Picture of the Day III--Asia

14 December 2011. What I probably should have done before heading for the airport. Instead, I had breakfast with a new friend, took a leisurely bike ride around Chiang Mai, and visited the Lanna House Museum. All in all, a very enjoyable Last Day. (KK)

13 December 2011. Another part of Chiang Mai's great street stall scene--rickshaws and fresh fruit on Moon Muang Road. (KK)

12 December 2011. Song taos (shared taxi trucks) pass one of the food stalls that open at twilight outside Warorot Market in Chiang Mai. At these stalls you can get bee larvae or charcoal-roasted cockroaches--or maybe just some lychees and a fish stir-fry for supper. (KK)

11 December 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Head of a Buddha from the 15th century at the tranquil and lovely forest temple Wat Udong. (KK)

10 December 2011. Twilight in Chiang Mai. My camera's giving out, so it's probably time to head home. But I can't quite grasp that I've only got a few more days here. (KK)

9 December 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Black cat at the spirit house. Before stretching out, the cat drank the water offering someone left for the protective spirits. I wonder what will happen. (KK)

8 December 2011. Detail on a door of one of the temples at Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple complex in Chiang Mai. (KK)

7 December 2011. Something there is that does kind of love a wall, especially one this ancient and full of personality. This is Sri Phum Corner, part of the many-centuries-old wall and moat around the old city of Chiang Mai. (KK)

6 December 2011. After-school snack anyone? Street vendors set up outside Yupparaj Wittayalai School, Chiang Mai. (KK)

5 December 2011. In my family, we'd be putting out our shoes tonight in hopes we'd find a little gift from St. Nicholas in them in the morning. But here in Chiang Mai, leaving your shoes at the door of temples, homes and shops is just everyday courtesy. Here's the collection in front of the yoga studio I've been going to. (KK)

4 December 2011. The eye of the dragon--detail of a multi-headed dragon at the entrance to Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai. (KK)

3 December 2011. The king's 84th birthday is not until Monday, but Chiang Mai's parade was today. Here it's passing Tha Phae Gate. (KK)

2 December 2011. OK, the too-many-gin-and-tonics effect was accidental, but I kind of like it. My favorite Burmese dish--eggplant, potato and chicken--at The Swan, Chiang Mai. (KK)

1 December 2011, Chiang Mai. I don't know this woman's name or what's in the dishes she cooks at her little open air restaurant that's sometimes open and sometimes not. But she's patient when I order by pointing and she tries to get me to put more sliced chillis in everything--and her food is delicious! (KK)

30 November 2011. One of many tiny restaurants tucked into the lanes of old Chiang Mai. (KK)

29 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Flowers at the edge of the moat. (KK)

28 November 2011. Stairway to Wat Phra That Doi Wao, a temple in Mae Sai, Thailand, built in A.D. 179 to house a relic of the Buddha.  (KK)

27 November 2011. Hap-py Bi-i-i-rth-day, dear Ann-nnie! Monk statues at Wat Puak Chang, Chiang Mai. (KK)

26 November 2011. Hot air balloon festival at the Prince Royal's College, Chiang Mai. (KK)

25 November 2011, Chiang Mai. It's the Shan New Year, and students at Thai Freedom House sing a traditional Shan song to celebrate. (KK)

24 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Where Somphet Market meets Moon Muang Road, a street corner I pass at least once a day. (KK)

23 November 2011, Chiang Mai. The handmade wooden spirit house--complete with tiny birdhouse--in the garden at the Blue Diamond restaurant. (KK)

22 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Monks with parasols in the lane. (KK)

21 November 2011, Chiang Mai. After dark, food vendors set up their stalls along Moon Muang Road and customers stream in to eat stir fries and banana pancakes on plastic-covered tables on the sidewalk. (KK) 

20 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Chedi Luang (Royal Pagoda), more than 600 years old, damaged by an earthquake but still pretty impressive. (KK)

19 November 2011, Chiang Mai. The fruit shake stand at Somphet Market, where I go almost every day for a dragonfruit and pineapple smoothie. (KK)

18 November 2011, Chiang Mai. It's Friday, so the kids at Thai Freedom House are wearing their Lanna-style clothes to school. (KK)

17 November 2011. Woman embroidering at the Hmong Market, Chiang Mai. (KK)

16 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Pickin' party at the music shop just up the lane. (KK)

15 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Today's Creepy Food Item: snake whiskey from Laos on display at a shop on Moon Muang Road. (KK)

14 November 2011. The bridge over the river Sai, the border between Myanmar and Thailand. Some things sound more exciting than they are in real life--for instance today's visa run to Thailand's most northerly point. Some pretty mountain scenery along the way, but really it was 5 hours in a mini-bus, 20 minutes in a dumpy Myanmar town and 5 hours back. Still, worth it to keep the papers in order. (KK)

