Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014, Day 309 - Take to the skies

True to form we were up before five o'clock this morning and, when we couldn't wait any longer, we left our hotel in search of food.  They provide a light breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee, and toast but that is not enough to fuel us for a whole morning.  So we headed out with laundry in hand to drop off which was easily sorted.

Food is always a bit more of challenge because we have to find a place that we either trust or where we can communicate with the proprietors and those places that open early carter to locals.  Fortunately we found a vegetarian place that served a cafeteria style breakfast.  So we filed in, pointed to what we wanted, dressed our food with condiments, and had a very satisfying breakfast.  And the grand total for this feast?  Less than four dollars for everyone!

Contented with our food we made our way back to the market.  I never tire of markets so I am always game.  Araceli wanted spicy nuts and I wanted some bananas.  The fruit was easily sorted but the spicy nuts were impossible to find so she had to settle for fresh roasted peanuts.  Melissa found little rice dumplings with sweetened coconut cream filling sold by sweet little old lady who I noticed sampling her own wares.  Given that she could have bought just about anything else I take it as a good sign that she likes what she sells and they were indeed delicious.

The next couple of hours we spent wandering the streets of the Old City visiting temples.  Most were totally decked out for Yi Peng and almost all were crowded.  Having seen all these temples before it was still amazing and even more so for all the work that has been done in the past four years since I last visited.

Soon we had to make our way back to the hotel as we had booked massages for the early afternoon.  At the appointed time a car came and whisked us away to be pampered for a couple of hours.  First we had a massage and then a second time over with hot herbal compresses.  I found it incredibly relaxing and the compresses were totally new and rather intense and amazing.  It was a blissful couple of hours which ended with transportation back to the hotel.

After resting for about an hour we left in search of dinner.  We took a couple wrong turns but eventually found the place we were looking for that served a variety of vegetarian Thai dishes.  All of the food was excellent and by the time we finished lanterns were dotting the night sky.  First we went to Wat Chedi Luang where we found a few monks launching their sky lanterns.  After taking a few pictures we waded through the crowds to the river where the waterfront park hosts masses of people launching their own sky lanterns.

We found a vendor and purchased a few to release and had a great time adding to the masses that were filling the sky.  After a while we were starting to feel the day catch up with us so we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up, peruse our pictures, and call it a night.

Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 23/f1.4R
23mm, f1.4, 1/125 sec @ 1250 ISO

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