Laura in Chiang Mai.
We visited several temples in Chiang Mai. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering a Buddhist temple (hence the shoes). There are also often women selling the freedom of caged birds. ie. You pay and she releases them. Seems a bit extortionate to me, but Thai Buddhism is all about merit, and a gesture like freeing the birds would gain a person a small amount of merit.
Large gold Buddha statue, Wat Chiang Man, Chang Mai. Wat is the word for temple.
Food offerings for the Buddha. Very practical. I'm not sure what becomes of them after this. Hopefully they go to some sort of food bank...
Wat Chiang Man, Chang Mai. Notice the sleeping dog.
A statue outside the wat.
Two golden dragons mark the entrance tot he largest wat in Chiang Mai: Wat Phan Tao.
Painted window shutter inside Wat Phan Tao.
The huge ruined dome of Wat Chedi Luang. It's about 600 years old, although it suffered an earthquake shortly after being constructed in which the dome collapsed.
Wat Chedi Luang.
A big fat Buddha behind Chedi Luang. Somebody nearby was selling drinks.
Next stop: Other Places! We're heading to Laos today to do something called the Gibbon Experience. It's kind of like a giant Ewok village with zip lines in a national wildlife refuge in the jungle. Yeah, it does sound like the coolest thing ever.