Monday morning here. We got up early (what else is new?) and left our river camp for a ride back to Bangkok, and all that lies ahead. We came into Lada's home province, on the outskirts of the city. Here she brought us to Thailands biggest Stupa, 400 feet tall. Just when we were ho-humming to ourselves "oh another temple", we walked into someplace stupendous and mind-blowing! This place was saturated with intense spiritual feeling. In addition, the artistry in every inch of the place added to the passionate atmosphere. Everything was stunning, the many golden Buddhas, the flower offerings and pink eggs in baskets. The trees in the courtyards were decorated with colored wraps, gold leaf, and hanging flower chains. Interior walls were frescoed with exquisite paintings and gilded murals. Everywhere around us people were worshipping intensely. This Stupa holds relics from Buddha's body in a crystal chalice, and saffron-robed monks stroll everywhere, or sit under trees teaching the faithful.
We were there a long time, but hardly long enough. Then we plunged into an expansive and bustling local market where Lada took us to a favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant, definitely not designed for tourists. Lunch was divine!!
Now we are at the airport about to fly up to Chaing Rai. More soon.
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