We have been happy happy happy in Chiang Mai during the three days of Loi Krathong, Thailand’s festival of lights. Loi Krathong celebrates water spirits with thousands of candle-lit lanterns set off into the skies, candle lit boats of flowers sent down the river, parades, music and fire works.
Mags and I spent a few days in a small town called Lampang on our way to Chiang Mai. Lampang is also called “Ruang Rot Ma” which is Thai for “horse carriage city” because Lampang has….horse carriages.
We are in the city of Chiang Rai about 500 miles north of Bangkok and close to the borders of Laos and Burma. The city is a friendly melting pot of several cultures including Thai, Lana, Chinese, Lao and Burmese.
Unlike the other countries I have visited and most Asian countries, Thailand has never been conquered, colonized or occupied. Thais proudly ascribe their historic independence to strong leaders, which is one reason they are pretty sensitive about the “The King and I”‘s portrayal of very popular King Mongkut, who resisted European colonization in the 19th century.
I am in Bangkok, Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Here is the first person who made me smile!