The Chiang Mai Parrot Man is something of an institution in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For years, he has been riding around the northern Thailand city with his pet parrots and mynah birds on the front of his motorbike. He is most often spotted during the evening hours at Chiang Mai Gate Market. He appears after dark and simply sits next to the food booths, attracting a crowd. As far as I can tell, he sells nothing, nor does he ask for money from people who want to pet or feed the birds.
Birds are seen as a symbol of good luck in Thailand. At most of the larger (and some of the smaller) temples, worshipers can buy birds in cages, which they then release. When the bird flies away, it is said to take your bad luck with it. Setting birds free is also believed to reverse bad situations in life and bring about new opportunities. But in this case, I am mystified. The birds on the motorbike seem content but they are clearly captive, so it’s hard to see how they can bring good luck. Perhaps the motorcycle bird man of Chiang Mai just loves his feathered pets and wants to share them with the world.
6 thoughts on “PHOTO: Chiang Mai Parrot Man at Chiang Mai Gate Market”
I didn’t know about the belief in birds in Thailand. Thanks for writing about this, Barbara!
You’re welcome Crystal! Thanks for your comment.
During the day the parrot man delivers newspapers to the shops in the area. He also works the Sunday Walking Street selling fried tofu, a friend of mine regularly buys it from him. Whether he has other forms of income, I don’t know.
I hope you are enjoying your trip.
Hi Derek. How interesting! Thanks so much for sharing that tidbit. I’m enjoying my trip quite a lot. Off to Belgium tomorrow morning! Hope you’re enjoying Chiang Mai.
Great photo Barbara. Keep up on the road.
Thanks so much Audrey 🙂