13 November 2011. Traditional musicians playing for donations at the Sunday Walking Street, Chiang Mai. (KK)

12 November 2011, Chiang Mai. My lunch in progress--green papaya salad made fresh at a stall at Somphet Market. (KK)

11 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Tonight's the biggest night of the Yee Peng and Loy Krathong festivals, and the sky is filled with the hot-air lanterns called khome yee-peng. Half the city and thousands of tourists crowded the banks of the Ping river to set off fireworks, send krathong floating downstream and light khome to let go with a wish up into the air.You can also buy tiny fish hatchlings in clear plastic cups and make merit by letting them go in the river -- a surprisingly satisfying activity. (KK) 

10 November 2011. Two festivals are going on at once in Chiang Mai right now--Yee Peng, for which people launch thousands of big hot-air lanterns into the sky each night--and Loy Krathong, for which they float candles down the river on flower-decorated floats. I've been helping out at Thai Freedom House, a school and community center for Burmese refugees and members of the hill tribes. Tonight, students there made krathongs and floated them off in the moat to send away bad luck from the old year and bring good luck in the new. (KK)

9 November 2011, Chiang Mai. Woman selling sections of jack fruit, pieces of sugar cane and oranges on Moon Muang Road. (KK)

8 November 2011. Khao soy, the Chiang Mai specialty to which I have become addicted. It's a yellow curry/coconut milk soup with veggies, chicken or pork and both crunchy and soft noodles--very tasty! (KK)

7 November 2011. The lane where I'm living in Chiang Mai. (KK)

6 November 2011. 700 years ago, Chiang Mai was a walled city a mile square surrounded by a moat. The heart of the place is still the old town, which is where I'm staying. Much of the wall has crumbled, but the moat remains and today I walked the whole perimeter of the old city along it. Here's the stretch along the northern edge, with the sacred mountain Doi Suthep in the background. (KK)

5 November 2011. Street scene, Chiang Mai. (KK)

4 November 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Dragons over the gate at the Pung Tao Gong Ancestral Temple. Happy Birthday, Gwenn! (KK)

3 November 2011. Lanterns hung in preparation for the Yee-Peng festival that will start in a few days. Chiang Mai, Thailand. (KK)

2 November 2011. We look awfully cheerful, but deep down both of us are sad that the shared part of the trip is over. Here we are in the tuk-tuk heading for Chiang Mai airport. Rie is flying home to her kids, her boyfriend and with luck a new job, while Kath will stay on in Thailand till mid-December.

1 November 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Plumeria tree on our lane. (MK)

31 October 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. One of the spirit houses at the place where I'm staying. (MK)

30 October 2011. Hmong market, Chiang Mai. (KK)

29 October 2011. Rie and big palm leaves, Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Mae Rim, Thailand. (KK)

28 October 2011. At the gate to Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (KK)

27 October 2011. Tuk-tuk driver waiting for business, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (KK)

26 October 2011. Wat Phrasingh, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (MK)

25 October 2011. Dragon fruit for sale on Moon Muang Road, Chiang Mai. The fuschia-colored flesh is dotted with black seeds and tastes like a cross between raspberry and kiwi--yum! (KK)

24 October 2011. Koi stream at the Blue Diamond, the funky ex-pat veggie place that has become our home away from home in Chiang Mai. (KK)

23 October 2011. Chiang Mai. We spent the day at the Thai Farm Cooking School--and had a really good time!

22 October 2011. Chiang Mai rooftops. (KK)

21 October 2011. Chili peppers at Talat Warorot, a produce-and-everything-else market in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (MK)

20 October 2011, Chiang Mai, Thailand. We're not quite sure what this big cloth dragon is for, but when we passed by the Three Kings Monument this morning, it was surrounded by municipal workers arranging colored lanterns for some festivity or other. (KK)

19 October 2011. You can learn a lot about a country at its immigration offices. This one in Chiang Mai was jammed but extremely orderly. The officers--male and female--all wore pink polo shirts and were unflappably patient and good humored. Unfortunately they couldn't extend my 30-day visa so I have to leave Thailand in mid-November and come right back again. Apparently there's a whole industry around visa runs from Chiang Mai, so it shouldn't be a problem. (KK) 

18 October 2011. Produce market, Chiang Mai, Thailand. We were thrilled to find cherimoya, a fruit we loved in Peru. (MK)

17 October 2011. Suddenly we're in Thailand. Wat Ou Sai Com, Chiang Mai. (KK)

16 October 2011, New Delhi. We saw these big old Ambassador cars everywhere in India. Leaving the ashram for the airport, we finally got to ride in one. (KK)
14 October 2011. No picture can capture the hectic atmosphere, the heat, the sounds or the smells of an Indian railway station. Here's the one at Satna. (KK)

