Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top 6 Things I Did Not Do In Thailand (Without Pictures)

I've had a great seven weeks in Thailand, but it was noticeably marked by all the traditional tourist things I did not do. And no, I haven't been living off the grid in some far away-super-amazing outpost that the backpackers won't start blogging about for another decade. As mentioned in prior posts, I've mostly been working on my website and experiencing more of an internal journey. But everyone loves a good listicle, right?

Top 6 Things I Did Not Do In Thailand (In My First Seven Weeks Here, At Least):

Grand Palace, Bangkok

In Bangkok there's this massive Grand Palace estate in the heart of the city. It's been there since Bangkok was just a little river town (I assume) and is filled with palaces, castles, gilded temples, fancy furnishings, dragon staircase bannisters, and Buddhas -- one carved of emerald and one gigantic, gold and reclining. At least I think they're both in there. Maybe the reclining one is next door. I'm pretty sure it's considered part of the same complex, though. But I don't know for sure because I haven't been there.

Elephants

Who doesn't love elephants? I mean, except for the Chinese who kill them to ground up their tusks to make man more potent! People used to come to Thailand and ride on an elephant, get their picture taken riding an elephant, etc. But then we learned that those elephants are not well taken care of. So now you can go visit elephant sanctuaries, where they help rescued elephants. I'm not sure if these elephants ever make it back to the wild, or if they just live in a white-collar prison. I don't know because I didn't go see any elephants in Thailand. The sanctuary visit sounds like a fun day, though, having playful mud fights with elephants.

Long-Necked Women 

You've seen these women of the Karen Hill Tribe on a National Geographic special before. They're the ones who, at a young age, begin putting those gold hoops around their neck. The hoops are stacked and they use them to elongate their necks. Every now and again they add another hoop and it forces their neck to keep growing longer. I'm not sure why they do this. Does it look sexy to the Karen heterosexual men and homosexual women? Or just to the heterosexual men? Or do they not even have such words for sexual sub-groups? I don't know. I didn't go see them even though I was 100 meters away during a rural walk the other day. The signs were pointing me there. It was clear that someone wanted me to visit. But it didn't feel right to me. They must want my money, but I'm not interested in a financial transaction that involves me paying money to gawk quite so gaudily at another culture's norms. I guess I prefer to do my gawking in a more subtle way.

Temples

Thailand has many Buddhists. Buddhists make many temples. They are all covered with gold and dragons and gold dragons. Inside there's a big Buddha with incense. There are hundreds of them, but I saw enough temples in Japan to take care of me for awhile.

Beaches

You know the movie "The Beach" starring one or two of those really famous actors? The good looking ones? Yup. It was filmed in Thailand. Thailand is a long, skinny country with lots of oceanfront property. Plus, there's a shitload of islands. The young party people love the Thai beaches. The eco-yoga retreat people love the Thai beaches. I always enjoy hanging out on a beach for a few hours if there's a steady supply of cold beer and not too many people. And not too hot. You know, like low-mid 80s Fahrenheit is alright. But much hotter than that is just too hot for my cold soul. I haven't been to a Thai beach, though. Haven't seen the movie, either.

Full Moon Party

At one of the famous Thai islands is a famous monthly Full Moon Party. Every full moon they host a rager with lots of dance music and backpackers and hippies and drugs and booze. There are beautiful people partying in bathing suits. Probably some casual sex going on. I'm not sure, exactly. I haven't been.

Might be fun, though.

No comments: