Just had a nice few days in Chiang Mai. Would have liked to have spent longer but needed to back in Bangkok to work on my Diploma.
The place has developed a lot, but still has its old worldy charm. In fact, it's a great example of successful urban development. I was unlucky with the weather, as it rained for the whole of Boxing Day, which meant I had to cancel my ride into the mountains. I did, however, make it out to Doi Saket and the awesome resevoir out there (see pic). OK, it's man made, but that detracts nothing from it. And the ride out there is just idyllic. Not many tourists do this trip, as they're usually focussing on the more famous Doi Suthep.
Doi Saket Resevoir
I've also posted some pictures of my favourite temple, Wat Chedi Luang. I usually do a few rounds of the stupa, look at the elephant statues and stroke a few temple dogs. The buildings (see below) are classic examples of the kind of fare you can expect all around Chiang Mai.
Finally, I just had to shows some pics of the moat and river. The tree lined moat with its fountains make it a photographer's dream. Here's just a couple, at the bottom.
On a political note, I have quite a few friends in Chiang Mai, and they're all ardent Thaksin supporters and are suitably horrified at what happened in Bangkok with the PAD, etc. In fact, one of my friends told me that members of the PAD were paid 1000 baht a day to protest. Some even say it was the queen herself who sponsored them. Well, the opposition accused the PPP of vote buying, but is this any less corrupt?
Back in Bangkok now. Let's hope the world becomes a less grizzly place than this year, though judging by what's happening in Gaza, that looks unlikely!
Happy New Year, anyway.