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Donna in Thailand’s Travel Diary

Monday, 12 Jul 2010

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Map(Another email prior to starting the blog on July 13th):

Hi everyone! Got up early to go to temple today - actually a few temples (Buddhist, that is!) Took another tuk-tuk ride to get to the Grand Palace and the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha. It's impossible to describe the opulence and ornate tile work that went into the buildings there and at the other temples I saw today. Truly magnificent. And of course all the structures have their own special function and meaning. I made some new friends today! First was a Thai lady who works at the gift shop there. We spoke for quite a while and exchanged email addresses. Then after the tour there I was invited to join a young couple from Malasia ( who speak English like it's their mother tongue.) The girl Elaine is Matti and Mel's age and the boy Isaac is a couple of years older than Ilana. We chatted as we toured and I found out that they're among the Christian minority in Malasia (primarily a Muslem country. Just as Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba, Malasians are not permitted to visit Israel. The more I travel the more I see similarities between people rather than differences).

Tomorrow morning another volunteer (from Holland) and I will travel together to Chaiyaphum in the northeast part of Thailand to get situated with our placements. Looking forward to it (but not the 5 hour bus ride!) I have met several Europeans and Asians who have traveled extensively in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Maybe it's the size of our countries of the USA and Canada that keeps most of our travel domestic rather than with the same foreign scope as people from smaller lands.