>Travel Pictures



Amulet Market

The amulet market is a Bangkok icon: an area of town dedicated to the creation and sale of tiny, usually religious, figures and pendants. Roadside stands cater to those of all religious backgrounds looking for a little good luck.
As we wandered through the streets and maze-like back alleys, we saw many people who were taking the business very seriously (like the man above). There are all sorts of indicators of good luck that can be built into the pieces, and some that occur fortuitously as an accident during their creation, so the inspection of pieces that are supposed to be helpful is extremely important - even though most of them are relatively inexpensive.
Of course, there has to be nourishment for the soul along the way, even if it is just decorative. The woman eating was selling fake food - for what purpose was unclear, but they sure were pretty! In the middle of the market itself, we came across a group having a karaoke party. They were all quite drunk and just having a grand old time singing and drinking. This was actually a scene that we saw repeated on several occasions though out the trip, and looked like a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon!

The quiet lanes were full of barefoot monks going about their business - quite the peaceful oasis in the middle of the city.

Breck took it upon himself to join the monastery, and wanted to make sure that we got a picture of him studying with the other initiates!

Right across the street from the market is a 'working temple,' where visitors are welcome to catch a glimpse of monks' daily lives. We wandered in just as lunch was winding down, surprised to see a table full of police officers eating with the saffron-robed holy men.

The monks themselves were eager to talk to us; this one in the foreground had been to Chicago and regaled us with tales of astonishment at the cold!

And as we left, we gathered for a group photo with the men who had so graciously invited us into their 'home.'
Bangkok: Welcome to the big city - Up and down the river - Amulet market - Wat Pho temple - Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew - Wat Arun - Interesting shopping opportunities
Chiang Mai: Around town - Night Market - Traditional crafts - Doi Suthep - Hiking, rafting, and riding an elephant - Villagers - A day at the zoo
Krabi: beach and surroundings

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