Thailand – God save the King

Gold

Miya – Thailand was the first of 4 countries that I would visit in my first ever Southeast Asia trip!  We all tend to paint a picture of what we THINK a country will be like.  For me, I thought: ok cool, I will be able to find sticky rice on every corner, the beaches will have crystal clear water like in The Beach movie and best I bring a good supply of beauty products because they may not carry the brands that I like.  Well, traveling is a humbling experience because you realize that you really don’t know much about any country until you set foot there.  First, it was really hard to find sticky rice, really hard.  Most restaurants don’t even serve it.  Second, the ocean water was pretty but the way that the beaches have been developed is poorly done.  Many times you would get whiffs of sewage and step over lots of trash (we only went to Koh Samui, so maybe other parts are not like this).  Third, every possible brand and product (fake or real) is available in Thailand.  They LOVE their shopping – we are talking floor upon floor in a huge mall.  Never seen such an incredible buzz around shopping as I did in Bangkok. I was also quite shocked at the number of whitening products they sell in the stores (soaps, creams, etc).  Clearly, by the commercials and TV actresses, being white is their definition of “beauty”.  Funny how we would kill for a good tan, it is a bit of a culture shock. Ok, now the food was delicious, I can’t say enough about that.  Just see my long list of favorite foods below.  We discovered that you can get some of the best food either on the street stalls where a local whips up a tasty Pad Thai for a $2 or at an extensive mall’s food court.  However, my favorite food was at the MBK shopping center of Bangkok.  I am talking fresh passion fruit juice, shrimp shumai and scrumptious Pad Thai with bits of tofu.  And to top it off, there was this pot of boiling water where you could dip your utensils and sterilize them.  Now, I liked that!  Getting around the city was pretty easy, the subways systems where clean and organized.  It was the first time ever that I felt like I was blending in rather than sticking out as a tourist.  It was neat being an Asian in Asia.  We visited the Grand Palace, an incredible complex of temples with paintings, architecture and statues of picturesque Thailand.  We took a moment to have a little prayer of thanks when we saw the Emerald Buddha statue.  The pictures below are more telling.  After our quick stay in Bangkok, we spend the rest of our time on the party island of Koh Samui where we hit the clubs a bit. I took major advantage of the massage shop a few doors down from our hotel.  They had an “army” of women dressed in orange, ready to offer Thai massage, head and neck, foot, etc… It was inexpensive and fantastic!  We also visited a few of the beaches but felt that on our next visit, we will probably explore some of the more “chill” islands.  All in all, this was a great start to the Southeast Asian part of our world trip!

My Favorite Foods

1 – Fresh Squeezed Passion Fruit Juice @ MBK shopping center food court

2 – Shrimp Shumai Dumplings @ MBK

3 – Pad Thai Shrimp @ MBK

4 – Thom Yom Gong soup

5 – Sticky Rice and Fried Banana with Honey @ Ninja’s Restaurant in Koh Samui

******

Paulo – Começamos a nossa viagem para o Sudoeste Asiático na Tailândia, mais especificamente em sua capital Bangkok, uma metrópole bem grande mas recheada de cultura e as vezes até com cara de cidade pequena, com muitos becos e restaurantes de rua. O nosso hotel ficava bem perto do aeroporto e era barato, confortável e seguro. Mas em compensação era muito longe de qualquer atrativo da cidade, então tivemos que passar um bom tempo dentro do metro, que alias era muito eficiente e fácil de se usar. Fiquei impressionado com algumas coisas na Tailândia, por exemplo, como as pessoas gostam de fazer compras! São Shopping centers gigantes, com 8 ou 9 andares e quando eles fecham, os vendedores de rua dominam as estações do metro, com roupas, bugigangas, brinquedos, etc… Conheço certas pessoas que não iriam reclamar nada disso… hehehe Em Bangkok também fomos ao Grand Palace (o palácio do Rei) que fica na mesma quadra de vários templos budistas muito imponentes e bem cuidados. Pra chegar nesse lugar, a gente teve que pegar um water taxi, ou seja, um barco-táxi publico no rio principal que corta a cidade. Como era hora do rush, nos misturarmos com a população local, incluindo estudantes, moradores, alguns turistas e até monges foi uma experiencia muito legal. Também notamos muita fé no povo Tailandês, que adoram seus Reis e Deuses, com muitas estatuas e mini-templos espalhados por toda a cidade. Depois da capital, fomos a uma ilha chamada Koh Samui, onde sabíamos que haviam algumas praias, um parque nacional de ilhas e também um pouquinho de balada, afinal já faziam vários meses que a gente não saia um pouco na night. Com certeza encontramos as baladas, mas no geral essa parte do litoral nos decepcionou um pouco. A vibe não era das melhores com locais mal-encarados e muitos estrangeiros em busca de turismo sexual, que alias estava lá na cara de todo mundo e bem disponível… Eram muitos caras mais velhos com meninas bem novas da Tailândia, nunca vimos nada igual! Toda vez que você saia do hotel, eram ofertas de massagem, táxi, moto-táxi, restaurantes, artesanatos, drugs, etc… Sossego não existia! A gente já tinha até uma estrategia de que lado da rua passar em cada parte para evitar os vendedores. Mesmo não tendo sido uma das partes mais legais da nossa viagem, todo país tem algo para contribuir e uma lição para te ensinar. Na próxima vez, iremos a lugares diferentes na Tailândia… Sawadee!

Palace

Images of the Grand Palace – amazing styles

Drawings

Beautiful paintings on the walls

Buddha

Architecture – The sacred emerald Buddha statue

Guard

The guards of the palace couldn’t smile or even move

MBK

Miya really enjoying her Thai meals at MBK

Tuk tuk

Tuk-Tuks are everywhere in Bangkok

Boats

One of the many canals in the heart of Bangkok

Angthong

Angthong marine national park

Couple

Relaxing in one of Koh Samui’s beaches

Army

The army of masseuses!

Dr Fish

Dr. Fish – It was a weird but cool experience

~ by The Local Way on September 8, 2010.

6 Responses to “Thailand – God save the King”

  1. E eu não iria reclamar, mesmo. A carapuça serviu. Gostei bastante da arquitetura de lá também. Quanto ao Dr. Fish… eca…

  2. Compras?????? Eu odeio!!!!!!

  3. Beautiful photos and descriptions of your experiences! Makes me want to go to Thailand! We miss you and appreciate the updates! Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays! Paulo – your photography is superb!! Much love, Beau, Von and Cole

  4. Dear Friends , very nice blog nice photos, good food, good waves, good good good all good
    keep up
    marcio and carol

  5. Finally somebody else has mentioned the skin whitening products! I think the big brands should be really ashamed of themselves, trying to sell products (lifestyles) that dont work to people who are already poor. They sell them all over Asia. Your pictures of the palace are good. I lost all mine in the camera that was stolen in bangkok. (My own fault)
    And yes, Koh Samui is a bit of a dump. Too many people looking for paradise turns paradise into a dump unfortunately.

  6. Skin whitening is usually done with lightening acids like kojic acid. in the old days, chemicals like hydroquinone are used but it is now banned today. *.”`

    Please do check out this useful online site
    http://www.prettygoddess.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: