Our friend Sam said, “Lets go to Lampang!” Sun Wukong said the day was auspicious because of our ride to the bus station!
Up for anything, we took a green bus/van first thing in the morning. It cost 70 baht / $2.15 each. On the way back we opted to take a large green bus instead of a van back to Chiang Mai. The seats reclined and were very comfortable. It was 74 baht / $2.27 each.
The 90 minute ride went by fast as we tried to chat with the woman sitting next to us and her 3 year old grandson. He was having none of it and promptly ignored all our old people chatter. With Sam's help he explained that the woman had been visiting her daughter in Chiang Mai where they made roses folded from Thai Baht. Each bunch of money flowers were 1,000 baht each for a total of 2,000 baht or $61.51 which is a huge amount of money here.
It is the end of the Rain Retreat for the Monks and as tradition, she will present the money flowers to her Wat for making merit, which means to help Monks, Wats and others and in turn it helps you on your path. I am sure there is more to it, but that is the easy explanation.
We arrived at the bus station in Lampang and took a songtheaw to town where we wandered a local market.
We stopped and bought some boiled peanuts! Delicious!
These are the squiggly parts that belong inside an animal
From left to right. Green Papaya, Ginger, Banana Flowers, Cucumber, Eggplant
We saw many things we have not seen in Chiang Mai.
Large ass crickets and even bigger Rhinoceros Beetle.
More dead crawly things.
I promise to document the moment when I am brave enough to try some.
This woman is selling bundles of specific plants and herbs for a specific dish! How easy is that?
As we were walking he stopped abruptly and said, “OH! You have to have some of this!”
It is a dried plant that you make tea from. I will be making some soon.
The pink is dragon fruit, but I saw a new fruit and asked Sam what it was.
It is Lamut or Sapodilla. When soft and ripe it is delicious with a hint of cinnamon!
Salted Crabs and many different shrimps used in soups and salads
Smoked fish. It was probably the kind we should have tasted instead of the one below.
Dried fish looked delicious. I picked out one thinking it would be like smoked fish. Yes it was except they are mostly for dropping into a soup pot. It was way too dry for snacking on, but with good flavor!
We decided to take a songtheaw to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. It is 20 kilometers / 12.5 miles out of town and cost us 50 baht / $1.53 each. Noticing we were Farang, this woman asked where we were from. After that she had Sam's ear and told him all about the time she visited America. It was obvious she was having a wonderful time remembering.
This Wat is a destination in itself with 12 structures, pathways, large Bodhi trees, and a museum.
There were many very old pieces of furniture.
Below you can see the metal rings where poles were held in place to have men carry the Monk
As soon as she secured her bucket she hopped on and sped off
Curious young boys
Parts of the Wat were build as far back as 657 AD. Most of them were build in the late 1400's. A piece of Buddha's hair and a cast of his footprint are located there. It also held the Emerald Buddha for a few years. The Emerald Buddha is now in Bangkok.
This guardian was about 10 feet tall
The open style is strictly Lanna Kingdom style The Black Chedi holds a lock of the Buddha's hair
Holds a casting of Buddha's Footprint
Each crutch (pole) is blessed and placed to support a limb of the Bodhi Tree
Toward the end of our self guided tour I was approached by three young people in high school. They were practicing their English skills, which were excellent, by asking foreigners for a few minutes of their time to answer questions and fill out a form for their teacher and to take a picture with us. It was Great! One girl even gave me a gift.
Jack Fruit is where Juicy Fruit Gum gets its flavor
Another Bodhi Tree with a blessed cloth around it
Pra Nakprok, is believed to be the oldest Buddha Image of Lavo Kingdom in 12th Century. Father of Princess Chama Devi gave it to her to place inside the chapel. This is inside Viharn Phra Sao Sila.
Two Hundred year old Tamarind Tree
Across the street are shops with food, drinks, and gifts. The horse drawn carriages are a symbol of Lampang. They are cute, but we didn't pay for a ride. We got some coconut juice and Sam asked about getting a songtheaw back to town. Well..........unless we saw someone being dropped off we were out of luck. We sat drinking our juice and laughed about the adventure we were having and I went to the shop for a snack.
As the shop owner was making phone calls looking for someone to come pick us up they waved down a songtheaw and we hopped in. The driver took us a couple miles because that is as far as his route went. He flagged down another songtheaw to take us the rest of the way to the bus station.
Even if we didn't have Sam and his Thai language we would have been able to get around because people here are SO helpful and kind.
Once home we were all very hungry and went to one of our favorite restaurants just outside the condo. Fried fish with yummy sweet sauce, Tom Ka Talay Soup and Omelet with minced pork. The omelets here have no cheese but have different things mixed in and are delicious.
Without Sam being so kind and helpful we would have never known about money flowers, perfume rhizomes, special tea, smoked fish, hibiscus candy and how to get anywhere in Thailand by different types of bus. Thanks Dear Friend!