The first picture is a place we walk past daily, sometimes more than once. It is a motorbike sales and rental shop and they display hundreds of bikes. Every evening we see them taking them all inside (it's a miracle how they can all fit) and then in the morning they are back outside. They completely fill the sidewalk, so we have to walk in the road. (That happens in many places; the sidewalks are frequently taken up by vendors and/or parked bikes.)
Our building, Smith Suites, is quite new, having opened about 3-4 months ago. Over the weekend there was a blessing ceremony. We weren't around, but the remnants still are. Outside the wall, boxed food offerings were made. And there were many bouquets of flowers in the lobby. Sorry the picture of the flowers isn't too great -- there was too much bright light behind. But it gives you the idea.
Monday night we decided to stay closer to home for dinner. There are small places everywhere in the lanes surrounding us. We ended up at the Blues Bar, only about a 3-4 minute walk. The decor was interesting, with photos of US blues musicians and other memorabilia covering all the walls. Blues music played in the background (quietly, thank goodness). One wonders how this small Thai restaurant came to be what it is. The food was decent and prices significantly less than the otherwise inexpensive restaurants we've been frequenting. The wife took our order and the husband was the chef. I think they live in the back or upstairs. The chef was pleased when Dan added even more hot chili pepper to his dish and said next time he would know.
Tuesday evening we had our third try at getting seated at Huen Pen, a well-known Lanna-style restaurant in the center of the Old City. This time we got a table. The decor is amazing, every surface is covered with antique artifacts.
|On the shelf right beside my seat|
|An open garden just behind our table|
|Looking from the front into the restaurant area|
|They even have their own bottled water|
We noticed a couple at a nearby table having the meal shown below, so we located it on the menu and ordered it -- it is designed for two people. It was beautifully displayed. Starting at the top you can see fried pork rinds. Moving clockwise: two Burmese-style red curries with pork, a bit similar yet different; two bananas in coconut milk for dessert; two servings of nonsweet sticky rice, pieces of Chiang Mai sausage nested in a lettuce leaf, and a minced pork that was tasty but very hot. In the center are two condiments and a dish of lettuce and a large bunch of Thai basil. This place has a completely different lunch of Khao Soi, another famous Lanna dish. They even open a different section of the restaurant at lunchtime. We will try to get there when we return from our trip (leaving Thursday for Cambodia, more about that later).