Friday, 19 June 2015

17. We Get by with a Little Help from our Friends (Part 1)

In the normal course of street-art-hunting, we usually find it fairly easy to track down our targets, even if we're in a city that we're unfamiliar with. Our not-so-magic-formula includes: hours of research on the Internet; wearing away inches of shoe leather on the streets; and engaging locals in conversation about the community art scene.

But every rose has it thorns, and our normal approach just didn't work that well in Chiang Mai. In a city with hundreds of alleys, it just isn't that easy to discover which needle is hiding in which haystack. Sure, we found some pretty decent murals, which we highlighted in our previous two posts. But we knew that much better lay out there. Somewhere. But where?

Luckily, I (Seymour) had been reading -- and very much enjoying -- a blog called Travelling Apples. The "apples" were, in fact, Chris and Sarah Appleford, a young couple from Melbourne who had quit their jobs, sold everything and, along with son Jack, headed off into the great unknown -- blogging about it all the way. I found their writing to be witty and informative and their advice will be especially helpful to adults travelling with the wee folk. (You should check it out at:

Most importantly for us, they had lived in Chiang Mai, biked it's streets and alleys, and Sarah had even written a post about Chiang Mai street art that was accompanied by her amazing photos. She had clearly found the motherload that we'd been looking for.

Knowing that bloggers are friendly and helpful folk, I dashed off an e-mail to the Travelling Apples asking if they could point us in the right direction. Chris wrote back almost immediately, providing not only guidance, but Google maps and street photos as well. With that advice in hand, we were able to track down the brilliant elephant mural above, the butterfly-themed murals by Iagazzo featured in our last post, and the following colourful murals:

Even better, the Applefords gave us permission to use any of Sarah's photos from Chiang Mai. So once again, with our gratitude to the Travelling Apples, we offer you the following murals:


So, the world really is, what my old graduate school communications professor, Marshall McLuhan, liked to call a "global village". If you're having trouble at your end of the street, just reach out to one of your digital neighbours. Chances are they'll come through in spades.