Chiang Mai Temple Tour

I had lots of fun this week playing tour guide to some visitors to Chiang Mai. They wanted to see some temples and since I love temples I volunteered. We spent the day visiting three of the over 300 temples here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Wat Doi Suthep is probably the most famous and most visited temple in Chiang Mai. It’s at the top of Doi Suthep (doi means mountain). From it you have beautiful views of Chiang Mai City. It’s beautiful but a little on the touristy side.

So, after the hustle and bustle of Doi Suthep, I wanted to show my guests the more rural and tranquil Wat Umong. I love the grounds here. You can climb to the top of the temple, explore the meditation caves, stroll along a small lake and feed the catfish.

Our last stop was in the centerof old Chiang Mai city. They got to see the moat that encloses the old city and then glorious Wat Chedi Luang. It was a fun last stop because when we came out Sunday Walking Market was in full swing!

We’ve been busy and life is good! I want to be better about blogging every week. I’ve decided shorter but more consistently posted blogs are the way to go. Hope you enjoyed this one. I’d love to hear from you…questions, suggestions for topics or anything about living a life of travel. Thank you dear reader!

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BOLT Reviews: Royal Park Rajapruek

No matter how long we live in Chiang Mai, I feel I will always find new things to delight me. Our Royal Park Rajapruek experience was more confirmation on that. It is not at the top of any “Chiang Mai Top 10s” nor is it a place many I know have visited yet this lovely park is now a definite BOLT Top 10.

It’s an enormous place, with a shuttle bus to help one get around, and was built in 2006 in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday and 60 years on the throne. There is a breathtaking pavillion dedicated to the King, surrounded by calming waters and expansive views.

There were amazing flowers and plants everywhere, especially in the orchid section.

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Visiting the park with friends made it even more special. There were so many great photo opportunities and walking around the grounds between shuttle rides was very enjoyable.

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Kathy and I really enjoyed the international gardens section. It was fascinating to see so many countries represented by gardens!

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Kenya

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The Netherlands

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Nepal

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India

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China

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Belgium

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Mauritania

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Cambodia

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Bhutan

Our trip to the Royal Park was well worth the 200 baht (6 dollars) admission price. If you are in the Chiang Mai area I highly reccomend a visit!

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A Quick Update from BOLT

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One of our faithful followers reminded me that I haven’t posted a blog lately. Kathy and I have been very busy but I wanted to take a few minutes out for a brief update.

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One project that is keeping us joyously busy is helping our dear friend, Wanvisa, in the development of her wellness center, Inthakin Green Village.  We’ve had lots of fun brainstorming ideas, getting treatments (the best part) and doing some administrative tasks. Kathy has been working hard, designing a website and it should be published soon.  We do have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Inthakin-Green-Village-254781621989943/

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The other thing keeping us (me) busy is that I am doing my first community theater gig. It will be a readers theater production of James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner”.  I am working with a fabulous group of people and we are under the direction of the very skilled Stephan Turner, who is the founder of the Gate Theater, here in Chiang Mai. If you are in or near Chiang Mai please come out and support us: https://www.facebook.com/TheGateTheater/photos/a.466250796762976/1791627774225265/?type=3&theater

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So that’s us for now, how about you? We love hearing from you: where you are, what you are doing and how can we help?  More about our Black Old Lesbian Traveling adventures soon!

Thailand with Pheuxn (Friends)!

It has been a whirlwind month for BOLT. In addition to our wonderful stay at Inthakin Green Village we had a delightful time playing host to our dear friends, Lecia and Sergio.

It was wonderful showing them around, playing tourist and sharing with them the Thailand that we know and love.

Kathy and I are not crazy about Bangkok but it is a must stop for your first visit to Thailand. We were waiting for Sergio and Lecia at the Air BnB we rented and had planned a fun-packed 5 day stay in Bangkok. The first day we spent shopping at the humoungous Platinum Fashion Mall. We had fun, got great bargins and returned home exhausted.

We had a ball the next day, being pure tourists at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. We even got to enjoy a boat ride during a monsoon rain!

Of course, no visit to Bangkok is complete without going to the Grand Palace.

Thanks to Lecial and Sergio we finally got to visit Wat Pho.

In contrast to the sacred beauty of Wat Pho we got to experience another type of beauty…the faboulous queens at the Stranger Bar drag show!

One of the most fun things we did in Bangkok was also the cheapest! We took the local (15 Baht) boat and saw the city from a different view point.

