Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 10

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“The shrine is located by the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, at the Ratchaprasong intersection of Ratchadamri Road in Pathum Wan district. It is near the Bangkok Skytrain‘s Chitlom Station, which has an elevated walkway overlooking the shrine. The area has many shopping malls nearby, including Gaysorn, CentralWorld and Amarin Plaza.

Five other shrines dedicated to Hindu deities are located in the area as well: Phra Laksami (Lakshmi), Phra Trimurati (Trimurti), Phra Khanet (Ganesha), Phra In (Indra), and Phra Narai Song Suban (Narayana on his garuda).[2][3][4]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erawan_Shrine

The Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“The Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 as part of the government-owned Erawan Hotel to eliminate the bad karma believed caused by laying the foundations on the wrong date.

The hotel’s construction was delayed by a series of mishaps, including cost overruns, injuries to laborers, and the loss of a shipload of Italian marble intended for the building. Furthermore, the Ratchaprasong intersection had once been used to put criminals on public display.

An astrologer advised building the shrine to counter the negative influences. The Brahma statue was designed and built by the Department of Fine Arts and enshrined on 9 November 1956. The hotel’s construction thereafter proceeded without further incident.[5] In 1987, the hotel was demolished and the site used for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.[6]

The Worshipers at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Erawan Shrine in Bangkok is Brahman, not strictly Buddhist. And yet, this famous shrine attracts more visitors than many of the city’s temples. It was erected during the mid 1950s, after the Thai government had decided to build the luxury Erawan Hotel on this location. However, the first stages of the construction were beset with so many problems that superstitious labourers refused to continue unless the land spirits were appeased. After consultations with astrologers, the erection of a shrine to honour the four-faced Brahma God, Than Tao Mahaprom, was considered to be an auspicious solution. A magnificent image of the Brahma God was especially cast and gilded, and The Erawan Hotel opened to acclaims and worldwide fame for three decades. Towards the end, the property could not compete with more modern facilities, and was replaced by the privately owned Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok in 1991. As the shrine was originally constructed to grace the old Erawan Hotel, the location became known as the Erawan Shrine.”

The worshipers pay the dancers to dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Than Tao Mahaprom is a Brahma god, full of kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality. These four virtues are represented by his four faces, each radiating serene grace. Since Buddhism in Thailand has always been influenced by the Brahma beliefs, he made an immediate impact. Nowadays, as has been the case for years, unending streams of people pay respects from early morning till late at night. Thais, and even foreign visitors, make ceremonial offerings from floral garlands, fruits to teakwood elephants in the hope that their wishes will be fulfilled. Judging from the flowing multitude of believers, for many those wishes were indeed granted. Cash contributions are managed by a foundation who distributes funds regularly to various charitable organisations and equipment for needy hospitals in the provinces. To feel the aura of reverence while watching the joyful celebration of a graceful Thai Classical Dance troupe or a lively Chinese Lion Dance is an experience to be added to your many memories of exotic Bangkok.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://www.bangkok.com/shrines/erawan-shrine.htm#

The Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Dance in Thailand (Thai: ????? ram Thai) is the main dramatic art form of Thailand. Thai dance, like many forms of traditional Asian dance, can be divided into two major categories that correspond roughly to the high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance) distinction.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_Thailand

The Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thai classical dance drama include khon, lakhon, and fon Thai.

The first detailed European record of khon and other Thai classical dances was made during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The tradition and styles employed are almost identical to the Thai traditions we still see today. Historical evidence establishes that the Thai art of stage plays were already perfected by the 17th century. Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, had a formal diplomatic relation with Ayutthaya’s King Narai. In 1687, France sent the diplomat Simon de la Loubère to record all that he saw in the Siamese Kingdom and its traditions. In his famous account Du Royaume de Siam, La Loubère carefully observed the classic 17th century theatre of Siam, including an epic battle scene from a khon performance, and recorded what he saw in great detail:[1]:4”

The Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The Siamese have three sorts of Stage Plays: That which they call Cone [khon] is a figure dance, to the sound of the violin and some other instruments. The dancers are masked and armed, and represent rather a combat than a dance. And though everyone runs into high motions, and extravagant postures, they cease not continually to intermix some word. Most of their masks are hideous, and represent either monstrous Beasts, or kinds of Devils. The Show which they call Lacone is a poem intermix with Epic and Dramatic, which lasts three days, from eight in the morning till seven at night. They are histories in verse, serious, and sung by several actors always present, and which do only sing reciprocally…. The Rabam is a double dance of men and women, which is not martial, but gallant … they can perform it without much tyring themselves, because their way of dancing is a simple march round, very slow, and without any high motion; but with a great many slow contortions of the body and arms.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_Thailand

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thai classical dance drama include khon, lakhon, and fon Thai.

