The Beauty of Thailand is hard to describe. The ancient blends with modern buildings, malls and masses of people. Food is everywhere. Smells are everywhere, most of them good, some you walk by faster. I am very grateful for Kathy and Joy’s care, showing me around their city, share the food they eat and exposing me to so many wonderful new sights.

The water taxi runs up and down the river, stopping on each side of the river bank. Groups of school girls and tourists hop on mixing with the locals, who are on their way somewhere. Reminding me of West Seattle, riding the water taxi to work is my favorite way to commute back home.

One evening I attended Siam Niramit, a cultural performance similar to a Broadway show. An impressive stage, listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest stage, includes a waterfall, a river, elephants and a stunning stage set. It tells the story of the Kingdom of Thailand against music, beautiful costumes and scenes of times past. Before entering the stage, visitors are encouraged to walk around the Thai village, a replica, displaying rice fields, traditional houses, farming tools and crafters.

The Grand Palace, Reclining Buddha and National Museum, each lovely in their own sight, were crowded with mostly chinese tourists. I enjoyed what I could, marveling at the intricate details of traditional thai artists and craftsmen. Lunch at the zoo was lovely and less crowded.

The King and Queen are honored all over Thailand, especially in Bangkok, with large photos, paintings, sculptures surrounded by ornate creations, often at large intersections, public parks and historical sites.

I’ve included some lovely scenes from Chiang Mai, the canals surrounding the old city, orchid gardens in the city park and food vendors cooking at the night market.