Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is 100-percent situated in the tropics. It’s hot and humid and, sometimes, there’s torrential rain. The capital city of Bangkok is a cacophony of color and humanity: traffic jams, food markets, flocks of monks in saffron-colored robes, temple spires, and gaudy neon. And all of that only enhances its appeal.
Thailand is blessed with otherwordly beauty. From the hills and forests in the north to the terraced rice fields in the central plains, it seems to embody every imaginable shade of green. But hit the coasts, and the colors explode into other rainbow colors: fuchsia flowers, aquamarine waters, red-brown rock formations, and blindingly-white sand beaches.
That vibrancy is reflected in the food (colorful, spicy), the people (friendly, Buddhist), the wildlife (diverse, majestic), and all the activities they invite you to try: hiking, cooking, snorkeling, splashing, eating, drinking, living.
In this episode, we discuss how a trip to Thailand will engage all your senses, get hungry for Thai food, learn about a jewelry heist for the ages, talk about a giant Buddha, and daydream about Bangkok. We also recommend five great books that transported us there on the page, including a tragi-comic coming-of-age story, a dreamy family saga, a gritty crime novel set in Bangkok, a fresh look at Buddhism, and a cookbook that’s really a travelogue.
Read the full transcript of Thailand: Come for the Food, Stay for the Spiritual Enlightenment.
Let’s set the scene:
Here are a few shots of Bangkok…
… and rice fields.
… and the beach.
Sriracha was invented in Thailand. Thank you, Ms. Thanom Chakkapak! Here’s a documentary about this beloved spicy sauce.
That Bangkok Life has the inside scoop on all the cool stuff you can do in Bangkok.
We would really like to visit Wat Mahathat to see the Buddha head wrapped in the banyan tree:
Statement 1: In Thailand, the traditional way to greet a new baby is to say, ‘Welcome to the world, little one. I will show you the way.’ Get the real scoop on what Thais say to welcome a new baby right here.
Statement 3: The largest gold object in the world is in Thailand. For 20 years, it was stored in a tin shack. Feast your eyes on the Golden Buddha.
Robert Wright is the author of Why Buddhism is True. In this interview, he shares what he learned while writing his book.
And here’s the Tweet that Dave mentioned in the show:
At bedtime the 8 yo told me his teacher said: “Think of your mind like a pond full of fish and each fish is a feeling. Try to be the pond, not the fish.” And all I can say is primary school has significantly improved.— Megan K. Stack (@Megankstack) March 4, 2022
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