Of the attires of Siamese khon dancers, La Loubère recorded that: “[T]hose that dance in Rabam, and Cone, have gilded paper-bonnets, high and pointed, like the Mandarins caps of ceremony, but which hang down at the sides below their ears, which are adorned with counterfeit stones, and with two pendants of gilded wood.”[1]:49

La Loubère also observed the existence of muay Thai and muay Lao, noting that they looked similar (i.e., using both fists and elbows to fight), but the hand-wrapping techniques were different.[1]:49

The accomplishment and influence of Thai art and culture, developed during the Ayutthaya Period, on neighboring countries was evident in the observation of Captain James Low, a British scholar of Southeast Asia, during the early Rattanakosin Era:

“The Siamese have attained to a considerable degree of perfection in dramatic exhibitions — and are in this respect envied by their neighbours the Burmans, Laos, and Cambojans who all employ Siamese actors when they can be got.”[2]

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_Thailand

The musicians and the Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thai classical dance drama include khon, lakhon, and fon Thai.

Khon is the most stylized form of Thai dance. It is performed by troupes of non-speaking dancers, the story being told by a chorus at the side of the stage. Choreography follows traditional models rather than attempting to innovate. Most khon performances feature episodes from the Ramakien. Costumes are dictated by tradition, with angels, both good and bad, wearing coloured masks.”

A Worshiper and the Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Thai classical dance drama include khon, lakhon, and fon Thai.

Lakhon

Main articles: Lakhon nai, Lakhon chatri, and Lakhon nok

Lakhon features a wider range of stories than khon, including folk tales and Jataka stories. Dancers are usually female and perform as a group rather than representing individual characters.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_Thailand

The Thai Classical dancers dance for the Brahma God at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thai classical dance drama include khon, lakhon, and fon Thai.

Fon (Thai: ????; rtgsfon) is a form of folk dance accompanied by the folk music of the region. The first fon originated in the northern region of Thailand. It was designed and taught by Chao Dararasami of Chiang Mai. Since then, a variety of fon came into practice, featuring the music and style of each province, such as the fon lep (Thai: ????????; rtgsfon lep) fingernail dance from Chiang Mai, fon ngiew from Chiang Rai with the influence of Burmese music and costume.

Fon Thai is divided into three types:

  • Fon lep (fingernail dance): A northern Thai dance style. Each dancer wears six inch long brass fingernails. The long fingernails accentuate the finger movement of each dancer. Dancers wear their hair in a chignon-style with a yellow jasmine flower tiara.
  • Fon tian (candle dance): A performance consists of eight dancers, each carrying candles. Dancers are in pairs, one pair to each side. They wear full-length sarongs and jackets with a matching shoulder cloth. This dance is always held at night.
  • Fon ngiew (scarf dance): A dance performed at a happy event. The dance is similar to the fon lep but the dance is faster and more fun. Each dancer wears a yellow flower tiara, jong kra bane, and sabai.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

The Thai musicians perform at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thailand Instruments

There are many different varieties of Instruments from Thailand. They have 3 families of instruments, the wind, percussion, and string instruments. There are 2 main types of string instruments, plucked and bowed. The Percussion family is separated into 3 main groups, the drums, keyboards, and gongs or cymbals. Also, many Thai instruments are very similar, just in different sizes to produce higher or lower pitches.

The Ranat Ek has a similar look to xylophones. The keys from the ranad ek do not touch the base of the instrument, but rather hang over it, similar to a suspension bridge. The keys are wooden, and are different sizes in order to make different sounds.”

