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Destination Thailand: Sukhothai

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    #31

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      #32

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        #33
        Re: Destination Thailand: Sukhothai

        Your images of locals doing traditional hand-works are fascinating.
        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
        Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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          #34
          Wat Traphang Thong

          On my last day in Sukhothai before returning to Bangkok (to meet with the conference organisers and head on to Khorat), I had every intention of spending my time in the Historical Park. In particular I thought I'd revisit the temple remains at its centre, around Wat Mahathat. But, hinging on the decision of a moment, my day turned out to be completely and memorably different, and for the third time in as many days I was blest with experiences which touched me deeply.

          Walking from where I was staying into the small town of Old Sukhothai, and along the main street which leads to the park, I passed the market. Or rather I didn’t pass by, but took a moment to stroll down its alleys and look at this and that…



          …from fish, fruit and vegetables




          …to the ever popular Rubik Cube!

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            #35
            Emerging at the far side of the market there were streets, and a building – part of a nearby temple Wat Traphang Thong. The whole area was a buzz of activity, unloading of boxes as if for some food preparation to follow, people arriving, groups of schoolchildren milling around, many ladies smartly dressed in white clothes –clearly some important event or other. I’d initially wondered wedding, but that didn’t explain all the schoolchildren, already coaxed into line by their teacher and processing into the building. I noticed the profusion of decorations, draped of material in the Thai flag’s colours, as well as yellow flags and many portraits of the King, though that was hardly unusual, especially in the couple of weeks preceding his Birthday.



            I hovered on the edge of all this activity, wondering whether or not I should take a photograph. A lady, perhaps noticing my hesitation, or simply appreciating a foreign tourist having more than a casual interest in the proceedings, approached and spoke to me. Ah, her English was rather good; maybe she had spotted in me a chance to practice her language skills. And so I learned that the occasion was indeed the start of events in celebration of His Majesty the King’s 84th Birthday Anniversary.

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              #36





              She offered me some tea, and assured me I was most welcome, not merely to take a quick look inside the temple hall but to join them in what was to follow if I so desired. Indeed I did!

              We talked. I told her what had brought me to Thailand on this second visit – the conference I was to attend, itself timed to coincide with the Birthday Anniversary and to be opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

              And I told her also about what had brought me to Thailand in the first place… I told her of my best and dearest friend, Norwegian but Thai at heart, who for so many years had called Thailand home. I told her how, just the previous day, I had for him found my way to the Phra Puttha Chinnarat, and all that profound experience had meant to me.

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                #37





                Everyone was welcomed, and then there followed an address on the significance of the forthcoming days and prayers for the King.

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                  #38
                  Re: Destination Thailand: Sukhothai



                  A book had been placed on the small table in this picture which the people could sign, and which would later be sent from this community to His Majesty the King.



                  I could scarcely believe when I was invited to sign the book. It is an extraordinary privilege to have done so.

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                    #39

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                      #40
                      At lunchtime there was food provided for everyone on this auspicious occasion.




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                        #41




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                          #42
                          My new friend introduced me to the monk who is her teacher, and I talked with him and made a donation to the temple.
                          I was glad to have the opportunity to apologise for my dark clothing, for I had come out little expecting what this extraordinary day would bring. She delighted in my meeting many of her friends, translating for me, and out came their cameras and I was asked to take many a photo!

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                            #43

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                              #44


                              In the afternoon I joined with everyone in meditation.

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                                #45
                                Re: Destination Thailand: Sukhothai

                                Wonderful Lady C... looks like you have found something that really fell in taste there in the land of smiles.
                                With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                                Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                                Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                                Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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