No, I didn’t try out Thailand’s exotic food of crickets and scorpion. But I did taste their famous Pad Thai (Thai-style stirred fry noodles) and Tom Yum (hot and sour) soup. I wasn’t able to ride elephants. But I was able to ride their version of Philippine’s tricycle – the tuk tuk, an auto rickshaw. I didn’t get any Thai massage but I had the chance to have a combat martial art, Muay Thai workout. These are but a few of the things you can do and experience in Thailand. Add to that the magniﬁcent temples you could visit like the Royal Grand Palace Temple and the Wat Arun Rajwararam (The Temple of Dawn).
Touchdown Bangkok. A city buzzing with noise, activities, and life. A classic example of fast paced progress and development co-existing with the cultural and traditional lifestyle. Of tall modern buildings popping up with still standing old age temples. Of business people and tourists, here and about, alongside Buddhist monks in their orange robes which symbolizes their vow of selﬂessness and simplicity.
What more to experience the Thai culture than to stay in an actual Muay Thai camp and meet the famous owners, Mr. and Mrs. Sangsuwan. I mean they must be really famous because they showed us this magazine with an article and pictures of them on it.
There were nine of us who were taken in by the family and were treated to a tour, local delicacies, and Muay Thai training. Each of us had a moment with the coach as he directed us to kick and punch. I was told that I was actually good so I thought this could possibly be a career option in the future!
With us during that training were these young boys and girls who apparently have regular sessions. Plus there’s a lady boy. There was an argument as to his or her gender. A lady? A boy? Turned out, a lady boy which is not uncommon in Thailand.
What I knew about Thailand was limited to its really good horror ﬁlms such as “Shutter” and its popularity for cheap cosmetic surgery. But now I’m impressed as to how they are overtaking the Philippines in terms of development.
I believe the way they’re liberal towards reproductive health reducing population is one factor. They also seem to put premium on education as they employ Filipino English teachers. A lot of my friends who decided to become English teachers in Thailand feel right at home. My Thai buddies also told me that they had Filipino teachers, good ones at that, which makes me feel even prouder to be a Filipino.
Me, living and working in Thailand? That could deﬁnitely be a possibility. I could follow the trails of my fellow Filipinos and be an English teacher. Or be a Muay Thai boxer!