Friday, July 31, 2009
This is me at the feet of the reclining buddha. Five days in Thailand is more of an adventure than I had imagined.
The Bangkok Christian Guest House is a beautiful missionary retreat center in the heart of Bangkok. The BCGH is so central that it is on Silom Rd; better known as the Red Light District of Bangkok. Now, Bangkok has somewhat of a reputation for being a shady city, but the Guest House is in the shadiest part of the shady city.
It was quite an experience. There were hookers on every corner and you never knew if anyone was a guy or a girl. I tend to be an open minded person, but even I was overwhelmed by the surroundings. It was a great jumping off point to the culture.
This is one of the go-go bars on the street. Guys On Display. G.O.D. Really. This is real.
Even at the most beautiful buddhist temples there is a gay and lesbian presence. This was quite a shock, coming from South Korea where they don't even know what gay is. When I was waiting at the airport (11 hours) I read a book in the bookstore about Ladyboys, the gay/transgender population in Thailand. It was a really fascinating book. Apparently they come from all over Asia to the one place where they can find acceptance, Bangkok Thailand.
Lumpini Park, right down the road, was crawling (heh ... literally) with gila monsters. It was so cool to get right up close to them and get photos.
A fellow TFC grad doing mission work in Thailand, Ruth, met up with me in Bangkok for Sunday evening worship at Christ Church and dinner. It was fun hearing about the country and culture outside of the tourist trap I was experiencing.
This is beautiful Wat Pho. THE Thai tourist attraction, it houses 3 huge golden statues of buddha. Including the reclining buddha. It was ok ... much too tourist-y for my likes, but on this particular trip I was nothing more than a tourist.
A truly tourist event, a Tuk Tuk ride. At less than a dollar, it's a fun way to get from point A to point B ... as long as you have a strong death wish.
During this trip I made my first visit to a Hindu Temple and Muslim Mosque. I had seen Hindu Temples in India, but none of my teammates wanted to go inside of them.
M.R. Kirkut was a prime minister, foreign dignitary, and member of the royal family. His home is now a museum. It's off the beaten path and not exactly a high tourist destination. This stunning woman and her husband were being prepared for a professional photo shoot in the home. I told her that she was very beautiful and asked if I could take her picture. She quickly agreed.
When we got to our hotel I opened the Thai newspaper, I immediately recognized the man standing in the picture and then saw the woman I had talked with. The caption highlighted the prince and princesses who attended the birthday party of the King.
I met the prince and princess! What a crazy event.