Suvarnabhumi – The golden land. Is the name because of the country’s historical & architectural fascination to the color gold or gold itself? Know not why! What fascinated me in here is the symmetry and architectural beauty of the temples! Probably you would see its reflection in the pictures I have shared here!
My origin being rooted in India, I found familiarity … not just with words & places…but lot more! May be its the story of Ramayana, ‘Ramakien’ as its called in Thailand, that makes me strangely familiar with this place, people, culture…..!
Kings are called Rama 1, Rama 2 and so on. Present king Bhumi Pol is Rama 9. The Taxi driver who showed us around Bangkok was full of praises for the present king. Though government is elected by voting, no hoardings marred the city roads unlike Indian counterpart.
As we stayed near the airport, we traveled by local train to city everyday for touring around. Traveling on own without a guide helps in understanding the country and people better! Contrary to our experience in Hongkong where people were less approachable, Thai people were more than friendly and amiable, ready to help though language came as a barrier often.
As you travel (in train) from airport, high rise buildings crowd the city from Makkasan station. Once you reach the city lines, you start seeing tall buildings with clotheslines decorating the balcony and dish umbrellas peeking over individual verandas. City regulars flood in from Latkrabang station. Despite similarities between Thai and Indian cultures, I am humbled and awed by their general humility and well-mannered public behavior. Daily dosage of train travel brought us face to face with Thai life more closer! One is not allowed to eat in trains and people seemed to respect and observe the rules. Monday mornings were busier with crowded trains and crowded stations. There are queues in each station and all wait in patience for those getting off the train. Priority is respected. Everyone is confined to their own privacy once inside. I do not know whether its the presence of foreigners or whether people of Thailand commonly maintain silence in public, no one speaks aloud and our daily journeys were rather peaceful! I just remembered our driver-cum-guide mentioning that Thai people are a little laid back in temperament. They work but he said they are not hardworking like Filipinos! He just happened to make this remark when we passed a group of Filipinos. I guess what he meant was – they are not too ambitious! If not by hardwork and commitment, how did those beautiful architectural monuments come up? May be they are easily contented people … and probably that speaks for fewer number of Thais abroad seeking greener pastures!!
As we traveled from Bangkok to Pattaya, trees, plants, houses and roads reminded me of scenes at home. Electrical wire garlands decorated sides of roads and pavements! Coconuts, plantains, mangoes even those shrubs and common climbers which one notices on traveling to inner parts of Kerala – all looked similar and familiar! …. couldn’t help remembering home country!
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James Bond Boat Ride
Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)
Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha)
Damnoen Saduak Floating market