(Photos By Sandy Zimmerman)
A tour to Bangkok’s Floating Market is relaxing and thrilling at the same time. First we climbed on a long-tailed boat in Bangkok to experience life along the Chao Phraya River (“River of Kings”) and canals. Every turn of the river brought exotic sights of old temples and traditional wooden houses built on stilts. The river is busy with bamboo-hated vendors paddling their small boats from farms to sell their fruit, vegetables and flowers. Just wave and the boats come over to your boat, sometimes you do not have to wave. The Floating Market is a tradition which has been followed since early times. These waterways were once important as a means for transportation and trade. When we arrived at the Floating Market in Old Bangkok, a pageant of boats filled the waterway. It is named the Floating Market because the boats float around the waterfront cafes and shops. So close to the big modern city of Bangkok, yet this is another world! Here we had the chance to stroll around and take photos of the activities. Some boats were even floating kitchens where they cooked food on small stoves. We could have a snack or meal in just minutes.
INTERVIEW IN THAILAND
While visiting Bangkok, I had the opportunity to discuss the excitement of visiting Thailand with Sethaphan Bruddhani, Director of the America Market Division, with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Thailand’s motto “Amazing Thailand” is the perfect description for the country. Bruddhani explained, “We have seven amazing wonders for tourists- our food, festivals, wellness, nature, Thai-ness (The art and grace of Thai living), beaches and cultural treasures. When you choose Thailand for your honeymoon or wedding, it will cost much less than in the United States. You can even arrange an exotic wedding riding on an elephant’s back, under water, on a cliff on top of a mountain or set in the rain forest and at luxury resorts. Choose a traditional Thai-style or conventional wedding ceremony. The price of our luxury hotels here is the normal price Americans pay for a Holiday Inn or standard hotel in the United States.
Adventure seekers can not only ride an Asian elephant, but you can see they are very smart! In Surin Province, the villagers raise elephants as pets and may keep 2-3 elephants underneath their tall stilt homes. During the third week in November, they have an “Elephant Round-Up” festival bringing over 300 elephants back to their villages. Tourists can ride on an elephant or watch them play football, basketball, throw darts, play tug-of-war and other activities.
Thailand’s spas are reasonable and give great value for the money. In the United States, Americans want to get their money’s worth but in Thailand you get more in terms of reasonable prices, hospitality, and services. Conde Nast Magazine named Thailand in the ‘”‘†’ ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ”’†’ ‘” ‘” ‘” ”’†’ ‘” ”’†”’¹†’ ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘” ‘…”Top 10 Spas in the World.’ Health Tourism is popular today because of the quality of our doctors. Around 90% of the doctors were educated or graduated in the United States.
Tourists can try a cooking class, learn fruit carving, or mingle with the Thai people to see the culture. This is a great place for families. Children can learn something different from the ways of Western life.” Sethaphan Bruddhani invites everyone, “Once in your life come to Thailand!”
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