On our first night in Chiang Mai, we were caught in the current and followed our Thai host in a surprising Saturday night: Amazing Thai Ska music concert, Thai vodka shots served like tequila ones, Chang national beer’s representatives wanting to take pictures with us… unexpected encounters and moments. We lost track of time and just enjoyed that crazy Thai night!
Until we got hangover the morning after… first time smashed in Asia, welcome to Chiang Mai!
We avoided the temples for a couple of days as we had enough on our way up north. We preferred to wander in the city, taste new dishes (we felt in love with a wonton soup and the local specialty, the Khao Soi), enjoy the night market and discover a traditional craft in the Umbrella making center.
So talented people and so beautiful drawings, we couldn’t resist taking a piece of their art with us.
We were also advised to go to a Ladyboy show. We weren’t so enthusiastic at first but went anyway… and it was fun! Ladyboys are kind of accepted in the Thai society and some of them can even live out of the fact they are ladyboys (or kathoey).
As a cabaret, they imitate famous singers, dance and entertain the audience. A lot of glitters, feathers and games of shades and lights and, overall, a really good show.
Some of them were so pretty and charismatic we couldn’t detach our eyes from them. And honestly, we couldn’t have guessed they weren’t genuine women if we haven’t known. Kudos ladies, it was an amazing glamourous night!
But we finally got back to temples. It was more enjoyable after a break of a couple days and after having made some researches about Buddhism. Now we know what we are seeing, why temples and monasteries are built that way, who was Buddha and what was his quest and how to behave in temples. We even had the chance to take part to a chat with young monks, discussing the difference between concentration and meditation! Way more interesting when you have a clue of what you’re talking about…
To get a deeper understanding of the kathoey/ladyboy phenomenon in Thailand and how society deal with it, here is a short but enlightening documentary.