Below is a list of the prominent memories that I’ve reflected on after spending nearly a month in the Kingdom of Thailand. Each one stands out in my mind for various reasons and has had an impact on me.
If you aren’t familiar with Songkran check out my previous post where I go over what it is and why it’s so crazy! I also made a Vlog for both the days we participated in the whimsical holiday celebration.
Last week I posted about the highest point in Thailand so go here to take a look and read more!
On one of our days off we went to the coastal city of Pattaya. Upon arriving there we quickly realized there was a more promising island just a ferry ride away. We set off seaward for the 45-minute voyage to the island of Ko Larn where Celine and I proceeded to rent a moped. It was my first time driving one and I managed to crush my ankle within the first few minutes. In my defence I had a passenger and two heavy day bags as well as another vehicle trying to squeeze through the narrow street. A week later the swelling in my ankle finally dissipated but it’s still bruised and sore. Fortunately Celine was ok! Following my rough start we were able to explore the island and then relax on the beach for the remainder of the day.
4. Thai Food
Basically you need to try all these delicious dishes Thai Tea, Pad Thai, Khao Soi, pork/chicken Satay, Massamon, Mango and Sticky Rice, Tom Kah Kai, Pad Seeew, Chicken and cashew nuts, fried rice, and Fried pork with basil.
5. Buddhist Temples
The quantity of temples in Thailand is utterly profound! Their intricate detail, innumerous idols, Gaudy pagodas, and fantastical colours all come together to form meaningful places of worship for millions of people. Although it’s hard to grasp why so many are needed, I came to the realization that the amount of churches we have in North America is almost an exact parallel.
6. Bangkok’s Red Light District
To conclude our time in Thailand we spent a few days in Bangkok praying for the red light district and the horrendous human trafficking that occurs there. Just to paint the hideous image for you, thousands of young girls are trafficked in and out of Thailand every single day for prostitution. What this often looks like is children from villages are lured into the industry and then incapable of escaping due to fear, abuse, or drugs. It’s heartbreaking to know that this modern slavery is something many North Americans and foreigners support whenever visiting various red light districts. Seventy percent of customers who grotesquely, indulge in the adultery are foreigners. I couldn’t help but become jaded or critical of any single, white male I saw and earnestly long for people to become aware of the atrocities they are directly causing.
7. The Land of a Thousand Smiles!
Even with the darkness of the underground human trafficking occurring in Thailand, it is popularly known as the land of a thousand smiles. This couldn’t be truer; people everywhere always had a warm welcoming smile. This first struck me when I was visiting Chiang Mai after coming from the Caucasus where no one smiled in public. I found myself almost giddy after being recharged by the Thai culture that unapologetically illuminated entire rooms by mere smiles!
I hope you enjoyed my most memorable experiences in Thailand! I would love to hear any comments or questions you have about the wonderful country! The images below are from Ko Larn and the Reclining Buddha we visited in Bangkok.