Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering Thailand (and wanting to go back!)

Sawasdee Khrab!

I would love to go back to Thailand and go ride an elephant, or get an elegant yet affordable Phuket hotel booking and have a Thailand vacation on Patong Beach, revisit the royals in Bangkok's Grand Palace, watch the sunset at one of the vantage points on Promthep Cape, maybe catch a Muay Thai fight or a buy some Thai gold for my girlfriend.

Memories of Thailand

My first time to travel outside of the Philippines was in 1997, to celebrate our mom's birthday via a trip to Thailand with my family. I was 15 at the time, and still in high school - I had to miss a day or two of school, but it was well worth it...

We stayed at a beautiful five-star Bangkok Hotel, complete with a swimming pool, sauna and spa, and a well equipped gym.  The city tour package included the residences of the Thai Royals, the "Grand Palace" (which had amazingly intricate predominantly Buddhist designs everywhere you looked!) and a visit to the Emerald Buddha.  Everything was in gold and green, and everything was beautiful.

My father and I even went to watch a Muay Thai match. I remember seeing the sort of warm-up dance the fighters do before fighting and thinking that was where my dad got the "exercise" he always does at home.  The fighters looked skinny but really tough. I wouldn't want to fight even the smallest boy there. Haha!

We did a lot of shopping, or my mom and sisters did. They tried to bargain with the Thai women for some silk pajamas. The sellers would type the price on their big desk calculators and show it to you to avoid any confusion. We also shopped around the night market taking note of the very exotic and very colorful Bangkok night life.

The Guinness Book of World Records: Longest Name for a Place - Bangkok!

During our city tour, the guide was talking about Bangkok having the "Longest Name of a Place" in the Guinness Book of World Records! I'm thinking 7 letters is not very long eh?

And then he said: "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit"

That's Bangkok's official city name! The whole bus cheered when he finished - that was a long name indeed.

Here's the actual Thai text: กรุงเทพ มหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

Visit Thailand

Visiting Thailand was truly a culturally enriching experience, with its beautiful beaches, awesome shopping destinations, and topped off with great Thai food. Definitely worth another visit!

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