Pink Elephants on Parade in Thailand

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a 3-day event the first weekend in February featuring a parade, flower exhibitions and beauty pageants. We stumbled upon the street where the beautiful parade floats were on display. They are entirely decorated with colorful flowers and seeds similar to the Rose Parades of both the Pasadena (California) and Portland (Oregon).

This cute pink elephant is floating in a bed of purple orchids. I have never seen so many orchids in one place!

 

Elephants are a common theme around Chiang Mai.

 

The beautiful floats were on display the final day of the Flower Festival. Like festivals around the world, the street was lined with stands selling food and so many things.

These horses were covered with sesame seeds.

 

The floats were beautifully decorated.

 

Close-ups of the floats show the details using flowers, fruits and vegetables, braided grass, and an abundance of orchids. The lower photo is a close-up of a scaly dragon’s back.

 

Such vibrant colors!

 

The street was decorated with floral displays and small garden niches reminding me of what you would see at the Garden show.

 

Welcome to Chiang Mai, Thailand, Thailand’s northern capital at 1000′ elevation and  second most-visited city. The population inside the historic Old City is about 160,000, whereas nearly 1 million live in the sprawling metropolitan area.

“Chiang Mai means “New City” and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262.

The city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall since nearby Burma (today’s Myanmar) was a constant threat.

The city lost importance and was occupied by the Burmese in 1556…until it formally became part of Siam in 1775.”  Wikipedia

Exploring Chiang Mai by Scooter

Our Scoopy cost $100 for the month. Driving is crazy, but fun.

 

Street Scenes of Chiang Mai

This photo of the moat makes the city look deceptively peaceful, but the traffic circling around the old city moat and walls is crazy heavy.

 

This tranquil park is inside the old city. Vendors have thought of everything and will rent a mat for sitting on the grass.

 

Motorcycle is the best way to navigate this city. Motorcyclists scoot around cars even passing on the shoulder or in the oncoming lane to get to the front of intersections. Parking a scooter anywhere is easy and there are huge covered parking lots dedicated to the bikes at malls and grocery stores.

 

This is a street in the old city. There is a 7-11 on every block both inside the old city and out.

 

Guesthouses and cafes line the tiny lanes called ‘soi’ that crisscross the old city.

 

Shopping: You can literally shop until you drop every night of the week in Chiang Mai. The Night Market is a large and famous night bazaar for local arts and handicrafts with food court that extends across several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds, and in open squares. Weekends from 4:00pm to midnight a handicraft and food market opens along a road which is closed to motorised traffic for the Saturday Walking Street Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market.

Thai Massage: The back streets and main thoroughfares –  sidewalks – of Chiang Mai have an abundance and variety of massage “parlours” which offer 30 minute and one hour massages. (Some offer 2-hour massages and oil massages.) Massages cost between $3 – $5 and are so wonderful!

Outdoor sidewalk massage parlours spring up along the Saturday and Sunday Night Market walking streets. Competition is stiff.

Choose between a soothing foot massage, or an intense whole body Thai massage – or a wonderful hour-long combination of both foot and head, neck and shoulder massage. In some locations baggy shorts and shirt are provided. The massages are given in a room full of fully dressed people reclining on a raised wooden bed or a mat on the floor.

Clockwise from top left: photos of their beloved King and Queen, outdoor restaurants, colorful lanterns and a restaurant’s outdoor dishwashing station.

Fish Food

 

The Fish Spa where the fish nibble on your dead skin .It felt really freaky strange at first.

Chiang Mai is a clean city.

Honking is rare even though traffic is horrendous and bicycles, scooters, Tuk-Tuks, buses and cars all share the road.

The lame, blind and disabled perform for alms in the center of the Night Walking Streets, but we haven’t seen anyone with their hands out begging.

We appreciate that smoking is rare and not permitted in public places.

Tropical Thailand is colorful and exotic.

 

Thailand shares borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

 

24 days and we’re still exploring…

Meet You in the Morning next time from the buddhist temples of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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6 responses to “Pink Elephants on Parade in Thailand

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