How Much Is That Lion-Fish-Dragon-Slug in the Window?
This was my favorite temple in Chiang Mai, because not only is it 800 years old, it actually LOOKS 800 years old.
Is that too Western of me? I don’t know -– something about all the shiny gold on the other Thai temples feels very strange, like, what makes them any different from something that was built last week?
But on the other hand, when I went to Greece I kept thinking how cool it would be to see the Parthenon or the temples at Delphi all rebuilt exactly the way they were when Socrates and Archimedes walked through them. So I guess that’s what you have in Thailand, and since many of these temples are still in use, it makes sense to reconstruct them.
I just think this is kind of cool-looking:
It makes you feel like history happened here, right? Which it did — this is where the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most important statue, used to be kept. Now it’s in Bangkok…you’ll see that later!
Plus…giant multi-headed rainbow serpents!:
Also…lots of Buddhas!:
Our guide told us that the temple was hit by lightning a few hundred years ago, but Wikipedia says it was an earthquake that made one side collapse. Who to believe? I guess one might hope lightning, just in case you’re ever accidentally stuck in Chiang Mai in the 16th century with only Michael J. Fox and a De Lorean.
There were also some newer-looking temples on the grounds, such as this incredibly pretty sparkly one:
And one with just about the cutest statue I’ve ever seen:
What IS that? Is it a dragon? Is it a puppy? Is it a lion-fish-frog-evolutionary sidetrack? More importantly, can I have one?
Which seems like a good segue into: Cute Statues of Chiang Mai!
There are adorable statues all over the place!
When we finally asked the significance of them in Bangkok, assuming that they represent some pivotal aspect of Buddhism or national Thai legend, our guide explained that several years ago, having stone Chinese dragons in your garden was a very popular trend.
But then the trend passed, and people were like, meh, we don’t want these anymore, and decided to donate them all to the nearest temple.
So, if he was right about that, they’re basically the equivalent of Hula Hoops or Beanie Babies, foisted off on temples where the monks are probably like: “oh…another monkey statue…thanks. Buddha will be so…delighted.”
But who knows if that’s true, or if we maybe just completely misunderstood him. They’re still awfully cute!
I’ll be back later this week with an update once Sunshine has had her first agility class! Yippee! My little genius learns to leap through flaming hoops! (well, probably more like: my little genius learns to not completely freak out when other dogs try to sniff her. baby steps, people!) 🙂
Quote of the Day:
Liz (about her parents): Nice to have some positive reinforcement, isn’t it?
Jack: Well, it’s only positive reinforcement when they say it to you; in my case, they’re just stating the facts. I do look like the Arrow shirt man, I did lace up my skates professionally, and I did do a fabulous job finishing my muffin.
— 30 Rock