April 22nd 2019

Last evening there was a huge storm in Chiang Mai–lightning, thunder, and tons of rain! However, it was our only chance to explore the famous Sunday Night Market. So…Off we went!

When we arrived in the old city at the Sunday Night market, there were minimal tourists and many of the shop stalls were covered in plastic sheets. Although the streets were wet and there were pools of water in areas, the rains soon subsided and the plastic tarps were lifted. We didn’t purchase much…but I did have a lovely nutella/peanut butter crepe!

This morning we woke up to the sound of chainsaws. We shook our heads as this was common on Vancouver Island, but new to us in Thailand! Upon opening our 5th floor curtains, we discovered a man standing barefoot in the massive tree above the pool area immediately in front of us.

He was level to us so he must have been equivalent to about 5 stories up in the air~! The man was manipulating a chainsaw cutting off huge branches and had absolutely no harness, hard hat, safety shoes, or safety equipment of any kind!

We were stunned in disbelief and horror! What would my logging friends back home have to say about this lack of safety? They did use ropes to attach the branches as they descended to the ground…but the man up the tree climbed barefoot to the edges of branches! He had incredible balance and clearly no fear of the distance below him and the cars driving past.

We headed to the Wat for a peaceful reprieve and our morning breakfast at Pun Pun. In this collage of photos I have included a photo from our Airbnb condo of the previous Thai King presenting the owner’s grandfather with his university diploma.

Apparently, this is a tradition here. How incredible that must be for each university graduate!

Since we are departing from Thailand in 2 days, we decided to explore a new area of Chiang Mai and took a taxi to the Nimman Area which is known to be quite modern and ‘upscale’. This type of shopping isn’t really our focus, but we thought we would check it out!

The weather returned to sunny and 40 degrees (before humidity), so air conditioned malls sounded appealing. We noticed there were more young people in this area, fancier vehicles, (check out all the mirrors on the truck!), and lots of clothing and coffee shops. Also… check out the Botox and skin whitening ads above Clover pharmaceutical.

There were also many ‘cute’ type statues.

We started at Maya Lifestyle Mall, then One Nimman Mall. In these malls we saw lots of clothing and brands similar to those found in North America… Lee and Levi jeans.

Groceries stores had a range of unique products… I.e. Shark fin soup mix!

MAYA Lifestyle Mall at Chang Phueak was massive and very upscale! There was a giant pig with sunglasses statue greeting shoppers at the front entrance. PS… the fish were slip on sandals!!.

In addition to a wide array of stores selling expensive clothing, perfumes, sports gear, jewelry, artifacts, children’s items, etc., there is an extensive food court floor, and 5+ star bathrooms!

I was very enticed by the detailed , colourful painted elephant sculptures. The money was a fund raiser to protect elephants in places like the Elephant Nature Park.

But the prices were steep and we still had 3 weeks left in this trip!

Food downstairs was diverse and plentiful on the food court level. I even noticed the first Easter chocolates I had seen in Thailand in one specialty chocolate store. We passed on the crocodile, but did try an interesting round frozen dessert.

Although there were 6 floors in this huge shopping center, we had enough “shopping” experiences. We stopped to enjoy the music and stalls outside, then headed back to our accommodation. Tomorrow we are getting up early to experience the sunrise up at the famous Buddhist temple Wat Doi Suthep.