Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back from Thailand~

This was my first trip to Thailand, my first trip to Southeast Asia, and the farthest east I've ever ventured. Though I was primarily conferencing, within the confines of an air-conditioned hotel, we played the tourists one day and below are some of the pictures that I took.

Crossing a swinging bridge on our way to see the elephants

One of the elephants wading into the river for bath time

We fed the elephants, watched them bathe, watched them work, watched them paint a picture, and then we rode them through the jungle and a river. The elephants of Thailand are Asian elephants (of course) and they are smaller, but smarter than African elephants--according to our guide.

Thai child from the hill country in traditional dress

Oldest Daughter, enjoying a raft ride on the river

Rafting down the river

Thai orchid farm(notice that the roots are free-hanging)

A few interesting facts about Thailand:

It was the only country in mainland Southeast Asia not colonized by Britain or France. I found this out when a friend inquired about the relatively low level of English spoken by Thais.

The King of Thailand, King Bhumibol Adulyadej as ruled Thailand for 60 years, making him the longest serving head of state in the world. While we were in Thailand the country was anticipating the celebration of the beloved Queen's birthday. Thus, the hotel had a sort of flower covered shrine erected in the lobby.

The Thais believe in luck and think that is lucky to synchronize the color of their clothes to the day of the week. Thus, each day of the week is assigned a color. I traveled from Thailand on a Friday and noticed that a lot of middle aged people were wearing yellow shirts. Now, yellow is not the color for Friday but it is the color for Monday, the day on which the Queen was born, so they were wearing it in her honor.

A couple more impressions: the Thai people are quiet and gentle; we were often met with a smile, and a bow and the Thai greeting, "Sawadeeka". The women are beautiful. And I think this must be a karaoke culture. The coffee shops of both hotels I was in featured Thai singers who could do a great Karen Carpenter, among other musical artists. And I noticed that other Thais in the restaurant could sing along. My daughter never guessed that I knew the words to so many songs. Every meal was a walk down memory lane.


kinzi said...

Thank you for the images, both visual and word-crafted! Lovely.

Kathleen Hamilton said...

Beautiful! What an interesting place. Robert has a good friend from UD who recently moved to Thailand to teach English somewhere.