Sawasdee & Welcome to Thailand
Sawasdee ka, explorers! It’s late in the evening, the air is hot and humid, and I’ve just arrived in a place over 8,000 miles from New York City – the city in which I live. 8,000 miles! That’s one-third of the Earth’s circumference!
Hi there, my name is Tati and I’m your guide through Thailand. Although a relatively small country, its climate and landscape is very diverse. In Chiang Mai, in the north, you’ll find the country’s highest mountain range, rice paddy fields, and even rain forests. In Phuket, in the south, you’ll find long stretches of white-sand beaches and lush tropical trees.
My first stop is Bangkok the country’s capital and largest city. With over 1,000 skyscrapers, it’s an extremely modern city. Neon signs above light up the sky. Below, a series of canals, known as khlongs, run through this bustling metropolis. These waterways were the main form of transportation before modern buses and buzzing tuk-tuk taxis invaded the city streets.
My eyes are struggling to adjust to the strange new language written across the storefronts and traffic signs. A series of swirls and curlicues seem to make up the Thai alphabet. I practice my “sawasdee ka” in the car on the way to the hotel. “Sa-Wat-Dee Ka.” I keep repeating this phrase which means “hello!” I was careful not to say “sawasdee krap”, as that’s how a man would say “hello!”
In my jet-lagged state, I arrive at the hotel to a chorus of “sawasdee ka.” I’m excited to explore Bangkok!