After finishing up at Maharaj hospital, I was excited to get
a move on to McCormick – but I was also dead tired. I spent Saturday catching
up on a lot of things, and just having a day in; which sometimes is much needed
to get away from the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai.
Sunday was different though – I wanted to do something that
I could only do in Chiang Mai, so I decided to head out with the rest of my
orientation group, and check out the Palace and Doi Sutthep on top of the
mountain (I probably didn’t spell it correctly).
It was about a 1 hour red-cab ride up winding roads that
never ended. The air got very cold, and very thin – so much that we noticed it
in our breaths… not to mention our ears popping like crazy, and hanging on to
the bars of the cab as it sped dangerously around corners. After having good
life chats in the back of the cab for a little while, we arrived first at the
I don’t actually remember seeing the palace, nor do I think
that I took pictures of it, mainly because the building itself wasn’t too
impressive or noticeable, it was just a series of white two story houses. The
grounds on the other hand were very impressive. There were flowers everywhere,
a jumping fountain basin which took 10 minutes to walk around, huge bamboo trees,
and a beautiful area that overlooked the rest of the mountain and Chiang Mai.
We spent about an hour here walking around and seeing what there was to see; it
was pretty awesome.
We then went on to our final destination of the mountain,
which would be the heart of Chaing Mai. This temple had been recommended to us
by so many people, and even old stories. There was an elephant that they sent
up the Chiang Mai mountain, and every time it stopped, a temple was built on
the grounds. At the very top of the mountain, it turned around 3 times, and
trumpeted 3 times, so they decided to build the great temple up there… and boy
is it great. It’s stunningly beautiful, and overlooks the city with a crazy
view (see my pictures). It was here that Sanne also informed me of a lot of
things about Buddhist Culture, including the fact that it is not a religion,
but a philosophy. People aren’t praying to Buddha, they are just showing their
respect, and he is not a god, but simply a man who found enlightenment. It’s a
little confusing, but definitely something I want to look into more.
After spending forever at the temple, we headed back home,
but not before stopping off at the movie theatre to watch Life of Pi – which is
really good, though I wish I read the book first. Oh well! McCormick Hospital
tomorrow – super excited!
More pictures below!