Travels in Thailand

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Over winter break I traveled outside of the country for the very first time.  My destination: Thailand.  From trying coconut pudding to seeing a “lady-boy” show, being in Thailand was far different from spending the holidays in Los Angeles.  In classic tourist fashion (and because I’m still reminiscing over the trip) here is a glimpse of Thailand as I traveled to the capital of Bangkok, the northern city of Chiang Mai, and the island of Phuket.

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In the city of Ayutthaya sits the 19-meter high gilded, sitting Buddha called, Luang Pho Tho.  Built in 1324, it is thought to be one of the oldest Buddha statues in all of Thailand.

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A local villager walks across a makeshift bridge strung together with bamboo stalks near the Doi Inthanon National Park.

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A woman works on a large umbrella in the Bo Sang Umbrella Village.  The Handicraft Centre in Chiang Mai features artisans who craft silk, lacquer, jewelery, cotton, and more.

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Once the capital of the country, Ayutthaya now has many ruins after being destroyed by the Burmese that serve as remnants to its roots.

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The lesser-known walking market in Chiang Mai is where the locals go rather than the touristy night bazaar.  By the time evening hits, the street is packed as locals sell their wares and street food.

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The sacred temple, Doi Suthep, houses the gold chedi which is said to hold the ashes of the Buddha.

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The largest reclining Buddha in Thailand at Wat Pho near the Grand Palace is a spectacle to see.  46 meters long, the Buddha is squeezed into the room as it represents the passing into the last stage of Nirvana after death.

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New Year’s Eve on Phuket, the largest island of Thailand.  At Surin Beach people gathered on the sand letting lanterns go as they waited for the fireworks that would mark the new year.

Venturing out of the country for the first time, it was enthralling to see a different way of life.  While I worry about my biology grade, there are people sipping fresh coconut water straight off the tree or zipping through the busy streets of Bangkok on a motor bike.  However, while Thailand was unforgettable, it’s also good to be back home in the one of a kind SoCal.

—Tessa Weinberg