December 30: Traveling north from Sukhothai to Chiang Mai, with various interesting stops in between. We started by returning to the Sukhothai Historical Park, to see some things missed yesterday.
A tilting tower
A chedi with elephants whose trunks have been restored
A statue of the Buddha apparently playing peek-a-boo ...
... which is an illusion from the spots on his eyelids. This is a giant statue: 80 meters high.
We then headed north, passing incredibly green rice fields with a farmer inspecting the crop.
Our next stop was the Wat Phradhat Lampang Luang (Wat means temple), one of the oldest and most important in the region. People were preparing for the new year, contributing small amounts of money to achieve their wishes.
Writing their wishes on a very long yellow cloth that will be wrapped around the tenple.
And marching three times around the central structure to symbolize the three central teachings of the Buddha.
We explored Lampang's Native Market, where - along with more common fare - one can find more varieties of rice than one dreamed existed, frogs found in the rice fields, grasshoppers and insect grubs,
and small live fish to be scooped from a tub.
We moved on up the road to an even more splendid temple in Lamphun, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. The chedi had been regilded a couple of years ago.
People line up to light candles to burn their sins away.
Novice monks preparing the new year's decorations.
We finished the day by checking into our - very nice! - hotel in Chiang Mai, having a good Thai-Indian dinner nearby, and exploring the Night Market a few blocks away. More to come.