13 October 2011. The Khajuraho temples are known for their explicit scuptures, but, well, this is a family-friendly blog. Here's a picture of the gardener instead. (MK)

12 October 2011. Temples at Khajuraho, India, the G-rated version. Tomorrow we'll check out the famous erotic sculptures that decorate the exteriors . . .  (MK)

11 October 2011. Waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting . . . for the train. With Sonjoy at Allahabad, India. (MK)

10 October 2011. Sumitra and Nandini show us how to make paneer kofta. Allahabad, India. (KK)

9 October 2011. Temple at Isipathana, Sarnath, Varanasi, India. (MK)

8 October 2011. Indians have many wonderful traditions, one of which is eating the birthday cake before the meal. When in Rome . . . or in this case in Sarnath, with new friends Partha, Attrayee, Akash and Sonjoy and Nandini's daughter, Tulee. (Sonjoy Dutta-Roy)

7 October 2011. Just after dawn, we took a boat to Sangam, the holy confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers in Allahabad, India. (KK)

6 October 2011. With Sonjoy and Nandini, dear friends of Kath's from Baton Rouge, at their home in Allahabad, India.

5 October 2011. Fatehpur Sikri, the fabulous capital city built and then mysteriously abandoned by Akbar in the 16th century. (KK)

4 October 2011. Kath at Nagina Masjid, a small mosque that Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame built at Agra Fort. (MK)

3 October 2011. Took a long walk and crossed the river to see the Taj from the other side. Here's the view from Mehtab Bagh. (MK)

2 October 2011. At the Taj Mahal with Deb and Jeff, good friends from Chapel Hill. It was surreal and very wonderful to meet up as planned halfway around the world in an alleyway in Agra filled with goats, touts and hawkers. (KK)

1 October 2011, Agra, India. This is what I saw when I came out of our room this morning. (MK)

30 September 2011. A long day on the train. I took this picture out the window somewhere between Dehradun and Delhi. In Delhi, we changed trains and went on to Agra. (KK)

29 September 2011, Ramgarh, India. Family home near Navdanya. (KK)

28 September 2011. Conditions at Navdanya are pretty basic--our room sometimes has water, sometimes has power, and always has frogs. (KK)

27 September 2011. Before you can mail a package from India, you have to have it wrapped in white linen, sewn shut and sealed with wax. Here's the man who provides this service just outside the Dehradun post office. (KK)

26 September 2011, Ramgarh, India. Anomina and Akash (we think those are their names), who invited us to their home, to meet their family, and to visit their temple. (KK)

25 September 2011, Ramgarh, India. Jeet, who fixes everything at Navdanya and plays the harmonium to boot, pounding out a scythe that developed a jagged edge. (KK)

24 September 2011, Ramgarh, India. This moto-rickshaw came out to the farm to take us into the big city for the day. (MK)

23 September 2011, Navdanya Farm, Ramgarh, India. This little girl comes to the farm every morning as soon as she gets out of school. Here, she's showing off one of the worm composting beds. (MK)

22 September 2011. Navdanya Farm, Ramgarh, India. This is the central ornamental garden where I've been weeding the last few days. And there are still many days' worth of weeds to go. (MK)

21 September 2011. Taking a break from picking over red beans, Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm, Ramgarh, India. (KK)
20 September 2011. Kids are clowns the world around. Here are some I encountered in Ramgarh, India. (MK)

19 September 2011. Just as we were about to leave Mussoorie, we came upon a procession heading to the Hindu temple to honor the goddess Kali. (KK)

18 September 2011. The mist rose today and we finally saw the Himalayas! Squint at the background and you'll see a snow-topped peak. Mussoorie, India. (KK)
17 September 2011. Evening at the amusement park, Mussoorie, India. Happy Birthday, Kate! Happy Birthday, Cam! (KK)
16 September 2011. Here's Rie checking out the selection at Kumar's Sweet Shop in Dehradun, India. (KK)
15 Sept 2011. Jama Masjid, Delhi. (MK)
14 Sept 2011. New Delhi, India. Arakashan Road, where our hotel is. We got in late morning, slept a bit, then walked out to see the neighborhood. (Happy Birthday, Erin!) (KK)
13 September 2011.  Late night airline terminal. We got into Mumbai just after midnight and slept (sort of) on the floor and various benches until time for our flight to Delhi. (KK)

Want more Pictures of the Day? The South American pictures (22 December 2010 to 11 May 2011) are here, and the African pictures (12 May to 12 September 2011) are here.