By: Reissa Valerie Tahadlangit
At the heart of Southeast Asia lies a wonderful and abundant kingdom called Thailand. As it was blessed with nature’s beauty, Thailand is undeniably tempting to explore and wander. Aside from its people, Thailand has other assets that assure the tourists for a remarkable and most treasured vacation.
Thailand has innumerable tourist spots that could cater one’s curiosity and longing for a worth remembering visit. One of these is the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Accordingly, it was built at the end of the 19th century after King Rama V travelled to Europe and brought back a marriage of Thai and western architectural styles. Since the Royal family does not reside here, it is used for ceremonial purposes and is opened for public seeing to share and spread the history and legends of Thailand through the galleries of paintings and murals. There are also audio guides in various languages that the tourists could rent for them to have a full understanding of this collection of masterpiece.
Another most important attraction in Thailand, which the tourists should not dare to miss, is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is the first permanent structure made in Thailand. Traditional belief has it that if you pray before this Emerald Buddha, miracles will happen and everything that you’ve prayed for will be given to you. This Emerald Buddha symbolizes Thailand, thus, people believe that if this Emerald Buddha be destroyed, so will Thailand.
Chao Phraya river cruise and a stop to the Wat Arun Temple would complete one’s Thailand escapade. Wat Arun is the temple that stands-out in Bangkok. It is supported by rows of demons and monkeys and is decorated by thousands of multi-colored Chinese porcelains. The central balcony commands an impressive view of Bangkok across the river that could bring a relaxing feeling.
Lanterns have found its cultural importance in Thailand as it became part of the traditional activities of the locals for hundred years. During the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods, a Brahman rite was performed in the 12th lunar month and lanterns were launched in the air to welcome the gods. This tradition was followed by the locals of Thailand and is celebrated even up to the present times. Yi Peng Sky Lantern Festival is one of the most colorful and most celebrated festivals in Thailand. Thousands of khom fai (sky lanterns) are floated in the air during the 14th to 28th day of February as a way of reminiscing the ancient times and in celebration of the undying Thai tradition.
Performance entertainment is also varied and colorful in Thailand. Khon and Lakhon are both forms of dance-dramas for which one doesn’t need to be knowledgeable of Thai to enjoy. These dance-dramas usually revolve around love and romance, war, history and events in the past as the central themes. Artists usually show their talents through this performances and share Thai culture as well.
A country’s culture and tradition can also be seen in its food. In Thailand, food forms a central part of any social occasions or becomes the social occasion in itself. The locals believe that eating alone is a sign of bad luck, thus, food for them is a reason to celebrate. Thai food is known to be exceptionally delicious because of its salty, sweet, sour and spicy as the main seasonings. People would usually say that Thai food is not satisfying unless combine all four taste.
Travelling in Thailand could be the most spectacular experience one could have. Thailand, with its diverse and colorful tradition is certainly a paradise to wander, discover and live. Tourists should not be contented with visiting the place and taking photographs, they should learn to see the vastness and richness of the Thai culture as well. They should learn to appreciate the beauty of Thailand and Asia in general and promote to the world that Thailand is indeed the land of smiles.