Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ongoing Preparations!

Howdy to all my beautiful followers!  I know it's been too long since my last post but school has been crazy these last couple weeks.  Now I have plenty of time to let you know how preparations for our wonderful Thailand trip are going!

So first of all our flight and our tours are booked.  We fly Air Canada from Toronto to Bangkok with a stop in Tokyo.  The total flight duration is approximately 20 hours, so I will remember to add Gravol to my preparation list.  I'm not very good at sleeping on planes unfortunately.

The next item on my list, what do I need to bring?  My mom and I went on a little shopping trip to Eddie Bauer for a few important items, like quick-dry clothes and shoes.  My feet will be very happy during this trip.
I also have my big backpack and smaller daypack all picked out.  Camera, shoes, bags, clothes, flights, hotels.... we are well on our way to a successful trip!  Time for a bit of research to Thai culture.

I found some very interesting tips on how to act in Thailand from wiki travel, and wanted to share them with all of you:
  • Greetings:  The traditional greeting in Thailand is known as the wai, where you press your hands together as in prayer.  It is usually accompanied by a slight bow.  There is a strict hierarchy involved with this greeting where inferiors must salute superiors first, for example "You should not wai service people or street vendors".  Foreign visitors are not expected to know how to do this properly.  A slight bow is more than enough when someone greets you with a wai.
  • Temples:  It is important to show respect when visiting temples.  Appropriate clothing (shoulders and legs should be covered) is necessary.  You also need to remove your shoes before entering a temple. When sitting in front of Buddha, it should be in the kneeling position with your feet tucked under you (your feet cannot point in their direction).  Also, you can take pictures of a Buddha statue but you shouldn't take a picture of you posing beside the statue (this is disrespectful). 
  • Monks: Women are not allowed to touch a monk.  They should avoid eye contact, and move out of their way on the street.
  • Royal Family: Do not disrespect the royal family, it's illegal.  So if you say anything bad about them, you may wind up in jail.
  • Others: The head is considered the holiest part of the body while the foot is considered the dirtiest.  It is disrespectful to touch another person's head.  Similarly, do not touch people with your feet, point at people with your feet or step over someone's feet to pass.  
I also came across a website that revealed the 50 most delicious foods, and four of them came from Thailand!  So here are a few dishes that Mal and I will be trying during our visit:
  • Som tam: A spicy green papaya salad, usually eaten with barbecued chicken and sticky rice.
  • Nam tok moo: A grilled pork salad.
  • Tom yum goong: A spicy soup with shrimp.  One of Thailand's most famous soups
  • Massaman curry: A famous thai curry commonly made with beef.
When it comes to food, the only thing left for me to do is memorize how to say "only a little bit of spice" or "no spice" and I will be good to go.

Well that's all I have for now. I hope you enjoyed this post!  Sorry about the lack of pictures, I wanted to add some food pictures but I can't figure out how to add a photo album to these posts.  This might be a problem.


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