Postcards from Chiang Mai: beauty

from the top:

  • scenes from a temple--Chiang Mai has many. 
  • close-up of a textile. This will have to stand in for so much beauty filling the markets. These markets made me want to open a store, so overflowing were they with inexpensive, beautiful items: clothes, leatherwork, silverwork, lanterns, textiles, bags. Since coming back to Hong Kong I've noted that many shops here source from those markets.  
  • And the lilies. Flowers are everywhere in Chiang Mai--lush, larger-than-life and dripping with fragrance.
You're going to have to use your imagination for the final bit of beauty--the picture is more to help your mind's eye rather than actually embodying the beauty itself. On New Year's Eve, the skies above Chiang Mai are filled with fireworks, sparklers, and these floating lanterns. Like mini hot air balloons, the lanterns are open only on the bottom, where an attached candle is lit. Once the lantern fills with heat, it rises above the treetops, carrying with it the hopes and dreams of the sender. Can you imagine? Even now it makes my heart rise up just to remember such magic. We rushed out the next morning to buy some before our flight home, and luckily found a stallholder not too hung over to open up and sell us some lanterns. But I'm thinking we should be able to figure out how to make them too ... any suggestions?  

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