Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mostly in Sukhothai

We had a full day today. We walked through areas where the van won't go to get to the temple locals call Wat Yai which houses one of Thailand's most revered Buddha images. We see some fighting cocks and can't pass up a photo opportunity.  William the peace-maker.
I am dressed up for the temple in my sarong over shorts. I am trying to get cool.

Four monks were being ordained today, getting their saffron robes.

Hard to take a picture of this Buddha as it is heavily gold plated and glitters mightily.

Back through a market featuring all kinds of handmade products like these brooms.

She was making something out of slices of banana leaf. Our guide, who loves sticky rice, says maybe boxes for sticky rice.

On to Sukohthai Historical Park.
The park includes 21 historical sites within the old walls.
Our guide referred to this tree as a bodhi tree.  The original bodhi tree in India was a sacred fig that Buddha meditated under.  There are many bodhi trees around, some descendants of the original, some just fig trees of the same species.

Me with our guide, May.  The three cone shaped stupa were originally Hindu and date back to the 12th century.  Much of the rest of the site goes back to the 13th century.

Over a plank bridge to an island.
Can you see the three Buddhas. One looking at you, One standing and teaching and one seated.
On the island is a statue of the third Thai king who started the written Thai language.  The people did look to be worshiping him.
As we are leaving we see that these fan palms are being pretty severely trimmed. The guide says it is to protect them from bugs.  I ask her what they might use the fronds for. She says maybe boxes for sticky rice.
Our guide likes to buy snacks at the gas stations. So far she has bought the Thai equivalent of twinkies. A thumb sized ball of dough baked with a peanut sized bit of sweet peanut paste inside.  Also she bought some candied tamarind pods. Good but watch out. They are candied whole with the hard as rock inedible seeds inside.
We hit a very interesting pottery factory in Lampang.  A man came from China and married a Thai, worked as a gardener until he found his opportunity. Kaolin clay here is perfect for making porcelain. His family continues the factory.
The last event of the day is a carriage ride around Lampang.  The weather is cooler here in the hills.

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