Thailand’s Grand Canyon???

In Chiang Mai there is a red rock quarry that has been popularly dubbed “The Grand Canyon of Chiang Mai.”  You can Google it.  I’m not sure why it’s called the Grand Canyon because it’s neither grand NOR a canyon, but whatever.  It’s still pretty great nonetheless and has earned itself a high spot on the “things to do in Chiang Mai” list over the years (although it is actually in Hang Dong, 17 kilometers away).

 

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Chiang Mai, Part 2: The LadyBoy show

*Disclaimer:  The photos below may be inappropriate for young audiences.

Kathoeys or “ladyboys” are transgendered women in Thailand.  Unlike in the west, there is very little stigma attached to being transgendered in Thailand, and it is often viewed and accepted  as a third gender. Several Thai models, actresses, and singers are kathoeys. They live their lives as females and typically work predominantly female jobs like in beauty parlors, shops, hair salons, and also in tourism as entertainers (but also, of course, in the sex industry, which is huge in Thailand).  During my time in Thailand, I saw no less than 6 recognizable kathoeys just out and about.  And there may have been many more that I just couldn’t tell the difference.  The last time I saw that many transgendered individuals in one place was at the PRIDE festival in San Francisco.

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One Night in Bangkok…

Okay, so it was actually TWO nights in Bangkok, but I just had to quote that song.

On March 9th I said goodbye to India and “sawasdee ka” to Thailand.  I flew from Delhi to Bangkok on a giant dreamliner jet plane, and even though the flight was only 3.5 hours, I got a full meal and unlimited movies on Air India.  After two months in India, all I wanted to do in Bangkok was decompress, relax, catch up on my sleep, and catch up on my blog.  So I found an amazing hotel (iCheck Inn Sathorn) for only $30/night that offered a full suite, king-size bed, pool, balcony, full kitchen, daily cleaning and it stocked with two bottles of water daily.  It was pretty swank.  Too bad the wifi sucked because it took me five hours to upload photos for only two blogs.  As I said, I stayed there for two nights and literally did almost nothing during my time there.
These are the highlights of my Bangkok visit/first 2 days in Thailand:

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