7 Experiences in Thailand!.

     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.

1.    Songkran

     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.

2.    Doi Inthanon

     Last week I posted about the highest point in Thailand so go here to take a look and read more!

3.    Pattaya

     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. 

The Apex of Thailand: Doi Inthanon.

     This post is a bit of a throwback to when I first arrived in Thailand nearly a month ago to attended a media conference. It was so gratifying to network with people who are on the front lines of providing culturally appropriate material to millions of individuals and thousands of unique people groups. While learning an abundance of social media marketing and other tech things I was also fortunate enough to visit with Celine after the full day sessions. As always it was so refreshing being reunited with her to resume living life together.

     On my day off from the conference there was an opportunity for Celine and I to go on a day trip to Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. Celine wanted to see the grand landmark since she arrived in Thailand 6 months ago so we signed up and spent the following day touring the countryside. After stopping at two waterfalls, a fruit market, a village, and then lunch we finally reached the point where we had to walk to the highest point. Honestly, I was expecting a bit of a hike but we casually walked along a nicely paved path to a sign that claimed to be the pinnacle of Thailand. Although this was the geographical apex of the country it was anything but the climax of the day trip. Regardless, Celine in her typical optimistic outlook made the best of it and we got our bus driver to take a few fun photos of us. I was expecting an amazing view or something but it was just a sign surrounded by trees and then a Buddhist shrine further down the path. After that slight disappoint we walked through an awesome forest and visited the Thai king and queen’s Stupas’. It was at this point we experienced the anticipated view of endless rolling hills and unfathomably dense forest. Overall it was an amazing day hanging out with Celine and being able to observe a fragment of Thailand’s incredible beauty! 

     Today we fly to Myanmar and stay there for the next four days but my next blog post will likely consist of my somewhat traumatizing motto ride on Koh Larn, which is an island near Pattaya. I hope you enjoy the photos below of the conference resort and from our wonderful adventure to Doi Inthanon. Have and awesome week! 

Cultural Immersion!.

     As our team’s time in Thailand concluded we were fortunate enough to experience their New Years celebration, called Songkran. After briefly participating in the countrywide water fight in Chiang Mai we left on an early morning bus to Chiang Rai, where we had a full day of immersion! Literally we were immersed into the cultural celebration along with the water that flooded the streets! For hours we stood, soaked, at the side of the crowded roads with our new local friends. Packed full of drenched, joyful people, trucks were armed with buckets of ice-cold water that engulfed us and dowsed anyone they passed. It was spectacular to witness something where the entire country participated in throwing water at one another to bring in the New Year. As fun as this holiday was in Thailand, I couldn’t help but think how uncomfortable it would be if it were occur in Canada on most days of the year.

     The images below are from our previous day trip visiting a few temples in the region. Within minutes of climbing hundreds of stairs, a man with a camera and police officers approached us to ask if we could be in a video. It was for the regions traffic police and since they were so kind it was impossible to decline. At the second temple there was a school of boy monks visiting the temple of Wat Phra That in Doi Suthep. I loved how one moment they would be meditating or praying and the next instant they were just like every other boy their age, playing or joking with one another.

     After taking a short flight, to a nearby country, we met up with some people who were really encouraging. Not only was the work they were doing amazing but even their philosophy on overseas work made me hopeful again. Our team is in Bangkok for the next few days to pray for the red light district and take a few days to plan out what we’ll be doing in the upcoming countries. If you would like to hear any needs our team has or a way you can help feel free to contact me and I’ll give you some exclusive details!