We decided we were done with beaches but we weren’t done with Thailand. We still had a few weeks left before our flight back to the States, and we were really feeling the weight of being away from home for so long. The next best thing was to go back to our home away from home: Kevin-the-Kiwi-Photographer-with-the-Handlebar-Moustache‘s place all the way back up in Chiang Mai.
So nice to be together again, and much sooner than anyone expected!
And khao soi. Chiang Mai has khao soi.
Kevin took us to a ceremony for the Impossible Life Photo Contest that he and his fellow Thailand International Photographers Society (TIPS) friends had entered. Each photographer was asked to create a portrait of a person who struggled with major disabilities or illness. The both the winning photographers and their subjects would receive a cash prize provided by the owners of Theppadungporn Coconut Company (if you have a can of coconut milk in your pantry, it probably has the TCC logo on it.)
The ceremony was held in the garden of Wat Srisuphan, one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai. The Governor of Chiang Mai Province, Tanin Subhasaen, the wat’s abbot, Phra Khru Phithak and the owners of TCC were all in attendance, as well as most of the photo subjects who were receiving a cash grant.
Kevin’s portrait subject was a young girl with a serious and rare heart defect.
Joe, one of our friends that we met through Kevin and the Chiang Mai Couchsurfing group, was honored with second prize.
After the long, long ceremony (most of which was in Thai), we were invited to have lunch at the Wat. Abbot Phra Khru Phithak stopped by to make sure we had enough to eat and checked out Tony and Kevin’s tattoos. (Kevin’s tattoo is an homage to a Thai rock band, his favorite energy drink and is a reference to his Thai nickname, all at once. It makes sense, trust us.)
Oh, Chiang Mai. You are so happy and beautiful and delicious.
We spent two more weeks at Kevin’s house this time around. We posed for more photos and he also took us on one last great Thai adventure…