Bangkok Journals

A Thai Smile: Falling in Love with a Country

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An October 2006 trip to Bangkok by SeenThat

Grand Palace Photo, Bangkok, Thailand More Photos
Quote: A magical country, Thailand provides endless surprises and joy.

Landing in a Foreign Land

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Story/Tip

Grand Palace Photo, Bangkok, Thailand
Quote:
"You must go to Thailand," she told me after returning from there for the third time that year. I had already heard her next sentence; "Why," I asked, fond of my European trips and not planning to travel eastwards."I can’t explain, just go and you’ll see."Suddenly my peace of mind was more important than Paris. "OK, I’ll go," I said and bought a ticket for a three weeks trip. Enough was enough.A week later I was on a plane that stopped for refue...Read More

Traveling in a Foreign Land

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Story/Tip

Highaway and Skytrain Photo, Bangkok, Thailand
Quote:
Learning to travel in Thailand was not easy. One of the biggest barriers was the tonal language; it took me several months to distinguish between the curiously rising and dropping sounds. Even learning the letters was a challenge, since the vowels could be placed above, below, before or after the relevant consonant. Moreover, knowing how to read was not enough because some words kept their traditional Sanskrit spelling while they were pronounced in modern Thai...Read More

Returning to a Foreign Land

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Story/Tip

Entrance Photo, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Quote:
I returned home from my first trip to South East Asia; the following year was a dull one. I managed to squeeze-in two trips to Europe, but Thailand was in my mind. It was as big as France, yet I had visited only two cities, an island and two mountain resorts. I had barely stepped on Laos and ...Read More

Speaking in a Foreign Land

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Story/Tip

Entrance Photo, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Quote:
“Fy Bah! Fy Bah!” the children running behind me shout incomprehensibly.“Massa, Massa!” women shout at me. This one made sense. The word means “travel” in my language and indeed I was a traveler. However, it was not clear why would Thai women use a Hebrew word.“Pok oui rye,” I was told in one market. “Rye” was in English. “Oui” was French. “Pok” seemed to belong to the third (and unknown) language used in a three words sentence. I was impressed.Obviously, speaking in a foreign land was not going to be an easy task. Listening to a tonal language for the first time in my life was a confusing experience; each time the tone changed – and it happened several times in each word – I l...Read More

Thai Tutti Frutti

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Story/Tip

Apple Rose Photo, Bangkok, Thailand
Quote:
The richness and variety of the Thai culture is immediately discernible even to the casual visitor; regardless if beginning the trip by visiting the Grand Palace or a humble market on a side street, the number of attractions is always overwhelming. It takes more time to understand this richness mimics the lush nature surrounding the Thai culture. Few items are more attractive to illustrate this point than the Thai fruits, which apparently are an attempt to quantify the term "infinite." Following are some of them.Durian: Few things are considered more important for a Thai ...Read More