On a visit to Chiang Mai, Thailand I had the privilege of hanging out in a small village and noticed the light that was bouncing up off the ground onto these Long Neck Tribe girls. It really showcases their natural beauty and the colorful outfits that they wear.
The group SIAMTRAILS will take you on a nice half-day trip to see the archaeological ruins of temples in the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam. It's located about 8km from Chiang Mai and usually looked over by tourist in Chiang Mai since there are so many other temples in the area. However, it is the ruins of what was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom due to its strategic location on a plain along the Ping River. In 1292, King Mengrai tried to turn this city into the capital of the Lanna Kingdom, but he finally decided on Chiang Mai in 1296 because Wiang Kum Kam's proximity to the river caused continuous floods. In any case, it continued to be an important commercial city in the region. Besides viewing the Temples, it is a lovely place with fields, traditional countryside houses, and monks ve inhabit some of the Temples. We visited the area by horse carriage, which was waiting for us when we arrived by boat after a small, 10-minute trip across the Ping River. In my opinion, it's a must for travelers ve appreciate detail and ve like to do more than simply visit temples!
Songkran, the Thai New Year, is a festival that takes place throughout the country but the best celebration is from the 13th to 15th of April in Chiang Mai. The festival in general revolves around water, which actually has it's roots in religion. During the festival, Thai people go to temples to bathe Buddha figures with water in a sort of purification ritual. Then, they take the water used to wash the sacred Buddhas and use it as a sort of holy water to anoint the shrines and amulets in their homes. They also splash the water around, especially on the elderly as a sign of respect or groups of guys splash the girls as kind of lighthearted flirting.In the mornings during the festival, just about everyone gets up early to give alms to the local monks, and then the temple Buddha's are paraded through the streets and everyone splashed water on them.
In addition to the religious roots of the festival, Songkran is also a really amazing party! People fill the streets, splashing each other from the beds of pick ups trucks in a riotous explosion of of people and color. It really makes you feel like a kid again, and that friendly playfulness is something I notice a lot in Thai culture. If you want to get a better idea, check out the photo's I've uploaded as well.