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Chiang Mai, Thailand Day 2 - Exploring and more Vegetarian Festival fun!

Originally I had wanted to take a cooking class on our one "full" day in Chiang Mai, and we had signed up for one, but then they canceled it at the last minute. That made for a sad Jen, but we had fun exploring and eating all the foods again! Man the Vegetarian Festival is when you should go to Thailand if you are vegetarian/vegan. It was amazing how many places had food stuffs for us to eat. 

We had gotten up and lazed around for a bit since we were catching a train later and had all day to explore. We left our bags at the hotel and set off. We headed up towards Warorot Market to check that out and ended up spending most of the morning wandering around the markets there. 

This is the sign to look for for the vegetarian festival - usually it is on a little yellow triangle flag. The Chinese symbol and the Thai symbol that was made to try and look more Chinese. The vegetarian festival is a Chinese Buddhist festival so I guess that makes sense. 

So much market space! You can see above on the aisle on the left all the yellow flags - that means food we can eat!

So we went to spy of course

And picked up some of these cookies which were not what I was expecting. They were a dough wrapped around some kind of rice treat center. Odd, but good. The markets were so big - lots of clothes and crafts and food and just everything. We got some dried strawberries (super delicious!) and looked at all the spices and cooking things. All the rice steamers and sticky rice containers and such. I also found a watch for €2.50 so I was happy. 

Then finally I was like okay, we need to start heading towards the square or we will never get there! We could have just wandered in the markets forever. The square is just the center of town that has a square moat around it. Along the way I saw a cute shop and stopped in and found a new purse! It was a good day for me since I had been looking for both things forever. 

When we got to the moat we sat and had a bit of a break in the shade

Fishes in the water

Then we decided to walk through the market we had gone to the night prior to see about getting some  lunch since it was right there

And they had this table set up of free food!! I had read that they gave out food at different places during the festival, but I didn't see where. Man it was crazy. So many people and the people working there were just trying to give you tons and tons of food!

Round one - a giant bowl of noodles - pad see eew and other rice noodles. I asked for the pas see eew and the lady filled it up, but then was like you want some of the other noodles as well yes? As she puts tons of them in the bowl as well. Also lots of tasty friend veggies and you could have gotten soup and all kinds of things. There were people showing up with tons of containers and filling them up and the people were just like yes, have more! Raymond went back to get just a bit more and the guy just kept piling things on his plate. Oh it was awesome. Free lunch for us!
After lunch we explored in the square area. The next photos are from Wat Phan On


The sign in the bathroom. Some of the rules were not translated into English very well

I think this was a library next to Wat Chedi Luang. And below photos of the ruined Chedi

It was getting quite hot since it was afternoon when we got here. We did sit in the shade for a bit, but luckily it wasn't really humid so it was more tolerable. That and we tried to walk in the shade. At this Wat they had all of these donation boxes for medicine for puppies! 

And finally we made it to Wat Phra Singh - where we were headed

There was a large grounds area to walk around and spy on and something was going on here. The big cylinder looked like a piñata and there was a guy with a microphone talking constantly. I have no idea what was happening. 

After that I decided I needed to take a break with a cold beverage. Luckily there was a coffee shop right there where I had a delicious peach iced tea. Unfortunately that guy in the background really annoyed Raymond. I was enjoying listening to him talk as he sounded like an infomercial. He was trying to sell this web app idea to the lady, get her to work with him, and he wanted someone who spoke Thai as it was a learn English app. He kept going on and on about how if you know English your earning potential instantly goes through the roof! You just need to know English and you will be making so much money! It is that easy! Buy now for just 2 easy payments of $29.95 and we will throw in this kitchen knife for free! Just pay separate shipping and handling. It was fun. "If you were to tell me you were serious about this I would say then this is what we need to do."

While exploring we went by this add -! 

Then we walked down to Buk Hat Public Park and lazed around in the shade for a bit. It was a nice park

The park had lots of plant animals

You could rent bamboo mats to lay on for €0.25 so we did that and lazed around until we had to start heading back. Raymond had fun playing with the camera and taking photos/video of the sky

Along the way back to Pae Gate to get some dinner for on the train

Some snacks for now - dumplings

A different satay

And mushroom chips - they were actually quite tasty. They didn't have the texture of normal mushrooms so I could eat them

We picked up a bunch of food for the train. We were walking by the Singapore booth and this guy was making pancakes and he was just so excited to be making them that we stopped to get some. While we were there the lady was so nice and she talked us into getting some of their special noodle soup as well - only made for special occasions. Good and very cinnamon-ey. We got everything then walked down a bit to pick up some more things and the lady came down to us and gave us another treat to try - this cracker thing. She was so nice. I loved it!

When we were finally loaded down with food we had to get out of there so we wouldn't see even more things for us to try. We went back to the hotel and got our bags and they had given us a free drink ticket when we checked in so we used that for a cold beverage before heading off to the train station. 


Our feast on the train - lots of noodles, tofu skewer things, the soup and cookie and pancakes and so much food! Really I saved some of my pad thai for breakfast the next morning as I was so full!

We were in second class AC for this train ride and I was hoping I would sleep okay. I had read before we went that you should travel second class so you can talk with the local and stuff, but for an overnight train? I want to sleep. It didn't sound that good. Luckily I slept better than on the first overnight train we took. I was on the  bottom bunk with my curtain closed up tight to keep out the light that never went off and I kept waking up, mostly when we would stop, and was way too hot. At one point I poked my head out to spy and was like man! It is freezing out here! Apparently with my curtain closed and Raymond's curtain above covering the top the cold air wasn't getting in. So I opened it a bit and then it was much better. 

So that was all of our Chiang Mai adventures. It was fun, but I didn't love the city. I wouldn't go back to visit unless the vegetarian festival was going on. I did love eating all the foods! The people were nice there. There were a lot of guy who would just come up and start talking to us as we were wandering around, most of whom also spoke German, and I kept thinking they wanted something, but no they just wanted to say hello. So it was fun, but just not my favorite place ever. 


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