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

The Thai musicians perform at the Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand

“Thailand Instruments

The Taphon is a percussion instrument that is often found in a percussion ensemble called a piphat. The Taphon has two heads, and is shaped like a barrel. It is played with your hands, not with mallets. Many taphons have designs woven into the middle of the barrel.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://thailandmusicproject.weebly.com/thailand-instruments.html

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 8

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bangkok Railway Station
“Bangkok Railway Station, unofficially known as Hua Lamphong Station is the main railway station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the center of the city in the Pathum Wan District, and is operated by the State Railway of Thailand.
The station is officially referred to by the State Railway of Thailand as Krungthep Railway Station in Thai  ‘Krungthep’ is the transliteration of the common Thai language name of Bangkok) and Bangkok Station in English.[1] Hua Lamphong is the informal name of the station, used by both foreign travellers and locals. The station is often named as Hua Lamphong in travel guide books and in the public press.[citation needed]
In other areas of Thailand the station is commonly referred to as Krungthep Station, and the name Hua Lamphong is not well-known.
In all documents published by the State Railway of Thailand (such as train tickets, timetables, and tour pamphlets) the station is uniformly transcribed as Krungthep in Thai.[1]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok_Railway_Station

Advertising Poster near Bangkok Railway Station

“Bangkok Railway Station, unofficially known as Hua Lamphong Station is the main railway station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the center of the city in the Pathum Wan District, and is operated by the State Railway of Thailand.
The station was opened on June 25, 1916 after six years’ construction. The site of the railway station was previously occupied by the national railway’s maintenance centre, which moved to Makkasan in June 1910. At the nearby site of the previous railway station a pillar commemorates the inauguration of the Thai railway network in 1897.
The station was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance-style, with decorated wooden roofs and stained glass windows. The architecture is attributed to Turin-born Mario Tamagno, who with countryman Annibale Rigotti (1870–1968) was also responsible for the design of several other early 20th century public buildings in Bangkok. The pair designed Bang Khun Prom Palace (1906), Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in the Royal Plaza (1907–15) and Suan Kularb Residential Hall and Throne Hall in Dusit Garden, among other buildings.
There are 14 platforms, 26 ticket booths, and two electric display boards. Hua Lamphong serves over 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers each day. Since 2004 the station has been connected by an underground passage to the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) subway system’s Hua Lamphong Station.”
The station is also a terminus of the Eastern and Oriental Express luxury trains.[2]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok_Railway_Station

One of the Train Stations along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai: Lanna sometimes written as “Chiengmai” or “Chiangmai”, is the largest city in northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province and was a former capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na (1296–1768), which became the Kingdom of Chiang Mai, a tributary state of Siam from 1774 to 1899 and finally the seat of a merely ceremonial prince until 1939. It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country. The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

People were waiting for the Train at One of the Train Stations along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai means “new city” and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262.[1]:208–209
Chiang Mai gained prominence in the political sphere in May 2006, when the Chiang Mai Initiative was concluded between the ASEAN nations and the “+3” countries (China, Japan, and South Korea). Chiang Mai was one of three Thai cities contending for Thailand’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 (the others were Chonburi and Ayutthaya).[2] Ayutthaya, however, was the city ultimately chosen by the Thai Parliament to register for the international competition.[3][4]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The Train went through the Tunnel of the Hill.  It is Greener and more Hilly in the Northern part of Thailand.

“Chiang Mai is subdivided into four wards (khwaeng): Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is on the east bank. Nakhon Ping district comprises the north part of the city. Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the west, south, and east parts, respectively. The city center—within the city walls—is mostly within Srivijaya ward.[9]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

Rice Field in the middle plain of Thailand, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai’s historic importance is derived from its close proximity to tthe Ping River and major trading routes.[7][8]
While officially the city (thesaban nakhon) of Chiang Mai only covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai district with a population of 160,000, the city’s sprawl extends into several neighboring districts. The Chiang Mai Metropolitan Area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

People were cleaning the Train at One of the Train Stations.

People were cleaning the Train at One of the Train Stations.

“No Smoking Cigarettes or Drinking Alcohol on Train or in Station” The sign showing at one of the train station, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The city emblem shows the stupa at Wat Doi Suthep in its center. Below it are clouds representing the moderate climate in the mountains of Northern Thailand. There is a naga, the mythical snake said to be the source of the Ping River, and rice stalks, which refer to the fertility of the land.[17]”

For more information please visit the following link:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We enjoyed seeing the greenery and little village in the valley surrounded by the hills.

