Thailand Adventures – Bangkok
Today we visited a beautiful Buddhist temple near the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Since it was out of the tourist zone, the temple was very quiet. Upon entry we were happily greeted by smiling faces and iced tea drinks. The kindness and smiling is something I love about the culture in Thailand. Most people who we pass on the street look up and smile at us, which is very different from the custom in America to mind your own business. Thailand is known as the “land of smiles”.
Right as I entered the temple, a kind old woman motioned for me to come over. She invited me to walk inside and to explore the temple at will – which I took advantage of. Unique decorations, huge golden Buddhas, and monks where a common sight. I listened to a monk, dressed in flowery orange fabric, lead a chant along with many other people, surrounded by colorful flowers and decorations.
Taking part of the temple experience felt very spiritual, and very different from the western church experience.
The woman who I mentioned earlier was very eager to talk to my family as she knew a little English. She asked us where we were from and told us she was 83 years old. After, she wished us happiness forever. Her blessing was so kind and genuine, my favorite memory from Bangkok.
The beaches of Puerto Morelos.
Soft, white sand hugs my feet as I walk towards the ocean in Puerto Morelos. The surf is so calm, a sparkling blue hue as far as the eye can see. Children on spring break are laughing and splashing in the clear shallow water as adults relax and watch from beach chairs on the sand. The cool, clear water water laps around my feet as I walk further from the dry sand. The water is amazing. It is cold and refreshing and well worth the sunny, three kilometer walk from the bus stop. Occasionally, quick boats pass by carrying happy tourists, excited to snorkel and dive, out to the nearby reef. There are shallow places to snorkel near the shore too, providing a beautiful home to colorful coral and fish and turtles.
The peaceful little port town is just a thirty minute bus ride from the crazy and crowded Cancun beaches. Not many tourists come to the area as large hotels are limited. However, good food is abundant. Beachside restaurants offer drinks and snacks, or for a cheaper alternative vendors walk down the beach carrying boxes on their heads of delicious fresh fruits, coconuts, and sweet treats.
For dinner after a day at the beach there are endless Mexican and seafood restaurants on the town. Booths of interesting souvenirs are scattered about the lively park in the center of town. Energetic kids slide and swing
on a nearby playground.
At the end of the day a natural color show of blues, and yellows, and pinks light up the sky. A bittersweet goodbye to a beautiful day in an even more beautiful place.