Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mae Ping River Cruise

On Monday morning we were met at our place by our guide for the day, Montree. We caught a song taew (pickup truck with seats in the back) and headed to the northeast side of the old city. Montree guided us through Wararot Market looking at a wide variety of things from foodstuffs to handicrafts.

We tasted this treat, which was sticky rice with some sweetness. It is packed in a roll of bamboo, then you tear off a bit to eat. Very interesting. 

A market stall with lots of fried things to eat.

We went through the flower market and I took way too many pictures. I'll just post this one, which shows a typical way the leaves are incorporated to make interesting shapes.

While in the market, Montree bought a prepackaged gift for the monks at the Chai Mongkol temple. We took another song taew to the location, right on the river.

Carving on the outer temple wall

Inside the temple, several monks were reading to the worshippers. Everyone brought gift baskets for them. I sat on the outside steps for a bit, and the youngest monks passed by, carrying the baskets to some central location for distribution. They contained everything from toothpaste to snacks to buckets.

The front of the temple inside has a very old Buddha statue at the back and a smaller, newer one in the front.

The boat landing is right at the temple, so we got on our boat and headed upriver with about 6 others. There were many nice houses and lovely views. I liked this beautiful huge tree.

There were fishermen all along the way; catching to sell or just to eat, I don't know.

The northern end of the ride was at a farm that is set up to showcase its animals and crops. It turned out to be the same place Dan and I visited when we first came here 13 years ago. We were served lunch here. This is khao soi, a northern specialty dish. It is a meat soup with noodles. Deep-fried crispy noodles are put on top and there is a variety of condiments:  coriander, sugar, lime, chili paste, pickled cabbage, onion, and pineapple. The flavor is delicious as is the texture.

The ride back to the river landing was pleasant. Montree escorted us back to our starting location. A lovely way to spend a morning!

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