Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ancient Village, Chiang Mai

After a lunch of yellow curry with chicken, a Thai speciality, at a place recommended by our driver Yo we drove to look at the "Ancient Village". Looking for something to fill in the last part of our day, it was difficult to get a handle on what the Ancient Village was until we saw it. Apparently the original capital of Chiang Mai was located here hundreds of years ago. Continual flooding though saw the capital relocated to its present position. This left an area affected by regular flooding available for people to take over, so now there are a lot of properties. A small percentage quite new and obviously, by Thai standards, quite expensive. Others seeming to be homes for people with very little by way of money or household possessions. The unique thing about the Ancient Village though is that the entire village is build around half a dozen or more ancient ruins of brick temples and small palaces. These were obviously abandoned centuries ago and are in a state of disrepair, or have been excavated and reclaimed.
The interesting thing is that the main way of travelling around the village to see the ruins is in little pony traps. Quite weird, but being too far to walk, and with narrow streets, a viable option. It really was quite a strange experience driving from site to site, stopping to take photos (or not), ruin temples juxtaposed with houses, then moving on to the next site until finally returning to the starting point - another temple. This time gleaming in white and gold, not a brick in sight! 30.1.2013

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