Miss Chiang Mai 2005
I have to admit to a little error in yesterday's instalment. It is actually tonight, the 17th November, which is the "main event" of the Loi Krathong festival. Last night was the parade of the "small" Krathong. Krathong are the floating offerings to the spirits of the river, which include a candle, some Baht, and perhaps something from the sinner's body (eg nail clippings). They are sent into a body of water (the river Ping in Chiang Mai but the sea works even better on the coast) to say sorry for all the things you've done wrong. In Buddhism, unskilled actions give rise to bad Karma, so perhaps my sins include the many inept photographic moments I've had since starting this trip. Sonia and I will be floating our sins away later this evening, but last night turned out only to be the second day of "trailers". We watched part 1 of the beauty pageant. Given that the above-average Thai girls on the streets of Chiang Mai would give Miss World a serious run for her money, I was expecting a stunning display. Sadly the same political correctness which stops anyone too fit from entering Miss World seems to apply to Miss Chiang Mai too, and it was utter rubbish. Even for a nation of natural smilers, the stilted forced-smiles for over an hour proved too much. The dancers who sandwiched the rather stale beauties were (both relatively and absolutely) stunning, and the "small krathong" turned out to be very cute children (pictured).