Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tourism in Thailand

Adele and I visited Elephant Safari Park near Ciang Mai.
 Scott and Adele, husband and wife,  are two Canadian English teachers. They retired and came here for one year to teach English. We live at the same building and have a lot of activities together. Scott did not come with us to safari. He loves golf.

Until now I thought that safari does mean hunting in Africa. But here safari means to look in park at wild animals. Elephants were not wild. They were trained. But anyhow the adventure had the name of safari, probably it sounds more romantic.

Adele and me (left) riding an  elephan

We went to the river

We crossed the river and went along another bank of the river

Entered back in  the river

Out of the river to elephant compound

Elephants go to bath

Elephant bathing

Elephant eating

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thai weddings

The Thai wedding is officiated at home by monks in the presence of close family, usually in the morning. Guests are invited to the wedding party in the evening.

Wedding party of a young and handsome associate professor was planned in French 5 star hotel in Chiang Rai. I asked one of my colleagues what present I have to give. He told:

-Money, only money

-How Much?

-500 to 1000 b ($1=33 baht)

Thinking that the hotel is 5 star I put in envelope 2000 b.

When I arrived I saw a lot of flowers and exquisite arrangements everywhere. It was a big, beautiful dining hall, music, and great food. The bride, a beautiful girl, has a great wedding gown. Over 200 guests. I was only once at such a rich wedding in my life. That were not my friends, but my children friends, multimillionaire family in California.

I felt terrible for my small gift, only 2000 b.

The groom and  bride made a picture with every guest, as guests arrived. The groom and bride did not come to dining room until guests finished their dinner. After our dinner the bride and groom vent on the stage together with the family members. Speeches continue appr half an hour. After that the wedding tort was cut. There was music but not dance or singing.

The next day I asked one of my colleagues if a family with the wedding is very rich. She told: “not rich, but wealthy, both families, of the bride and of the groom.” I wondered how they could afford such a great wedding.

My colleagues told me, that it is a very typical Thai wedding. She told me about her wedding. At her wedding, over 300 persons were invited, because Thai families are big. Her and her husband's family were over 100 people each. The remainder were friends and coworkers. The food was around 100 b/person. The hotel did not charge any rent, because hotel restaurant sold food and had a good profit. The bride gown was rented. A guest family of two gave 500-1000 b as a present. It covered all expenses.

Come to Thailand for your wedding if you want to have it rich and inexpensive.

Village museum

Village museum

During the flower festival, a village museum was organized in the park near by the flower exhibition.
It was something similar to the Bucharest village museum. There were houses from different places of Chiang Rai province with their characteristic decorations, adornments and utensils.

The houses are build on the pillars. The house, strictly speaking, is build on the second flour. On the first flour, on the ground, is the place to cook food and to do handicraft. It is a shady, well ventilated place.
In the cities houses are build in the same fashion. At the ground may be a restaurant or a shop.

Guess, who is the Thai woman on the left in this picture

Flower country - Orchids

Orchids are growing everywhere in Northern Thailand. There are many orchids farms, parks and botanical gardens. I made hundreds of photographs with orchids.

A Danish biologist visiting Thailand at the beginning of 20th century described over 400 species of the orchard family.

In majority of cases orchids do not grow in soil. They grow on the branches of trees, but do not parasite trees. They use tree as a support. Their roots are hanging free from the trees. The roots have white color. You can see roots in the first seven photographs.

Pure Beauty

Northern Thailand - Flower Country. Flower festival

Jan 6, 2010

Flower festival

In Northern part of Thailand, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces, the average year temperature (25 C) is lover by 7 C, than in Bangkok (32 C). Hence this part of country is more suitable for agriculture. Flowers grown here are sent to Bangkok. Both, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, have International airports. Cargo air planes transport flowers over the world. Both cities have Flower Festivals. It is a big touristic event. I made some photographs at our Chiang Rai festival. Hope you enjoy them.