131 days: Achara Boonmee

Today I wandered the historic streets of Chiang Mai's Old Town, mesmerized by the ancient walls that whisper tales of yesteryear. In the midst of sketching the intricate details of Lanna architecture, I met Achara Boonmee, a local historian, near the Tha Phae Gate. Achara was leading a small group of tourists, delving into the stories behind each architectural marvel. Intrigued by her knowledge, I joined the tour, notebook in hand. As we walked, she shared insights into the city's transformation over the centuries, pointing out hidden details that often go unnoticed. Achara's passion for Chiang Mai's heritage was palpable, enriching my sketches with stories of resilience and cultural pride. Our conversation continued over coffee at a nearby cafe, where she described her efforts to preserve local legends through community projects. Inspired, I realized that my journey was not only about capturing landscapes, but also the spirits that inhabit them. As the sun set, casting golden hues over the ancient city walls, I felt grateful for such encounters that add depth to my travels and my art. Today was a reminder of why I travel - to connect with and document the essence of each place through its people.

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