Off we go!  Asia will miss us but it isn’t fair to America for us to stay away.  In the many trips I have led to this region, it usually happens that by this time, everyone is both ready to go home and settled in enough to stay.  Homesickness usually occurs much earlier in the trip.  We are leaving with some new friends, new experiences, and a lot of memories.  This is a region rich with friendly people and ancient and fascinating cultures.  We also have a greater appreciation for the challenges and opportunities for students whose future employment might land them in this area.

We had a free day today.  Some of us got an all day boat pass and traveled the Chao Phraya river, stopping at interesting places along the way.  It is no wonder that Bangkok is called the “Venice of the East”.

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Scenes from the boat.  The last is a photo of Wat Arun, the “Temple of Dawn”, one of the most important temples in Buddhism.

100_3209 100_3210 100_3211 100_3212 100_3213 100_3215These shots are in Wat Pho, another important temple, with a massive Reclining Buddha statue, and is home to a Thai medicine and therapeutic massage school.

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Women are required to wear these hard-on-the-retina robes while in the main temple.

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Sam and Kim, posing with the monkey gargoyles.  I don’t think you are supposed to ride them.

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The temple architecture is impressive.

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Rich and Stan, posing with guardian dragons.

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This is the Grand Palace of the King of Thailand, who has reigned for many years.  The people love their king.

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There are markets like this everywhere.

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If you want to know the proper form for greeting, in Thailand, ask Ronald.

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This is another temple that we passed while walking around at one of the pier stops.

100_3247This is one of the ubiquitous Tuk Tuks that are everywhere in Thailand.  They have a reputation for taking you where they want you to go, rather than where you want to go.

That’s it!  An amazing trip with a great group.  We are off at 3 AM for the long journey home.  Thanks to the students, our business hosts, and to Kim for handling logistics and a thousand other details.  See you stateside!

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