“With the decline of the Lan Na Kingdom, the city lost importance and was occupied by the Burmese in 1556.[13] Chiang Mai formally became part of Siam in 1775 by an agreement with Chao Kavila, after the Thai King Taksin helped drive out the Burmese. Because of Burmese counterattacks, Chiang Mai was abandoned between 1776 and 1791.[14] Lampang then served as the capital of what remained of Lan Na. Chiang Mai then slowly grew in cultural, trading, and economic importance to its current status as the unofficial capital of Northern Thailand, second in importance only to Bangkok.[15]
The modern municipality dates to a sanitary district (sukhaphiban) that was created in 1915. It was upgraded to a municipality (thesaban) on 29 March 1935, as published in the Royal Gazette, Book No. 52 section 80. First covering just 17.5 km2 (7 sq mi), the city was enlarged to 40.2 km2 (16 sq mi) on 5 April 1983.[16]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

Looking down into the valley between the hills.

“Chiang Mai succeeded Chiang Rai as the capital of the Lan Na kingdom. Pha Yu enlarged and fortified the city, and built Wat Phra Singh in honor of his father Kham Fu.[1]:226–227 The ruler was known as the “chao”. The city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall since nearby Burma was a constant threat, as were the armies of the Mongol Empire, which only decades earlier had conquered most of Yunnan, China, and in 1292 overran the bordering Thai Lü kingdom of Chiang Hung”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train went on top of one of the hills.

“King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai (“new city”) in 1296[1]:209 on the site of an older city of the Lawa people called Wiang Nopburi.[10][11] Gordon Young, in his 1962 book The Hill tribes of Northern Thailand, mentions how a Wa chieftain in Burma told him that the Wa, a people who are closely related to the Lawa, once lived in the Chiang Mai valley in “sizeable cities”.[12]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The lovely greenery reflection on the quiet pond and far away hills. Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The northern center of the Meteorological Department has reported that low-pressure areas from China trap forest fire smoke in the mountains along the Thai-Myanmar border.[24] Research conducted between 2005 and 2009 showed that average PM10 rates in Chiang Mai during February and March were considerably above the country’s safety level of 120 ?g/m3, peaking at 383 ?g/m3 on 14 March 2007.[25] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the acceptable level is 50 ?g/m3.[26]
To address the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in Chiang Mai, the city government has advocated the use of non-motorised transport (NMT). In addition to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NMT initiative addresses other issues such as traffic congestion, air quality, income generation for the poor, and the long-term viability of the tourism industry.[27] It has been said that smoke pollution has made March “the worst month to visit Chiang Mai”.[28]”
or more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

A Monk was walking under the waving Thai flag and other passengers leaving the train to their destination at one of the stations.

“A continuing environmental issue in Chiang Mai is the incidence of air pollution that primarily occurs every year towards the end of the dry season between February and April. In 1996, speaking at the Fourth International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement conference—held in Chiang Mai that year—the Governor Virachai Naewboonien invited guest speaker Dr. Jakapan Wongburanawatt, Dean of the Social Science Faculty of Chiang Mai University, to discuss air pollution efforts in the region. Dr. Wongburanawatt stated that, in 1994, an increasing number of city residents attended hospitals suffering from respiratory problems associated with the city’s air pollution.[21]”

or more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw more corn fields in the northern area, near Chiang Mai.

“During the February–March period, air quality in Chiang Mai often remains below recommended standards, with fine-particle dust levels reaching twice the standard limits.[22]
According to the Bangkok Post, corporations in the agricultural sector, not farmers, are the biggest contributors to smoke pollution. The main source of the fires is forested area being cleared to make room for new crops. The new crops to be planted after the smoke clears are not rice and vegetables to feed locals. A single crop is responsible: corn. The haze problem began in 2007 and has been traced at the local level and at the macro-market level to the growth of the animal feed business. “The true source of the haze…sits in the boardrooms of corporations eager to expand production and profits. A chart of Thailand’s growth in world corn markets can be overlaid on a chart of the number of fires. It is no longer acceptable to scapegoat hill tribes and slash-and-burn agriculture for the severe health and economic damage caused by this annual pollution.” These data have been ignored by the government. The end is not in sight, as the number of fires has increased every year for a decade, and data shows more pollution in late-February 2016 than in late-February 2015.[23]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw mountain and hills far away, the clouds were hanging low over the top of the mountain,

“Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw), tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather year-round, though nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool and much lower than daytime highs. The maximum temperature ever recorded was 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005.[18]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

I thought we were on top of one of the hill because we saw the top of the greenery.

