For the past two weeks, our Acupuncturist, Andrew Lin, has been vacationing in Thailand! Whilst in Thailand, he was able to absorb the culture and visit popular attractions. Here’s a brief breakdown of what Andrew did:
To begin, Andrew visited Monkey Temple. Here he was able to feed monkeys and watch them play [Figure 1].
Did you know: There are currently 264 known monkey species.
Following this, Andrew was able to free his inner-Vancouverite by kayaking through caves in Amphoe Mueang Krabi. On this tour, Andrew was able to see all the different coastal ecosystems and canyons. In Thailand, the caves are a popular tourist destination for their beautiful limestone and exotic bats. Here you can see the tour group that Andrew was with, kayaking along the coast of the Mueang Krabi District [Figure 2].
Next up, Andrew went to Chiang Mai, where he was able relax for the day at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. This sanctuary is a great place for tourists to visit the elephants as it is both ethical and sustainable. During the day, Andrew was able to play with the elephants in the water as well as wash them in mud [Figure 3].
Did you know: Mud can act as a natural sun protectant for animals like elephants or hippos.
After his day relaxing with the elephants, Andrew was able to experience some of the nightlife in Chiang Mai. In the evening, Andrew went to go see the Muay Thai fight night, where he won 5 out of 7 bets with the bartender as to whom would win each fight [Figure 4]!
The next day, Andrew was able to attend a cooking class to make authentic Thai food. Here you can see the different dishes he made [Figure 5].
As part of his trip, Andrew made an effort to visit the “Gateway to Heaven” White Temple in Chiang Rai, otherwise known as the Wat Rong Khun. Owned by the Thai visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the White Temple was built as an art exhibition for the people of Chiang Rai and it’s visitors. It is stylized as a Buddhist Temple and features The bridge of “the cycle of rebirth”, the Gate of Heaven, the Ubosot, and the Golden Building [Figure 6].
Being the main building, the Ubosot is a large white structure with fragments of mirrored glass in the walls. This building takes on many design traits of classic Thai structure, including the three tiered roof and the serpent deities whom are legended to protect the Buddhist Temples. The Ubosot is meant to convey an overall message of the wickedness in people, because of this, despite the “pure” exterior, the inside of the Ubosot features fiery colours and the grand emerald Buddha, dressed in golden robes sitting on a throne in the central hall. To reach the Ubosot, people may pass over the bridge of the “cycle of rebirth,” which emits that to obtain happiness, a person must resist the temptations of greed and desire. These visions of greed and desire are represented in the Gate to Heaven exhibit. which is guarded by two creatures; one of death and the other of Rahu, who decides the fate of the dead. Finally, the Golden Building is the temple’s washroom area. However, it is much more than this, It symbolizes the body and people.
In Chiang Rai, Andrew was also able to visit the Long Neck Tribe. These women sometimes can have up to 25 of the heavy brass rings around their neck, this results in the shoulders and rib cages of the women being compressed down [Figure 7].
Andrews final stop took him to the Golden Triangle. Known for it’s production and distribution of opium on the ghost island, the Golden Triangle is a popular tourist destination. Andrew was able to take a guided boat tour through the rivers of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos [Figure 8].
All Photos by: Andrew Lin