Bangkok Arts And Culture Centre Infographic

Gliding up to the first of the three large exhibition halls I lightly stepped off the escalator and walked to the edge of the floor. My fingers gripped the railing as I leaned out over the soup of noise simmering below. The floor fell away into a neat crater revealing five floors below and two above. The building seemed to be designed just to encase the empty gulf. Perhaps the architecture was an attempt to leave room for all the sizzling thoughts and ideas bubbling up from below.

It is a capsule. A cathedral. A bomb shelter and haven for modern Thai artists. Hungrily nabbing my mental spoon I spun away from the edge rubbing my hands in delight. It was time to gobble through another five-course meal of social commentary and artistry.

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Grand Palace in Bangkok? Overblown.

One of the first things I did when I studied abroad at Thammasat University was visit the Grand Palace, or Phra Boromma Maha Ratcha Wang, in Bangkok.

So why haven’t I written about it until now?

I just wasn’t that impressed.

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Hey Big Spender

Before I left for Thailand I asked Google how do I avoid buying souvenirs?

It’s a question as foolish to ask as how do I avoid getting pregnant? because there are so many choices and Google shares some pretty hazardous answers.

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Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand

Wiggling my shoulders further down the hammock, my feet creeping up the other side to compensate for the shift, my back pushed into the pillows. The netting snuggled close on my arms, enclosing me but allowing the soft ocean breeze to caress my body through the net. With each soft push the hammock gently swung back and forth.

The sun relentlessly bore down on my surroundings, thankfully deflected by the roof over my hammock. I’d already embraced the sun a bit too much in the earliest day of the trip. For now I was content with my book resting on my stomach, my thumb poised to turn the page.

The trip to Otres Beach in Cambodia had reintroduced me to books and their teleportation abilities were just as mesmerizing at this beach. I gleefully dusted off the key to my imagination and lost myself in the halls of my mind. I’d remain lost each day until the mosques called their followers to prayer and the sun was preparing to dive into the ocean. Continue reading “Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand”

Namtaloo Cave at Cheow Larn Lake

The cave yawned. Scraggly teeth adorned the ceiling. Impatient from waiting for the slower half of the group to catch up a boy from the group sprinted ahead to survey the subterranean hall. Glancing back every now and then to catch a nod of approval from his parents he navigated his way across the creek cutting the cave in half. In the shaded darkness of the cave his pink shirt stood out like a neon sign. He had clever parents.

A rocky perch provided a welcome platform for my camera. With the shutter speed set to ultraslow and my mind focused on anticipating a calm moment I waited to pounce. There it was.

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Cheow Larn Lake, Surat Thani Province

From the mouth of the park to the belly of the beast we travelled. We streamed through the ticket booth (40 baht entry after flashing my student ID) and zipped across the lake, flying towards a horizon broken up by rounded mountains. They lined the edge of Cheow Larn Lake, gnarled like the broken teeth of some Thai elder resting deep in a distant rural region. The boat extended before me as sleek and narrow as a lizard tongue snapping at the air. The air was moist and hazy. The region seemed to be exhaling. The sun hid behind a sheet of clouds—the roof of the mouth was clamped shut. Still, it was a far cry from the absolute darkness of the belly I would stumble through two hours into the tour.   Continue reading “Cheow Larn Lake, Surat Thani Province”

Khao Sok in Surat Thani, Thailand

The stone was warm. Not hot, just pleasantly warm. My left leg was propped over my right, topping the bent knee like the trees and brush blanketing the valley walls. Before my rocky podium, which stood taller than my height with fingers stretched, a green world rose. A great wall of trees hid the horizon.

Behind me a couple splashed and laughed as they dipped their toes in the river sidling past. Unfamiliar birds belted out their cries from the stillness of the trees. Elephants sauntered through this forest. Somehow. It looked impenetrable to me. My confusion tugged at my sleeve for attention so I played with it. Continue reading “Khao Sok in Surat Thani, Thailand”

Angkor Complex, Cambodia

“One dollar, one dollar. Two magnets, one dollar. Ok, ten postcards one dollar. One dollar. One dollar. One dollar.”

The child looked up at me, her eyes wide and glimmering. Shuffling the objects in the plastic tray slung across her stomach she pulled up one item after another and repeated the mantra.

“One dollar, one dollar, one dollar. Lady, maybe later? One dollar.”

She looked hopeful, her eyes sparkling with calculations but a tired strain fed into her voice. I could only smile at her. I didn’t want to be rude but I wouldn’t be buying anything.

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