Cycling down a tree-lined avenue in one of the more exclusive and affluent areas of Bangkok, you will be forgiven for thinking that you are in London’s Soho or even LA’s Beverly Hills, albeit with a touch of oriental exoticism. However, peel away the upper crust, and you will notice that Thailand is as ancient as it is beguiling.
“Beguiling”, you ask? How? Well, take its monarchy for example. Yes, for all of Thailand’s myriad of attractions, both human and natural, its monarch lords over it all. Its monarchy is nearly 800 years old, and attracts foreign media attention not for its mysticism (which it has a plethora of), but for the strict laws that protects it from media scrutiny and petty insults by its proletariat.
So secretive is its monarchy that even little is known of its King – Rama X. He ascended the throne in 2019, almost three years after the death of his father. Still, even the Monarch of Thailand cannot escape the prying eyes of our digital age, because it has been found that he is fond of cycling! He is such a keen cyclist that he has often led mass biking events in Bangkok, even cycling in a crop top in Switzerland and Germany!
So now we know that he has a penchant for cycling, as part of his royal duties, he is also the “Upholder of religions”, because Thailand is a melting pot of religions and cultures. Suffice to say, temples are aplenty.
At its best, travel should challenge our preconceptions and most cherished views, cause us to rethink our assumptions, shake us a bit, make us broader minded and more understanding.”