Tales from the Road: Bangkok
Along the waterfront of the Chao Praya River in Bangkok

The Thai people view architecture as a major art form, most evident in the Buddhist temples (wats, as they're known).

You can see the roofline shapes and rich colours standing out all over the city.  The care and detail that has gone into the design and building of the wats is just amazing.  Rooflines are steeply pitched and decorated at the corners with representations of a mythical sea serpent.

As well as the wats, there are little shrines everywhere, where people make offerings of food, or burn incense.  It's reassuring...


Artist working on a shrine at Wat Chana Sogngkhram in Banglampoo

In local sports, the big event this week is the King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament down in Hua Hin.  It's "not for the faint-hearted," according to the local press, with two and a half metre long mallets, and two tonne elephants bumping into each other.  Yikes!  There are ten teams in this international gathering, but I don't think Canada is represented here.

When we got our tickets for the flight to Asia, I noted we would be departing from Vancouver on a Saturday and landing in Seoul, Korea on a Sunday, and assumed it would be an overnight flight.  As it turned out, we chased the sun all afternoon for about 11 hours, crossing the International Date Line over the Bering Strait.  Alas, it was cloudy below and we couldn't see where Russia and Alaska almost meet.

Somewhere over Kamchatka in northern Russia, I discover that among the selection of movies offered on our Singapore Airlines flight was Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, featuring Slim Pickens in one of his most notable performances (after Dr. Strangelove, of course).  This was the ultimate mix of cultures.

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