Thailand Revisited!

Are you travelling to Thailand and unsure of what to visit and experience? Here’s a quick video to help you on your way! If you spot something you’d like to explore further just click on the image below to go right to the post! There are also many, MANY places included in this blog that I didn’t get a chance to squeeeeeze into the video, so be sure to mosey around a bit for more inspiration! Continue reading “Thailand Revisited!”

Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathon, Thailand

“Please be invited to pay homage to the thousand years Buddha, the happy monk and the four faced statue of Brahma. Our officer is being service to you inside.”

“What do you figure is down there?”

“I dunno.”

“Think we can go in?”

“Yes?”

“Let’s go,” I say to my friends as I slip past and slowly descend into the tunnel.

Reassured by the echo of accompanying feet I mentally pull out my “tourist card” just in case. It usually works wonders displaying a confused expression when people find you in places you shouldn’t be. A bit of scolding might be dispersed but that’s easy enough to digest.

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Batu Caves: Hindu Temple

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…. Our voices melded into a rhythmic trot. With each stomp we made our way past bystanders and left a trail of numbers. 50, 51, 52, 53, 54… The sunlight was beating down on our backs. The heat penetrated our clothes and gathered on our skin. The numbers began to catch in our mouths as our climb slowed to ensure each number was included. 123, 124, 125… “I want a picture,” I gasped balancing on a step to catch a shot of the scene ahead of us. “Ok.” 234, 235,235-236… “Oh wait, we are out of sync.” 234, 235, 236… Seeing the stairs cut away just ahead our legs pumped as we threw ourselves up the last few steps. 269,270,271 aannnddd 272…

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Nan, Nan, Thailand

Where were we? We weren’t sure, but something about a waterfall.

“The sign says the temple is this way,” shouted my Japanese friend pointing up a paved, steep winding road.

“Let’s go then,” was my response as I twisted the throttle and tapped the motorbike into gear.

We pulled ourselves to the top, but no peaked roof peaked through the trees, no paths lead to a temple entrance. We continued down the road and found ourselves looping right back to the entrance.

So we changed our objective.

“The sign says the market is this way,” my Japanese friend once more pointed the way.

“The sign says the waterfall is down that way.”

“The woman said we should go that way to find the waterfall.”

Before we knew it the road had faded into a dirt track.

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Wat Phanan Choeng: Ayutthaya

Orange. And through the haze of orange a stern face looking down upon me. Red walls gilded with golden patterns enclosed the space, protecting an enormous buddha. The face was shining though there were no windows. The corners of its lips cracked upward. Its gaze was unwavering. Continue reading “Wat Phanan Choeng: Ayutthaya”

Chinese Autumn (Moon) Festival: October 15

The gate towered overhead—a behemoth symbol of Chinatown nesting among the buildings of sprawling Bangkok.

As though humoured by the gate’s ridiculous size, a tiny stone rabbit grins across the road as people mill around its concrete island. Traffic circles them like hungry sharks.

It isn’t hard to imagine the stone rabbit turning his chuckles toward the excited crowd. A being from another world amused by our unknown destinies. Darkness was falling, but the party was just beginning! Continue reading “Chinese Autumn (Moon) Festival: October 15”

Some Chinese Etiquette

Pulling a case from his robe, Victory Jiaxiang Yu bowed as he held out his business card with both hands. I had remembered reading somewhere that business cards in China should be accepted with both hands so I did so awkwardly. I had to consciously tell myself not to automatically take his card casually with one hand.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation

Uncomfortably shifting my legs, for the tenth time I contemplated my decision to choose the floor over the chairs lining the sides. The mats surrounding the small table had seemed so inviting, and so exotic. The chairs in comparison had seemed to be placed there for those interested in the event, but not willing to fully immerse themselves. They’d seemed like crutches. They were cultural prisons, like always choosing a fork over a chopstick. In comparison, the mats had no restraints, no enclosures and, I would soon realize, no support.

I’d gleefully set myself down on a mat off to the right, savouring the feeling of freedom after being bound to a chair all morning. An hour in the novelty was gone and I found myself restlessly fidgeting. I had never stayed in a cross-legged position for this long before. My legs were falling asleep and my back was stiff from unfamiliar effort. Occasionally I wistfully eyed the chairs, longing to get over myself and rise to those thrones. Eyeing my fellow observers I noticed one woman, then another, unabashedly unfold their legs and stretch them before themselves. Inwardly relieved I followed suit, sighing in bliss as my legs were released. Content again I could once more take in the fascinating presentation before me. Continue reading “Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation”