Archive for December, 2007

Thailand Celebrating a King’s Birthday

Posted in Life, Places, thailand, Tourism with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, December 5, 2007 by Colin Quek

(sook sun wan gerd) Happy Birthday in Thai. Today Dec 5th is the 80th birthday of the King of Thailand – His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX of the House of Chakri. A recent short trip to the kingdom was a real eye opener to the progress made to the country. I was totally caught of guard when I saw the new highways that stretch across the city of Bangkok. Its called the Sky-Bridge. I have no doubts as to the reason for the name, given its height above the streets.

the major modes of transport in the city

a shot of the subway station at Siam

traditional 3 wheel vehicle or “tut tut”

a very courteous tut tut driver

even Ronald Mcdonald is affectionately doing the Thai “hi” – sawat-dee

Taking a stroll along the walkways in downtown Bangkok is so carefree. Albeit travelling along in a foreign land one has to be more cautious, yet the sight of security guards dotting the city area quickly puts me at ease.

though he has a vest labeled as Security Guard, he’s also in charge of directing traffic

my thai friends and colleagues


The streets are lined with hawkers selling everything from traditional Thai food to modern fashion apparel e.g. heels, hip-hop caps, etc

bubbletea for 10 baht, that’s only a few Singapore cents!

pardon me, but I’ve never seen a jackfruit this size before

lottery sellers dotted the streets

Taking a breather from the afternoon sun in Central World was even more delightful, I was quickly assailed by the sight of the building. I mean its not only tall, its sprawled full of boutiques, electronic stores, restaurants. A search on the net turns out that this is Thailand’s LARGEST shopping mall…why wasn’t I not surprised.

this is the main road running across Central World

I can think of at least 10 friends who will give an arm for a tv this size!

Of course we can only complete this trip by interacting with the Thais. First impressions lasts they said, this second trip affirms my first impression of Thais that I got few years ago…WARM, MINDFUL, CARING…Always courteous. These are the common traits that run from the person on the street to the well-heeled executive I’ve encountered and befriend. And did I mention arts?

Do the Thais favor huge majestic buildings or is the size of the gargantuan buildings and structures a reflection of the love the king has for the people of Thailand?

To close this post, I would like to add what my airport driver told me, he said with (with much affection in his eyes)

The king really really loves his people, and we all love the king very much

No doubt today we will hear many going “Long live the king”, “Happy birthday to the king”.

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