Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Jun 2, 2012


After lunch we made our way to the Vientiane airport for our 1:50 p.m. Thai Air flight to Bangkok, Thailand.

Called Svarnabhoomi (Golden Land), and situated in the heart of Indochina peninsula, Thailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia.

It is the world’s 51st largest country in size, but the world’s 20th country most populous. Ninety-five percent of its people profess Buddhism, which was introduced from India in 3rd Century BC.

Hindu influence came later, but it is still evident in Thai culture and traditions. For example,
some Thai kings have claimed to be reincarnations of the Hindu God, Vishnu. Vishnu’s mount the giant bird Garuda adorns roofs of Thai royal palaces and temples.
The currently ruling Chakri dynasty kings assume the title of Rama, upon their accession to the throne. Former capital of Thailand was named Ayutthaya (after Hindu god Rama’s birthplace, Ayodhya, in India). Scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana (called Ramakien in Thailand) are painted on the walls of royal palaces.

Thai dance and culinary styles are quite similar to those in India.

In a little more than one hour after we had left Vientiane, we landed at Bangkok.

Bangkok is Thailand’s capital. It is not only the country’s largest city, but also its political, commercial, industrial and cultural center.

Last time I had visited Bangkok in 1982. Twenty-nine years later, its roads are more jammed with traffic, and streets, shopping malls, and places of tourist interest more crowded with people.

We did not see any evidence of damage caused by the recent floods, probably due to many canals which had been dug in the area, several years ago, to absorb excess water from previous floods, under an initiative of the current king, Rama IX. By the way having ascended the Thai throne in 1946, he is the world’s longest ruling monarch. His pictures adorn many public and private paces in the country. And saying anything about him is against the law.

It took our taxi much longer negotiating through crowded roads to Chaophya Park Hotel, located
in the Dindaeng district.

After checking in, we went out to explore the neighborhood. On the way, we came across a small wayside shrine with idols of Hindu god Ganesha, Buddha, and a few other deities.
Later that night our son, Snehal, and daughter, Shilpa, joined us with their families.


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