We loved showing Lecia and Sergio around our beloved city of Chiang Mai. They got to meet some of our friends, do more shopping and enjoy the local cuisine. Lecia and Sergio also got to spend some time at an elephant camp.

It was crazy fun seeing my bestie enjoy her first tuk-tuk drive!

We ended our friend’s time in Thailand in the best way possible: a healing stay at Inthakin Green Village.


Saying good-bye was bittersweet but I know we will be seeing our friends again soon. Afterall, who can resist Thailand?

If you are planning a visit to Thailand please let us know. We would be honored to show you around Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas.

Wat Pho…Well Worth the Wait!

Our wait to see Wat Pho had nothing to do with long lines, closures or any of the other reasons one might wait for something. Kathy has wanted to see this amazing statue of the Buddha Nirvana since we first arrived in Thailand (over 2 years ago). Because of a scammer tuk tuk driver we missed the opportunity the last time we visited Bangkok. This time we knew we would be sure to see it. Oh how beautiful and amazing it is!

It is hard to truly show the majestic size. I did my best with my little camera phone. You can get an idea of the size by seeing Kathy’s head near the end.

The statue was built by King Rama I in the 16th century. It is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. It measures 15 m high and 46 m long!

The head and feet are beautiful in detail, especially the bottom of the feet!

The grounds of the temple are beautiful and tranquil. There are many other statues and temple buildings as well.

I especially enjoyed the lovely fountains. Wat Pho was truly the highlight of our trip to Bangkok. If you visit be sure to see it!

Durian and Salak and Longan, Oh My! The Wonderful Fruits of Thailand!

As Dorothy, famously said, “We are not in Kansas any more.” Nor anywhere close! The wide variety of exotic fruits is one way I know this for sure. I had my first bite of durian yesterday. Durian is known as the king of Asian fruits. It is considered a delicacy and is quite expensive. It is also so stinky that you will see signs in hotels and on buses, across Asia, warning no durian. The fruit vendors, above, were kind enough to give me a taste. I have to say, that once I got past the smell (kind of like rotting fruit) it was quite delicious. It has a creamy sweetness like a cross of coconut and mango.

Passion Fruit

Lychee

Rambutan

Longan

There is such a great variety of fruit here in Thailand. Things I had never tried or even heard of before. My favorite is the tart and juicy passion fruit. I have it almost every morning. There is lychee, rambutan, longan and salak. Right now the longan is still sour but later in the season it becomes very sweet. I have had lychee and rambutan in the states but only rarely saw it. Here is is everywhere. Salak, also known as snake fruit is weird. It is very prickly and hard to open, kinda smelly and with a taste that is hard to describe.

There are also most of the fruits I am familiar with in the states. We are only buying locally grown fruits so I skip the apples that come from New Zealand. But there are plenty of coconuts, oranges, mangoes, papayas, watermelon, pineapple and banana. I think the tropical climate makes everything extra sweet and juicy.

This week, at our local mall, there was a fruit festival. There was an all you can eat fruit buffet, entertainment and lots of samples to try. I thought this was a good week to write this post and share the pictures I took. Hope you enjoyed them!

Songkran! Worship in Water

Songkran (the Thai New Year Celebration) is celebrated over three days. This is an ancient Buddhist holiday marked by the bathing of Buddha statues, pouring out of water blessings on loved ones and strangers and other ancient religious rites. Songkran is celebrated all over Thailand and in many other countries in Southeast Asia.

This year we were honored to be invited by our friend, Wanvisa, to celebrate the first day of Songkran (yesterday) with her. We started the day with a visit to ancient Wat Chang Khum. It was lovely to start the day with quiet prayers, meditation and Buddha bathing. I took this photo of Wanvisa standing in front of this Spirit Tree. These other photos were the last I was able to take because…

Chiang Mai is home to the “world’s largest water fight” for Songkran and I put my camera away!

Video of Songkran Water Fun

Our friend, Monique, was able to take the above video of the craziness that ensued for the rest of our day.

We loaded into the truck with a large vat of icy water, lots of buckets and water guns. It was so much fun to experience with Sally, Wanvisa’s daughter. It is truly a wonderful holiday for children. We returned home exhausted, throughly soaked but delighted.

For the next 2 days there will be water and dousing everywhere. If I’m brave enough to venture out, I may put up more pictures. I hope you enjoy these. Sawadee Pee Mai Ka! (Happy New Year! )