Chiang Mai - Walking Street

What an experience. A wonderful atmosphere and we were surrounded with people who wanted nothing from you.

The ambience was wonderful and the number of different things that you could buy was enormous. We visited Walking Street on the weekend so we were able to peruse a multitude of different things.

On a Saturday the market is on Wualai Road (the street that shoots off at an angle just outside the Chiang Mai gate on the south side of the old city) officially starts at 17:00, although the road will be closed to cars from about 14:00 onwards; it's pretty much over by 23:00.

On a Sunday the market starts around 14:00 and lasts until 22:00, with local craftpersons operating stalls along Rajdumnern Road on the inner-east side of the moat near Tapae Gate.

We found a local artist who painted some beautiful pictures which our daughter (and I) thought were wonderful - we will be returning with empty luggage bags next time.

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Shiva Lung - Ghost Festival

This is text written by Kevin O'Sheehan from a beautiful Asian Photo website.

The Shiva LungIn the Ghost festival, in Loei, the presence of the Shiva lung, or the representation of the male penis is omnipresent. Many of the dancers carry it as the 'krador'. Traditionally it represents the penis of the Lord Shiva, the source of all fertility for Hindus. This Hindu custom survives in all of these pre-monsoon fertility festivals of North-Eastern Thailand. Many of the 'kradors' are hinged with a trigger device, like this one, so they can be made to twitch in a most suggestive way during the dancing. In this culture such things are not objects of fear or prudery as they might be elsewhere.