Gilt for the notable

In Bangkok, the taxicabs are bright pink, vendors grill chicken and fish and eggs right along the street, and various places are adorned with giant, colorful, gilded portraits of the king and queen. “All of the people love our king so much,” said our tour guide, “because he is so kind and good.” Prior to 1949, Thailand was Siam, and the Grand Palace that housed members of that regime was pretty heavy on the gilt as well. You can’t film in the Grand Palace, which is actually complex of ornate temples and official buildings, and you can’t photograph the jade buddha in the main temple. You can, however, buy lotus flowers to dip in the holy waters, which you then sprinkle your head. And, at the Rose Garden, a long van ride across town, you can pay a buck to handle the albino python or 75 cents to buy tiny bananas to feed to the elephants. These acts of tourism work toward a larer purpose. The vacation day allows the students to shake off their jet lag and get acclimated to the heat and the time change and to another culture. “We take a day in Bangkok to help people to understand what kind of development is possible in Asian culture,” said David Dornbos. We’ve been told that what we will encounter across the border and 10  hours away is a lot less touristy.

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3 comments so far

  1. Jeanette Henderson on

    Hi Myrna,

    Looking forward to reading more about all of your adventures.

    Jeanette

  2. Lynn on

    Thanks for using a Lynn word: “touristy.” Great to read about your adventure so far! Prayers are with you today!
    Lynn

  3. Nellie Wright on

    Sounds like you are having a great time in Bangkok! I am glad you all arrived safely.


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