“Khantoke dinner is a century-old Lanna Thai tradition[41] in Chiang Mai. It is an elaborate dinner or lunch offered by a host to guests at various ceremonies or parties, such as weddings, housewarmings, celebrations, novice ordinations, or funerals. It can also be held in connection with celebrations for specific buildings in a Thai temple and during Buddhist festivals such as Khao Pansa, Og Pansa, Loi Krathong, and Thai New Year (Songkran).”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train went through the hill by tunnel. I looked back and saw the end of train emerging from the tunnel.

“Museums
• Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center.
• Chiang Mai National Museum highlights the history of the region and the Kingdom of Lan Na.
• Tribal Museum showcases the history of the local mountain tribes.
• Mint Bureau of Chiang Mai or Sala Thanarak, Treasury Department, Ministry of Finance, Rajdamnern Road (one block from AUA Language Center) has an old coin museum open to the public during business hours. The Lan Na Kingdom used leaf (or line) money made of brass and silver bubbles, also called “pig-mouth” money. Nobody has been able to duplicate the technique of making pig-mouth money, and because the silver is very thin and breakable, good pieces are now very rare.[40]
• Bank of Thailand Museum”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train was very close to the hill as if the train was hugging the hill, the greenery appeared on the train window showing a nice reflection of the view.

“Language
The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna). Historically, it is a dialect referred to as the Chiangsaen dialect (also a precursor Kingdom to Chiangmai and Chiangrai) still spoken in parts of northern Laos today, they speak this dialect among themselves, though Standard Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. The script used to write this language, called Tua Mueang, is studied only by scholars, and the language is commonly written with the standard Thai alphabet.[39] English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses.”

Khantoke dinner, pig-mouth money, Loi Krathong, Songkran, Flower Festival, Chiangsaen dialect, Nam Tok Huai Kaeo, Doi Inthanon National Park, Doi Pha Daeng National Park, Chiang Dao National Park, Doi Luang Chiang Dao, Pha Deang, Chiang Mai University

We were approaching a mountain and hills, the clouds were hanging low over the top of the mountain.

“Chiang Mai hosts many Thai festivals, including:
• Loi Krathong (known locally as Yi Peng), held on the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar, being the full moon of the second month of the old Lanna calendar. In the Western calendar this usually falls in November. Every year thousands of people assemble floating banana-leaf containers (krathong) decorated with flowers and candles and deposit them on the waterways of the city in worship of the Goddess of Water. Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom fai or kom loi), which are hot-air balloons made of paper, are launched into the air. These sky lanterns are believed to help rid the locals of troubles and are also used to decorate houses and streets.
• Songkran is held in mid-April to celebrate the traditional Thai new year. Chiang Mai has become one of the most popular locations to visit during this festival. A variety of religious and fun-related activities (notably the indiscriminate citywide water fight) take place each year, along with parades and Miss Songkran beauty competition.
• Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a three-day festival held during the first weekend in February each year; this event occurs when Chiang Mai’s temperate and tropical flowers are in full bloom.
• Tam Bun Khan Dok, the Inthakin (City Pillar) Festival, starts on the day of the waning moon of the sixth lunar month and lasts 6–8 days.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

