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THAILAND (1)

FRIDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

Prompt ~ Explore what your travels in Asia have been like.

THAILAND

by John Yeo

Margaret and I have travelled to Thailand three times and we have been more intrigued and interested in the culture and the cuisine each time we’ve visited. Our most recent visit was in January 2020 in a wonderful comfortable resort on the island of Phuket.

Our first treat on our latest return visit to Thailand was to visit the resort restaurant by the sea where we indulged in a magnificent lunch of the excellent Thai cuisine.

The restaurant table overlooked the beach and the bay, with a sparkling blue sea, and palm trees along the walkway past the beach.

We familiarized ourselves with the location of the local shopping centre and the layout of the hotel.

The sunsets here are magnificent and we snapped some beautiful photographs of the sunset on our first night in Thailand.

We booked a table to see a colourful show in the restaurant in the evening featuring the amazing Thai ladyboys, young men who dress spectacularly as young women and mime to popular songs. The show was excellent and we marvelled at the lengths the young men went to; to dress and act as females. There were some lighthearted moments when one of the boy girls waggled a pair of huge balloons in time to the music.

We visited an open air market that consisted of canvas tent-like stalls selling a great variety of goods. There seemed to be an incredible amount of designer labels on the clothes and we came to the conclusion, these were obvious fakes. There were also a few stalls selling electronic goods at amazingly cheap prices. To our eyes the most eye opening sight were the unhygienic stalls selling fresh meat and fish in the open air that attracted millions of Thai flies. This would never have been allowed in the U.K., the USA or the European Union.

A visit to a Thai cultural show was the next memorable highlight. The pre-show featured a parade of Thai dancers, complete with a few elephants, that raised some criticism among members of our family when we displayed our photographs later. The show opened with the Thai national anthem; the audience were required to stand as a mark of respect for the King. The performance itself was an interesting amalgam of aspects of Thai life. It was colourful, entertaining and interesting.

We also visited the famous Big Buddha, a huge unfinished temple that is being constructed inside a massive statue of the Buddha. There were displays of various religious statuary and displays of both Buddhism and some Hindu religions along the route to the Buddah. We climbed some steep steps to the top of the outside, where we enjoyed a magnificent view of the local area.

We then went on to visit Phuket botanical gardens. This was a beautiful experience, although it was January when we visited and we had missed the peak of the floral splendour.

©️ Written by John Yeo

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