I can show you pictures, play you videos, and tell you stories that depict the one month I’ve spent in Thailand. But the truth is, nothing will compare to what I have experienced with my bare eyes in this mystical land. It was magnificent in all levels others can’t quite fathom with mere pictures and stories. However I’ve attempted to capture it through a photo documentary, in the hopes that it will inspire you to set foot in this land one day and embark on a grand adventure so you can experience it for yourself. But for now, here’s the beginning of the journey, through my eyes.
The ancient ruins of Thailand’s former capital, Ayutthaya.
I was completely awestruck by the sight of these majestic ancient structures and buddha statues everywhere. History has its way of sending shivers down my spine and inducing blissful goosebumps. I find beauty in the ruins. The ground I walked upon had endured centuries of chaos. And now it sits calm and at peace. Then I think of my life and the battles I’ve had within myself, the chaos I’ve endured within, the inner peace I have found within the past couple of years and the person I have become. I sit on one of the ancient brick walls and I feel connected to this place. I am not so different from it in a sense.
One of my favorite things about this country are the Buddhist monks you see everywhere doing everyday things. Hanging out on their porches, riding scooters, talking on their phones, sometimes meditating in random places.. I can’t help but smile to myself every time I see them.
They said that when the Burmese defeated Ayutthaya, destroyed the temples & beheaded the Buddhas, many debris fell to the ground and were left there. For a long time the temple was completely deserted and the trees started growing over it, including one that grew around the Buddha head. It’s incredible how nature can easily find a way to somehow restore its beauty. Even through concrete structures.
I am a huge lover of elephants as they are my favorite animals. However, I did not do any elephant riding throughout this whole trip because I didn’t want to contribute to the elephant tourism industry. It’s unfortunate how the mahouts treat their working elephants, and ironic because they are considered to be sacred in this country. It’s so sad to see that most people see Thai elephants as a moneymaking endeavor. These beautiful gentle giants are not meant to paint, entertain humans, do tricks, ride people around their backs all day to be stuck in a cage all night. They should be free to roam around in their jungles, they must let them be. (See Chiang Mai post for my experience with Elephant Nature Park and more detailed story of elephants in Thailand).
I need these ellies in front of my house one day!
Found Mr. Turtle randomly crawling around the grass. Hello little creature!
Pad thai, my everyday meal.
The ferry ride in King River was one of my favorite moments in Bangkok. A couple new friends and I took it to Chinatown. We were caught in the rain at one point and were completely drenched. But I didn’t mind, getting caught in the warm rain if one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Although Bangkok was my least favorite place in Thailand, it still has its own charm. I appreciated the sights, the intricate designs of all the temples, the night life, the great people I’ve met, the incredible food (my diet consisted of 90% pad thai the whole time I was there) and cheap cheap cheap shopping. But after a few days of the city, it was time for me to move on. So I took an overnight train to a place I have been longing to experience for quite a while: Northern Thailand…