mjones@fjac.com

In Chiang Mai, I quickly made my way in the early, pre-dawn hours (I don't know why they schedule bus service to deliver passengers at the unworkable hour of 4:30 a.m.?) to my favorit vegetarian restuarant in town, where I knew I could find food, a little friendly company, and take part in the symbolic yet very practical act of offering food to passing monks. Thailand is one of the few countries in the world where monks carryon the living tradition of Buddha's teaching: monks should be dependent on their community for food.

After offering food, I scouted around for a room to rent for the night, and a found a place to do my laundry (for about a quarter the price they wanted in Bangkok). By noon, I was at Wat Umong catching up with my dear friend, Tan Pornsai. Seeing him brought me right back to old times, and I can't wait to find another time to visit with him again, perhaps in his country of Laos. In first three rows of pictures below, you can see the monastery where I spent six weeks studying the teachings of Buddha and learning a few basic practices of Buddhism.

Tearing myself away from Chiang Mai, I visited my newly-made friend, Joe, up in Chiang Rai. Joe and I'd met in East Timor where he was working with the UN; we thought we had a few things in common (being about the tallest fellows on that island) and I keep finding myself very drawn to this man's ideas. He is a pleasure to hang around with, and he graciously included me in sight-seeing plans he had formed with another friend of his from Princeton, Pomme, and her mother. We had a great couple days riding on rivers and elephants, visiting meditation caves and crossing the border into Burma.

mj

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    Perfect Street       Creamatory       Reservoir       Waggy       Ajarn Narin, Tan Porsai, and Goofy  
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    Studying Hard       Tan Pornsai's Kuti       Chanting Hall       Island in the Pond       Near-by Wat Suan Dok  
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    Wat Doi Suthep       Dhama Library       Buddha Heads       Dear Friends       Grocery Store  
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    Street Artisan       Humerous Art       Lamps       Street Performance       Worms Anyone?  
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    Chiang Rai Beauty Dance       Elephant Ride       Hungry       Tempting       Orchid  
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    Friends       Traditional Water Urns       Auspicious Gardens       Princess Mother's Mountain Retreat       Buddha  
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    Story of the Crystal Image       Crystal Image       Wat Chiang Man       Monks Catching a Ride       Comfy Spot  
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    Buddhas       Intricate Roof       Peaceful Edge       Roof Detail       Silk Shop