I am sure many of you must have confused about name of country I am referring in title.
Some country names don’t sound best with their current names.
is such a country. “Land” in it name gives little bit western outlook. After visiting it, I felt that such a exotic country should be referred by which is much closer to Thai people and if we read history about the country, ancient name of country - SIAM is much better name compare to Thailand. Anyway I got chance to visit this country for work on short term. Thailand
Travelling abroad for short assignment is very tricky compare to long assignment. Long term work always gives you ample time to settle and then plan for site seeing. For shorter duration you don’t get luxury of time. But with proper homework, short work travel to new place can be converted into sightseeing without jeopardizing work. With use of internet you can be prepared for the places to visit, mode of transportation, food etc. You can also find out which transportation suits you best. In
primary language is thai, relaying on road side enquiry is difficult. You have to use transportation which you can travel without much verbal communication. Thailand has three modes of public transportation – bus, sky train, river taxies. There are also private services like taxies, tuk-tuk (rickshaw). I preferred sky train, because of heavy traffic and routes were easy to understand. To visit old town, you have to use bus since sky train doesn’t reach there. Bangkok
When you visit
Thailand you feel immediately connected because of cultural similarity with . While traveling in India Bangkok, you will notice names like Rama, . Thai people believe that king is incarnation of Rama. Current king is Rama-IX! I wonder why they use roman numbers to number their king! On Monday, mostly Thai people will be wearing yellow T- shirts with royal emblem to show their respect to king. Watching sea of people with yellow colored T-Shirt make you wonder about collective psyche of about Thai people. It might be because of small size of country sandwiched between two dominating culture in region Ayutthaya China and . India
Although name of king is closer to Hindu God, religion followed in
is Buddhism. Thailand
So you come across - Wats (monastery temple). Also you will see numerous Buddha statues inside Wat. I heard there are more Buddha statutes than number of people living in
. In front of many homes you will see small Buddha temple similar to tulsi vrindavan we notice in some parts of Thailand . So religion and king is integral part of Thai life. India
Wats are beautiful temples with large image of Buddha. Most of the time it will be placed below bell shaped structure called chedi. In front of it there will be praying ground called vihan and open space called mondop. I liked their references being close to Sanskrit. What amazed me in most was the entrance of Wat, at front door it has meticulously decorated daemons and Garuda. Compound walls are also decorated with murals, mostly stories from Ramayana.
Apart from wat,
being capital city has many other tourist attractions such as palaces, modern skycrapers. Bangkok
Bangkok in first two weeks, I thought of exploring nearby cities closer to . I decided first to go to Bangkok because city was very ancient. It always fascinated me - life of humans before industrial revolution. This city was founded in 1350 and it was capital for kingdom until 1767. In its peak glory, population was 3 lakhs! So Ayutthaya city was must GO for me. City is around 1 and ½ hrs travel distance from Ayutthaya by train. City is small and there is nothing left except Bangkok which has ruins of old city. Bird’s eye view of park gives you glimpse of older glorious days. It has numerous wats, huge reclining Buddha and famous Buddha’s head entangled in tree roots. Now this park is UNESCO’s world heritage site. Ayutthaya Historic Park
Apart from ancient sites,
I also visited port town called Pattaya. It was closer to
and one can easily manage return one day or weekend trip. Although Pattaya is famous for night life, it has many other tourist attractions. From Pattaya, around 6 km distance there is beautiful island KO Larn. This small island is famous for beaches. There are routine ferries from Pattaya to this island and back. On island there are motorcycle taxies which can take you to the beaches. Some hoteliers maintain few beaches. They provide beach chairs, umbrella, changing rooms. After playing and swimming in sea water they are ready to serve you with hot food, although little expensive. But you don’t mind considering remote location and scenic beauty sea has to offer. Bangkok
was little heartbreaking since I missed mountainous Chaing Mai region and Phuket island to explore. Although I got little glimpse of thai rural life while visiting Pattaya, Ayudhaya, Kanchanburi but these places are geographically located on flat plans around Chao Phraya river. Because of time constraints and travelling distance I couldn’t manage trip over there. But for compensation I did visit Kanchanaburi which has some hills bordering Thailand . This place is also famous because of Burma . During world war –II, this area was under Japanese control. During that period War Museum Japan tried to build railway system from Bangkok to using prisoners of war. It is estimated roughly 1 lakh prisoners died on that railway project because of hardship and maltreatment. There is Kanchanaburi war cemetery associated with POW. Old bridge built by POW during that period is major tourist attraction. Rangoon
Overall I am just happy, since I managed to explore most of
while working for short duration. Thailand