Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Sacred Umbrella in the Sun

Last week there was a post of umbrellas waiting for a storm at the Wat in Chiang Dao.  Today the other use for umbrellas in Chiang Mai - to keep the sun off.  I like the way the umbrella tones in with the robes and the flags here at Wat Phan Tao

Monday, 29 June 2015

Holy Horses

Wat Kuan Kam, the horse wat in Chiang Mai, has at lease 50 horse statues atop the main fence.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A portrait

This lovely gentleman was sweeping the grounds of Wat Chiang Man - one of my favorite wats as it has elephants around the stupa.
With limited Thai he welcomed me to the temple and happily posed for a photograph.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Elephants holding up the Universe

This drawing in an temple shows elephants supporting the structure of a temple.
The script on the stands offers words of wisdom.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Words of Wisdom from a Cinnamon tree

Often in the grounds of a temple, Dharmma or words from Buddha are posted on the trees to provide meditative thoughts.
This cinnamon tree is telling us it is our nature to suffer.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Simple Life

Life as a monk is simple, but I think it would also be difficult.
It is a life with few possessions and little physical comfort.
A simple life with a robe and a plastic cup.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Co-ordinated Rain Accessories

Saffon umbrellas for the monks of Chiang Dao.
I like the fact that the umbrella stand is protected from rain by an umbrella.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Wat Umong Buddha in the forest

Wat Umong is in a tranquil  forest location near Doi Suthep, just on the edge of town.
It was built in 1297 as a forest retreat for the monks in the old city.
In the "grave yard" of broken sculpture this statue was robed in saffron.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Friday Flowers - From the Market to Buddha

The markets of Chiang Mai are brilliant and diverse. Warorot Market is where lots of locals go to do their shopping.
It has most things you would need and more: herbs, butchers, clothing, shoes, dried food, handicrafts, watches...., spread over three floors.
The flower market at Warorot the Ping River side of the market and brightens the street.
These stalls are selling vibrant marigold and jasmine garlands for devotees to leave at temples.
Buddhists see offering flowers as a means to offer beauty to Buddha.  When they fade it is a reminder that the things of the world also fade.
Buddha teaches  “Whatever is of the nature to arise is also of the nature to cease”.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Farewell to Chiang Mai

A day of nostalgia as I prepare to leave Chiang Mai. Packing up, signing year books for students, contemplating the highs and lows of the year.
I loved the chance to the many temples/wats of Chiang Mai and through exploring them glean a small insight into the Buddhist culture of Thailand.
Wat Chiang Man is the oldest wat in Chiang Man (founded in 1306).
Of course it is one of my favourites as the base of the chedi is surrounded by elephants.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Scooter fixed and returned

Last Sunday I had a puncture on the scooter.  After the initial panic, I managed to find this man and his road side shop.  Fifteen minutes later, while I sat over the road with a cold bottle of water, the tube was replaced and I was ready to go.  Price 120Bhat (approx $5), for the work and tube on a Sunday afternoon.  Love it.
Today I returned the scooter to Mr Boi at Pop cycles.  It has given me a sense of freedom and provided an escape from the mountain, so I will miss the scooter.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Aunty Mary

The sign says it all.  One photo that had to be taken in the Yangon market.
Love the Burmese nuns in pink behind.
So excited to be Aunt Mary in person next week.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Friday Flowers Orchids on the Train

The circle line train in Yangon takes locals too and from the markets and market gardens.  These orchids added color and glamour to the journey.

Maroon Monks' Robes

Monks in Burma/Myanmar wear maroon colored robes, whereas those in Thailand wear orange or saffron colored robes.  I am not sure why there is a difference, apparently it is only recently that Burmese monks moved to the burgundy colored robes.
I liked the color of the maroon robes hanging out to dry provided a good contrast to the green walls of this monastery in Yangon

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Burmese Text

Burmese writing, as seen in this metal sign above the gateway to a monastery is circular and quite elegant.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Yangon Fashion

While in Yangon we explored the markets.  These glamorous, colorful lacy tops caught my eye.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Graduation Tree

Friday was Graduation for the seniors.

The events commenced with this tree planting ceremony.  I love the blue watering cans with the yellow ribbon.

This was followed by an assembly, staff entered the auditorium to Ode to Joy and the students to Land of Hope and Glory - all most unexpected in a Thai environment.  The assembl commenced patriotically with Joe B singing the US Anthem and More singing the Thai national anthem.

Matt Schroeder (a fellow teacher and friend) gave a wonderful graduation address to the students - very inspiring.  My role as senior advisor was to present flowers to the graduates as they came on stage to receive their diplomas.

In the evening there was a dinner and more speeches at a city hotel.

It was a lovely day, one of the best at APIS and I was sad to see the seniors leave but excited about the bright futures awaiting them.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Sunday Walking Street Market

Chiang Mai has many markets.  The Night Market - every night.  Warrawot market - every day. The Saturday Walking Street night market - self explanatory- Wulai Road is closed and turned into a market.
The most famous and maybe the biggest is the Sunday Walking Street Market in the old city.  Streets are closed and the stalls take over.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ginger - Friday flowers

Ms Dao, my maid, visits once every two weeks, a total self indulgence.  She is absolutely lovely.  She always leaves flowers for me, often these torch ginger flowers, which are prolific in the jungle.
Initially I thought it was a form of waratah,
It is also known as "Porcelain Rose" and its scientific name is Etlingera elatior.
Enjoy the long weekend.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Lychee season

Yummmmm Lychees are in season.
I try to stop at the same roadside stall on the mountain to buy bananas each week. The last few weeks the lady has also had local lychees for sale, 40 baht a kilo, ie about $1.50.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Digestion and Art

This week Grade 6s painted the digestive system on to Tee shirts.  We used fabric paint and markers, ending up with many and varied designs.

Ah Dut on the left is a perfectionist and worked neatly and carefully to paint his tee shirt and was upset that we ran out of red paint meaning his large intestine was painted in orange and yellow. 

Katchan on the right is the opposite, and has a new bright bristly hair style to match his design. You can't see the back of his tee shirt, but he happily drew a "butt hole" and marked it Censored.  Hilarious!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

What's for lunch

Lunch can be a bit hit and miss at APIS. Some times the choices are very beige and/or very greasy.  Their Khoi Soi and Phat Thai are good.

Often there will be chicken or pork, cooked two ways (roast and steamed).  The chef takes the huge cleaver as in the picture below and chops the meat up.

There is always a curry/stew and a rice station.

Sometimes they try western food, eg spaghetti, but I avoid that.

There is also a salad bar and a fruit station, always watermelon and another fruit, but never mango.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Step back in Style in Yangon

High tea at The Strand Hotel in Yangon.  A ritual from colonial times in a city struggling to move forward.
For other "Stylish" photos from city daily blogs on June 1 go to http://www.citydailyphoto.org/

Monday, 1 June 2015

Bamboo Scaffolding at Shwedagon Pagoda

The spire of the chedi at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon/Rangoon was covered with this incredible bamboo scaffold.
It may be removed by now.