The car rental agreement I have on my Nissan sports 1200cc slug requires that we get the car detailed every two weeks at the rental company’s expense. As I am back in Chiang Mai for more dental work it seemed a good opportunity to get this done as the timing was right. The detailing place was out towards the airport, the West side of the city, which I haven’t been before, other than when we arrived by air from Udon Thani three weeks ago, so we decided to have an explore while we were out that way.

BTW 41 Wing car detailing gave us wonderful service. After the wash they had five people working on the final detail inside and out. All done before I has time to finish my coffee. Vital knowledge I know for you guys in Canberra.

10-IMG_0550

Once the car was finished we came back through that side of Chiang Mai heading North towards the old town with the intention of stopping anywhere that looked interesting.

The first stop was at the Lanna Cultural Centre. Lanna (meaning one million rice fields) is a broad term to cover the Northern (non-Isaan) Thai culture including architecture, language, clothing, art, music, food, and more. In particular I love the Lanna houses, built in wood, often off the ground a-la Queenslander houses, and with those lovely sweeping rooflines.

The sign below is pinched from another blog post of mine but I was reminded of it in connection with some of these roof photos.

Works for me. Our obsession with "architecture" that is nothing but cubes and sharp edges

Works for me. Our obsession with “architecture” that is nothing but cubes and sharp edges

Lanna roof style

Unfortunately they centre was being renovated, maybe because it is the quiet season here, and none of the exhibition halls were open. We were able to get some photos, which showed it would be an interesting place to stop over another time.

The main courtyard

The main courtyard. All Lanna style buildings.

Thatch is used quite a bit in Thailand rural areas. Cheap material I guess.

Thatch is used quite a bit in Thailand rural areas. Cheap material I guess.

Could be a Queenslander

Could be a Queenslander if a bit of corrugated iron and a few XXXX cans were included.

Lana roofline in dappled light

Lana roofline in dappled light

Our next stop was at Wat Srisuphan (or Sri Suphan) a few minutes up the road in the silver shopping and workshop village of Chiang Mai on Wualai Road. I am pleased we stumbled onto this Wat because, like the White temple in Chiang Rai, there is an unusual component to the temple compound – the newer temple building made out of silver (which Gaun tells me isn’t called Sri Suphan but named for the three monks residing inside – see later photos)  Well worth the effort to see.

Words borrowed from http://templechiangmai.blogspot.com

The newer temple made out of silver

The newer temple made out of silver

Wat Srisuphan was built in 1502, although little remains of the original temple except the boundary markers (sema stones) around the ordination hall (ubosot). In fact, the chapel is now the focus of renovations that are designed to make it a fitting centerpiece for the silver village it serves.

Beautiful contrast between the sliver and the terracotta tiles.

Beautiful contrast between the sliver and the terracotta coloured tiles.

The entire surface of the hall, inside and out, is being covered in silver.

Wat Sri Suphan

Images of the three monks inside the silver building. Almost wonder if they are real.

This building is dedicated to these three monks. I wish there was more information available in English so that one can understand the significance of these three but not to be. Almost wonder if they are real.

Temples will often have realistic images of monks that must have had a lasting impact.

Temples will often have realistic images of monks that must have had a lasting impact and take up a permanent presence.

Beautiful detail work. Ganesha, a more Hindu worshipped God, but often seen in Buddhist temples.

Beautiful detail work. Ganesha, more Hindu worshipped God, but often seen in Buddhist temples.

The work began about four years ago, and will probably take another two years to complete. There’s already a fair amount of silver on display at the temple. In the much larger prayer hall (wiharn), the walls are lined with silver panels, mostly depicting scenes from the Buddha’s live(s). The wiharn also houses a large and rather elegant Buddha image on its altar. Next to the altar is an old large ornate sort of pulpit, called a busabok.

The more traditional main temple building, which I didn't get a chance to go into.

The more traditional main temple building, which I didn’t get a chance to go into.

The temple also hosts a silver-working school, to help ensure that the tradition of the village is passed on.

You might notice the drink placed in the statues hand. Vandalism in Australia but here someone actually wanted to offer the figure a drink. No disrespect intended.

You might notice the drink bottle and straw placed on statues. Vandalism in Australia but here someone actually wanted to offer the monk a drink. No disrespect intended and quite acceptable.

An old structure at the back of the main temple building.

An old structure at the back of the main temple building.

We headed back to our guesthouse after this for a bit of a relax before my dentist appointment at 3.00 pm.

We are staying at the Baan Kaew Guesthouse, which is pretty basic but was chosen because is only a ten minute walk to the dentist in Pantip Plaza. It also has a lovely quiet garden, for post-dental trauma! despite being in a busy part of town. Room to park the car, which is always a helpful. For around $20 a night it has been a good base for us.

The reception and breakfast area. $5.00 gets you two eggs, bacon, two slices of toast and jam, an orange juice and coffee or tea.

The reception and breakfast area. $4.00 gets you two eggs, bacon, two slices of toast and jam, an orange juice and coffee or tea.

Rooms have air cond, ensuite, safe, TV and a mini fridge. Very quiet at this time of year. No booking required.

After a dental session that included two bone grafts and two implants my mouth felt surprisingly good so we heading off to my favourite restaurant in the old town called Bamboo Bar to celebrate. Partly because they serve a reasonable spaghetti carbonara, and soft eating was required, and mostly because they do great Mojito cocktails, which I felt I deserved.

A spaghetti main, two Mojito cocktails (strong!) and three huge scoops of ice cream for me, a Thai main course with rice, a mango dessert and a pineapple smoothie for Gaun for a total cost of around $15.00. Cheaper than eating in.

Thanks for reading.