Monday, November 25, 2013

11-16-13 Tangled in Thai Festivities

     Since we had been awake since 4 AM, we had the rest of the day from 2 PM on to spend at our leisure. 

Our original schedule for the day was to...
  • Visit a forest temple
  • Go to the bus station to buy tickets (which we found out were NOT leaving every fifteen to thirty minutes, contrary to what people at the Bangkok bus terminal had told Jess) 
  • Drive around to see the gates of the old city
  • Drive through to check out another temple
  • Go to the walking market to shop
  • Attend Loi Krathong in the city
  • Head back to the Night Safari
However, our plan ended up being: 

  1. U-Mong Temple (700-year-old temple):
I'm sure we have a name for this deity in Chinese, but right now, I'm blanking. :(

Interesting creature which looks like a sea otter-ish thing to me.

Here's a little bit about U-Mong Temple.

A bigger version that you'll still have to squint to read!
But look at this temple. Have you ever even seen anything remotely like this in person?

The main entrance to the temple.

I waited almost 5 minutes to take this picture because the Thai people
hanging around the entrance just ignored us standing there with our cameras
while they took pictures and then stood there to have a very long conversation.
So appreciate it!

Along the corridor heading to the Buddha, there were sitting and reclining Buddhas.

The Buddha :)

One of the corridors leading away from the Buddha

I love these! They remind me of Ayutthaya.

As Jess and I were attacked by mosquitoes, we saw roosters and
hens everywhere and monks feeding them. :)

We searched for the mutilated images, which were said to be
at the site of this temple. We stumbled upon other beautiful views instead.

Like this Buddha.

And these adorable puppies!

Also, this beautiful and serene view :)

I feel like I could sit in a spot like this and really unwind :)

2. We saw a few gates but only because we kept having to do u-turns. Due to that craziness and my lack of a sense of direction, we were unable to capture them all on video. Plus, the traffic was at a point that would make that very dangerous, unless you weren't clumsy... haha

3. We missed the temples because we got semi-lost on our motorbike. :(

4. We went to see and participate in the Loi Krathong celebration at one of the gates....

Nope, they can't be :) Neither should girls be. :(
(Random post that we passed by.)

Tha Phae Gate

This was the celebration in the Old City right past Tha Phae Gate.
They were performing a Thai dance.

They also represented different Asian countries, like Singapore.

Vietnam! Asian pride! ^_^

Not that all Vietnamese people look like this, but I really miss Argyle. :(

As we headed back to our motorbike... :D
Now I want some Koala snacks :) Childhood memories! (Can you tell I miss home?)

5.  ...but then we went to Majoe University instead because people told us the biggest celebration was there.

A whole bunch of lanterns floating in the air :)

I can't tell you how much I appreciate Jess for everything too :)

I should probably stop ruining these pictures with words...

Our khoi lom and krathong were homages to the Buddha.

A lantern that was stuck.

Made for a very beautiful picture though :)

At some points, the moon would peek out from behind the clouds.

One of the khom loi started lighting a tree on fire... and my camera just refused to capture it.

Jess and I bought khoi lom for 100 baht each, which was actually
a horrible deal, but these were made by the students of the university.
The other ones, outside, were much cheaper, but it had taken us SO LONG
just to reach the center of the celebration that we felt it was not worth it
to make our way all the way back out just to save some baht.
Anyway, this is me with a lantern! :)

Inflating it with hot air!

Jess and I about to release it to the sky to join with all the other wishes :)

There it goes! :)

What a beautiful sight...

As you can probably tell, I love the sky, stars, and its illumination.
Such a refreshing sight for someone who lives near a city that turns the night sky orange. :(

These people climbed up high, releasing their lantern dangerously, since the 
flame tried to escape to touch them.

After struggling for a little bit, success!!!

There were also themed khoi lom lol

After we had let our lanterns float away, we walked to see what else we could do.

In front of a Buddha. We made donations as well and prayed with those candles to the Buddha.

These lotus flowers were so sawai (beautiful)!

Later on, as we headed to search for the krathong,
we passed by some monks lighting their own khoi lom.

Krathong in a pond in Majoe University

We didn't participate in this, but you can tell, just by looking at it, the care that
Thai people put into this... the value of everything just takes my breath away.

You can just see the beauty and the time Thai people place into
everything they do. I really love and respect their culture so much.
I keep calling their festivities wild, but I think what I really meant
all along is that everything is intensely dedicated. Thai people truly go all out
in their celebrations, but it showcases their passion for their
traditions as well as their enjoyment of everything's entirety.
I honestly hope they never let their enthusiasm burn out!

6. We headed to the walking market, but Jess's phone was dying, so we just decided to go home. The phone directions took us to a deserted area which was really creepy, so we set the phone to Yummy Pizza, a restaurant right in front of the resort, and headed back to our place where we just collapsed... (Well, I sat up a little later to type the notes for this blog, but not my complete thoughts.)

But yay! I’ve gotten much better at holding on to a person with one arm while holding an iPhone in the other to navigate on the back of a motorbike!

Same bike! Haha! Something that made our really tired bodies laugh
as we waited outside a 7-11 for Jess's phone to charge.

7. The next morning, although we had meant to head out at 5 AM for the temples we didn't have a chance to see, we had breakfast at 10 instead because I turned my phone on silent... so my alarm never woke us up. The breakfast was delicious and we also enjoyed some croissants with Ness’s family. :)


My plain breakfast which I actually enjoyed immensely :)
I really am pretty low maintenance... usually... :D

      Anyway, we headed back on the slowest bus ride ever. Instead of 9 or 9.5 hours, it took us almost 10.5 to 11 hours to get back, which was horrible. We ended up in Bangkok around 11 PM and still had to wait excruciatingly long with all our exhaustion for metered taxis. No one wanted to pick us up, so there were 4 lines waiting for them. I reached home at about midnight that night, stayed up because I thought sleeping on the bus was enough, and went to school to teach a few hours later... Nothing good happens after 2 AM ;)

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