In tourist areas of Bangkok you will find plenty of Western known hotels (Marriott) or restaurants (Hard Rock) but please visit Local Restaurants before you orchestrate a shopping extravaganza suitable for any purse size as long as you shop at Thailand local markets not the Western known places. There are a number of attractions to be found in the outlying areas of Bangkok and adjacent provinces such as King Rama IX Royal Park, Nonthaburi, The Ancient City, and the one that caught my eye … Damnoen Saduak Floating Market (rent daily 7 am to 1 pm longtail boat and float to each local fruit, vegetable or flower boat to purchase their goods.) Bangkok has a sky rail and metro subway for best access around. Also important (or at least to me) public bathrooms are not readily available so look for Western hotel or restaurant around town to use unless you are willing to try a “squat house.”
Note, never ever insult Thailand Royalty or Buddhism! Buddhism in Thailand is nearly 95% of the population belief and worship style, this stems from when King Ramkhamhaeng the Great made this the predominate religion. Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage from Buddhism.
The first major force that has influenced the development of Buddhism in Thailand is from Theravada school of Buddhism, imported from Sir Lanka. The Theravada school provides most of the major themes of Thai Buddhism, by traditional Pali and the language of religion in Thailand. Scriptures are recorded inPali, using either the modern Thai script or the older Khom and Tham scripts. Pali is also used in religious liturgy.
The second major influence on Thai Buddhism is Hindu beliefs received from Cambodia. Vedic Hinduism played a strong role in the early Thai institution of kingship, just as it did in Cambodia, and exerted influence in the creation of laws and order for Thai society as well as Thai religion. Certain rituals practiced in modern Thailand, either by monks or by Hindu ritual specialists, are either explicitly identified as Hindu in origin, or are easily seen to be derived from Hindu practices. While the visibility of Hinduism in Thai society has been diminished substantially during Chakri dynasty, Hindu influences, particularly shrines to their god Brahma, continue to be seen in and around Buddhist ceremonies.
The Thai tradition supports men to go into a monastery, dress and act as monks, and study while there. The time line is based on three, staying as a monk for three days, or three weeks, or three months or three years, or example of three weeks and three days. This retreat is expected of all male Thai, rich or poor, and often is scheduled after high school. Such retreat brings honor to the family and blessings (merit) to the young man. Thai businesses make allowances for men who follow this practice, such as holding open a job. Female Theravada bhikkhuni lineage was never established in Thailand. As a result, there is a widespread perception among Thai is that women are expected to live as lay followers, making merit in the hopes of being born in a different role in their next life.
You might also want to get and read before going a book called “Insight Guides Thailand” by APA Publications which the Hubs has read for all of Thailand! Frona hope you enjoyed this and as “we personally” believe the “next life,” will be with God not in reincaration… just say’en! Until next time everyone, keep it Real … REAL FUN that is 🙂 Brenda