We stayed in the city of Chiang Mai for a few days at a hotel near the Tha Phae Gate, which is the remnants of the ancient city that dates back to the 1300s. On Sunday evenings, this gate is the beginning of an enormous walking market. This mostly caters to tourists and is a chance for them to see and purchase authentic souvenirs made by the local people. Eddie and I got the chance to go 2 different Sundays. It goes for miles and we never even got to all of it. (click to enlarge)
Here, we witnessed some pretty interesting things. At one point, a loud speaker announced something in Thai. Suddenly, the thousands of people that filled the streets stood to their feet in silence. We realized they were playing the Thailand National Anthem.
We saw and heard so many interesting musicians in Thailand. I wished I could have recorded them all.
and began playing jingle bells...way to read to your audience,
my fellow street musician! He got a tip from me.
But the most interesting was this man...I was so impressed with his multi-tasking!
One of the most memorable experiences with music that I had, was when we stayed at Elephant Nature Park and I noticed an old, acoustic guitar at the office. I discovered it was one of the employees, whose dream it was to become a performing musician. I asked if he knew any American songs and he said yes. He learns them to improve his English. So together we sang and played "Stand By Me," "Poker Face," and a few other random songs (whatever we both kind of knew and I could strum...which is not much.) Funny how musicians always find music, no matter where they are.
Since we got a chance to see so much of what I do and love, we also got the opportunity to visit one of the National Parks for Eddie (who is a U.S Park Ranger). We went to Doi Suthep Pui National Park, just outside of Chiang Mai. (If you enlarge, you'll see that Eddie's hat has a US National Park crest on it similar to the one on his left.)
Here, we visited Huaykeaw Waterfall, which I enjoyed climbing and exploring. See me?
Eddie, ever the park ranger, followed the rules however. Oops.
We saw this sweet boy staying cool in the heat.
There were some great opportunities to identify with people from the other side of the world. I guess there's always something in common, no matter how different we are!