HOTEL BOOKINGS

Save on your hotel - www.hotelscombined.com

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Culture - ‘Thainess’ in the 21st century


Considering all the prevailing negative stereotypes about Thailand and Thai people, it is understandable why the Thai government would want to promote a greater understanding about Thainess. But Thainess is nothing new.

Classical Thai dancers, golden-spired temples, floating markets – such Utopian images of Thailand have been greatly exploited in tourism promo campaigns since the 1970s and 1980s, widely portrayed in “Visit Thailand” posters pinned up at tour offices and Thai restaurants around the world.

Those initial impressions we drew from such imagery may still have a place in many of our hearts; at first sight, we were immediately drawn in, awed and intrigued by such cultural color ...

While these iconic elements are indeed uniquely Thai and have been so for centuries, they don’t accurately reflect or portray the identity of modern Thailand and the majority of its people.

Much is the disappointment for many to learn that such images are far from the reality, that the Thai people of the present day, for better or worse, have long-evolved, and made numerous self-preserving identity-sacrifices over the decades and centuries in keeping up with reform and modernization.

Most Thai people today have never even been on an elephant, let alone sat on a wooden canal boat – certainly not for commuting.

Indeed, floating markets and elephant camps are little more than fading tourist attractions to meet the expectations of those still seeking to fulfil expectations of that glorious, idealistic image of century-old Siam.

Many luxury hotels will continue to market and exploit this expectation. And it is at/through such properties where you still may be able to see a classical Thai dance/music performance, or book a trip to the nearest floating market, or to the jungle for an elephant ride.

But beyond the hotel lobby’s tour desk, you’ll eventually have to emerge from that proverbial cave of allegory, coming to the realisation that the majority of the khlongs have long been abandoned or filled in with concrete.

Modern Thai people spend thousands of hours a year in traffic jams, if not on the back of a recklessly speeding motorbike, or squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in overcrowded public transport ... But such “modernisation” challenges are not unique to Thailand, and ubiquitous across the developing world.

As for embracing “Thainess” in a modern context, we must look below the surface, where there lies a certain prevailing charm and lure; it is just as much about the outlook and hospital nature of the Thai people – that smile that says “I’m curious about you...” – that friendly, optimistic spirit which can be found in abundance across the kingdom. full of millions who will happily welcome complete strangers into their family homes, and feed them into a coma.

An empathetic and intuitive people who you can depend on to lend a hand if it is within their means, and they’ll likely not ask for anything in return.

Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the Thai people's good-willed nature, but let us not forget that deceit and greed are universal wherever there is ignorance and economic disparity.

So let us try hard not to feed such negative pessimism, and instead embrace the longevity-enabling optimistic outlook for which Thainess is foremost and firmly rooted. Mai Pen Rai na, Yaa Kit Maak ไม่เป็นไรนะ อย่าคิดมาก – It’s alright na, don’t stress it!

Adapted with permission from original article on www.siamerican.com
.
Considering all the prevailing negative stereotypes about Thailand and Thai people, it is understandable why the Thai government would want to promote a greater understanding about Thainess. But Thainess is nothing new.
Classical Thai dancers, golden-spired temples, floating markets – such Utopian images of Thailand have been greatly exploited in tourism promo campaigns since the 1970s and 1980s, widely portrayed in “Visit Thailand” posters pinned up at tour offices and Thai restaurants around the world.
Those initial impressions we drew from such imagery may still have a place in many of our hearts; at first sight, we were immediately drawn in, awed and intrigued by such cultural colour ...
While these iconic elements are indeed uniquely Thai and have been so for centuries, they don’t accurately reflect or portray the identity of modern Thailand and the majority of its people.
Much is the disappointment for many to learn that such images are far from the reality, that the Thai people of the present day, for better or worse, have long-evolved, and made numerous self-preserving identity-sacrifices over the decades and centuries in keeping up with reform and modernisation.
Most Thai people today have never even been on an elephant, let alone sat on a wooden canal boat – certainly not for commuting.
Indeed, floating markets and elephant camps are little more than fading tourist attractions to meet the expectations of those still seeking to fulfil expectations of that glorious, idealistic image of century-old Siam.
Many luxury hotels will continue to market and exploit this expectation. And it is at/through such properties where you still may be able to see a classical Thai dance/music performance, or book a trip to the nearest floating market, or to the jungle for an elephant ride.
But beyond the hotel lobby’s tour desk, you’ll eventually have to emerge from that proverbial cave of allegory, coming to the realisation that the majority of the khlongs have long been abandoned or filled in with concrete.
Modern Thai people spend thousands of hours a year in traffic jams, if not on the back of a recklessly speeding motorbike, or squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in overcrowded public transport ... But such “modernisation” challenges are not unique to Thailand, and ubiquitous across the developing world.
As for embracing “Thainess” in a modern context, we must look below the surface, where there lies a certain prevailing charm and lure; it is just as much about the outlook and hospital nature of the Thai people – that smile that says “I’m curious about you...” – that friendly, optimistic spirit which can be found in abundance across the kingdom. full of millions who will happily welcome complete strangers into their family homes, and feed them into a coma.
An empathetic and intuitive people who you can depend on to lend a hand if it is within their means, and they’ll likely not ask for anything in return.
Sure, there are plenty of exceptions to the Thai people's good-willed nature, but let us not forget that deceit and greed are universal wherever there is ignorance and economic disparity.
So let us try hard not to feed such negative pessimism, and instead embrace the longevity-enabling optimistic outlook for which Thainess is foremost and firmly rooted. Mai Pen Rai na, Yaa Kit Maak ไม่เป็นไรนะ อย่าคิดมาก – It’s alright na, don’t stress it!
Adapted with permission from original article on www.siamerican.com
- See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/culture-thainess-in-the-21st-century-53852.php#sthash.fzq3Gsto.dpuf

.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

GLOW Pratunam, #Bangkok


In the heart of Bangkok City, GLOW Pratunam Hotel offers rooms with free Wi-Fi. It features an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant.


 Suvarnabhumi International airport is a 40 minute drive from GLOW Pratunam. Siam Paragon Shopping Center and MBK Shopping Mall can be reached with a 15 minute ride from the property.


 Each room provides an iPod docking station, a flat-screen TV and a sitting area. The rooms also feature a private bathroom with shower facilities.


Guests can utilize the fitness center at the hotel. There is a 24-hour front desk for guests' convenience.
Thai and International cuisines are served at the on-site restaurant.

Pathumwan is a great option for travelers interested in Clothes Shopping, Shopping and Food. This district is also highly rated for Nightlife, Temples and Shopping by guests from Thailand.

*
 
*

*

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thailand to restore rail link with #Cambodia


Thailand is hoping to resurrect a rail link with Cambodia to improve transport in the Mekong sub-region, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday.
The prime minister told visiting Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng that Thailand was looking forward to seeing the tracks connecting the two countries restored to reopen the link through Cambodia to Vietnam.
The State Railway of Thailand was rehabilitating the six kilometres of track from Aranyaprathet station in Sa Kaeo province to the border at Ban Khlong Luek, opposite Poipet town. Work is expected to finish by the end of this year.
Cambodia, meanwhile, is rebuilding the line from Sisophon to Poipet.
The railway connection between Aranyaprathet and Sisophon stopped in the 1970s due to internal conflicts in Cambodia.
Gen Prayut said the train link will help plans to develop special economic zones between the two countries and benefit the Dawei deepsea port in the future.
Sar Kheng is in Bangkok to attend a meeting of Thai and Cambodian governors which runs through Friday to build up cooperation between their border provinces.

Source: BangkokPost

*
 
*