I felt a little nervous looking down the deep ravine with the two train tracks laying across between two hills, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai.
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Transportation
“Songthaew on Wua Lai Rd, Chiang Mai
Tuk-tuks near Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai
A number of bus stations link the city to Central, Southeast, and Northern Thailand. The Central Chang Puak terminal (north of Chiang Puak Gate) provides local services within Chiang Mai Province. The Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal north-east of the city (which can be reached with a songthaew or tuk-tuk ride) provides services to over 20 other destinations in Thailand including Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Phuket. There are several services a day from Chiang Mai Arcade terminal to Mo Chit Station in Bangkok (a 10- to 12-hour journey).
The state railway operates 10 trains a day to Chiang Mai Station from Bangkok. Most journeys run overnight and take approximately 12–15 hours. Most trains offer first-class (private cabins) and second-class (seats fold out to make sleeping berths) service. Chiang Mai is the northern terminus of the Thai railway system.
Chiang Mai International Airport receives up to 28 flights a day from Bangkok (flight time about 1 hour 10 minutes) and also serves as a local hub for services to other northern cities such as Chiang Rai, Phrae, and Mae Hong Son. International services also connect Chiang Mai with other regional centers, including cities in other Asian countries.
The locally preferred form of transport is personal motorbike and, increasingly, private car.
Local public transport is via tuk-tuk, songthaew, or rickshaws. Local songthaew fare is usually 20–50 baht per person for trips in and around the city. For groups, the fare per person is less. Tuk-tuk fare is usually at least 60–100 baht per trip (the vehicles are comfortable for two passengers, but some can squeeze in four passengers); fares increase with distance.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train was very close to the hill as if the train was hugging the hill, the greenery appeared on the train window showing a nice reflection of the view.

“ Language
The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna). Historically, it is a dialect referred to as the Chiangsaen dialect (also a precursor Kingdom to Chiangmai and Chiangrai) still spoken in parts of northern Laos today, they speak this dialect among themselves, though Standard Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. The script used to write this language, called Tua Mueang, is studied only by scholars, and the language is commonly written with the standard Thai alphabet.[39] English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses.”
For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

After we had our excitement of seeing the long train go over the deep ravine, I glanced back to the end of the train. It impressed us to see the curve of the train tracks that wrapping around the hill.

“Recreation
• The Chiang Mai Zoo, the oldest zoo in Northern Thailand, sprawls over an enormous tract of land.
• Shopping: Chiang Mai has a large and famous night bazaar for local arts and handicrafts. The night markets extend across several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds, and in open squares. A handicraft and food market opens every Sunday afternoon until late at night on Rachadamnoen Road, the main street in the historical centre, which is then closed to motorised traffic. Every Saturday evening a handicraft market is held along Wua Lai Road, Chiang Mai’s silver street[43] on the south side of the city beyond Chiang Mai Gate, which is then also closed to motorised traffic.[44]
• Thai massage: The back streets and main thoroughfares of Chiang Mai have an abundance and variety of massage parlours which offer anything from quick, simple, face and foot massages, to month-long courses in the art of Thai massage.
• Thai cookery: A number of Thai cooking schools have their home in Chiang Mai (see also Thai food).
• For IT shopping, Pantip Plaza just south of Night Bazaar, as well as Computer Plaza, Computer City, and Icon Square near the north-western corner moat, and IT City department store in Kad Suan Kaew Mall are available.
• Horse racing: Every Saturday starting at 12:30 there are races at Kawila Race Track. Betting is legal”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

It was nice to see the workers sitting near by the train tracks smiling to us.

“Nature
Nam Tok Huai Kaeo (lit. “Crystal Creek Waterfall”) lies at the foot of Doi Suthep on the western edge of the city
• Nearby national parks include Doi Inthanon National Park, which includes Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand
• Doi Pui- Doi Suthep National Park begins on the western edge of the city. An important and famous tourist attraction, Wat Doi Suthep Buddhist temple located near the sumit of Doi Suthep, can be seen from much of the city and its environs.
• Doi Pha Daeng National Park, or more commonly Chiang Dao National Park which includes Doi Luang Chiang Dao and Pha Deang mountain near the border with Myanmar.
• Hill tribe tourism and trekking: Many tour companies offer organized treks among the local hills and forests on foot and on elephant back. Most also involve visits to various local hill tribes, including the Akha, Hmong, Karen, and Lisu.[42]
• Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw a part of the hill that was cut down for laying train tracks, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Education
Chiang Mai has several universities, including Chiang Mai University, Chiangmai Rajabhat University, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Payap University, Far Eastern University, and Maejo University, as well as numerous technical and teacher colleges. Chiang Mai University was the first government university established outside of Bangkok. Payap University was the first private institution in Thailand to be granted university status.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

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