in provincial capital

We head north accompanied by cold wind in the bus.

Green-yellow landscape, hills move closer. Lampang comes sooner than we anticipated.
Lampang was the capital of the Mon Kingdom since the 7th century until first the Khmers and then the Burmans took over. Lampang is also a city where tourists are not harassed by taxi drivers in the bus station. Some time ago Thai cities had horse carriages as public transportation and they are still used in Lampang. Only that now they transport tourists along a fixed route with high price. We walk, it's only one kilometer to the hotel.
The first hotel where we can pay with card. We're out of cash anyway. So we go to have fun in the bank. The young man takes a folder with pictures of bills, finds euros and compares our bills with the pictures. Copies my passport. I sign two forms that are empty with headlines in Thai. I hope that I didn't just take a loan from this bank. A fly keeps landing on the head of the young man. A lady comes and re-arranges everything the young man has done. Many receipts are printed. We get more money than we thought based on the exchange rate in the airport.
Next entertainment is buying mosquito spray. This goes without any incidents. We continue on a street where every house is either gold shop or bank.
We cross the river and reach old town. Old town means teak wood architecture. Some houses are dilapidated, some renovated. It is all very authentic until a man peeps out of a yard and asks if we want something to eat or drink. This is a vegetarian restaurant. Eat and drink we want. Behind the house is a garden with tables, the river visible through the opposite gate. There's also vegan pork and chicken in the menu. Food is tasty but the staff is eager to sell us a day trip. The price is high and they don't very much want to go where I want to go. We take time to think and escape. Tip is not accepted because this is a family business.
Opposite the restaurant is Wat Pratupong that we wanted to see and that represents traditional Lanna architecture but it was supposed to be somewhere else according to Google. The temple is magnificent with a quiet garden, no wind, a bird sings. A monk walks around.
We take pictures of bridges and sunset from the bridges. Pink haze has been smeared over the sky and made to reflect in the river. Lights in many colors blink on the bridges. Fishermen are busy on the shore.
We come upon a market. A woman sells fruits and points them out to us: pineapple, mango. Maangoo, I repeat thoughtfully and have obviously bought it. It gets sliced and stuck in a plastic bag in no time. The seller lifts the plastic bag out of the frame when she notices me taking a picture.
We find a shiny temple. All white.
Our hotel promises a car with lower price than the vegetarian establishment. We take it.
Seems that Finnair has pressed the frame of my backpack out of shape. Cannot get it back with available tools.

on the fringes of mass tourism
climbing a mountain

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