TAJLAND – THAILAND – ราชอาณาจักรไทย

Planinsko selo na severu Tajlanda-A mountainous village in the North of Thailand

Planinsko selo na severu Tajlanda-A mountainous village in the North of Thailand

Plemenska svecanost na severu zemlje-A tribal festival in the North

Plemenska svecanost na severu zemlje-A tribal festival in the North

Pogled na reku Cao Praja u Bangkoku-A view of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok

Pogled na reku Cao Praja u Bangkoku-A view of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok

Polje opijuma u Zlatnom trouglu-An opium poppy field in the Golden Triangle

Polje opijuma u Zlatnom trouglu-An opium poppy field in the Golden Triangle

Pravljenje tradicionalnih papirnih suncobrana-The making of traditional paper parasols

Pravljenje tradicionalnih papirnih suncobrana-The making of traditional paper parasols

Prodavci lokanih suvenira oko mesta Ciang Mai-Local souvenir vendors in Chiang Mai

Prodavci lokanih suvenira oko mesta Ciang Mai-Local souvenir vendors in Chiang Mai

Skakavci, crvi i ostali specijaliteti-Grasshoppers, worms and other specialities

Skakavci, crvi i ostali specijaliteti-Grasshoppers, worms and other specialities

Svestenik u setnji-A monk walking

Svestenik u setnji-A monk walking

Tradicionalni camac na jugu zemlje-A traditional boat of the South

Tradicionalni camac na jugu zemlje-A traditional boat of the South

Travestit u baru u cetvrti Patpong-A transsexual in a bar in Patpong district

Travestit u baru u cetvrti Patpong-A transsexual in a bar in Patpong district

U narodnim nosnjama na obali reke Mekong-In the traditional clothes on the shore of Mekong river

U narodnim nosnjama na obali reke Mekong-In the traditional clothes on the shore of Mekong river

Wat Pho Temple Prangs

Wat Pho Temple Prangs

Zena zirafa sa vratnim prstenovima iz naroda Kajan-A Kayan Lahwi woman with neck rings

Zena zirafa sa vratnim prstenovima iz naroda Kajan-A Kayan Lahwi woman with neck rings

Zlatna stupa u okviru Kraljevske palate-A golden stuppa inside the Royal Palace

Zlatna stupa u okviru Kraljevske palate-A golden stuppa inside the Royal Palace

Camac na Krabiju - A boat on Krabi beach

Camac na Krabiju – A boat on Krabi beach

Camac na Krabiju-Boat on Krabi

Camac na Krabiju-Boat on Krabi

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku - The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku – The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku -The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku -The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku-The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Kompleks Kraljevske palate u Bangkoku-The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Lezeci Buda u hramu Vat Po-The Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho Temple

Lezeci Buda u hramu Vat Po-The Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho Temple

Na Andamanskom moru-At the Andaman sea

Na Andamanskom moru-At the Andaman sea

Nisam posebno oduševljen nekom zemljom koja ima odrednicu: turistička destinacija, što Tajland definitivno jeste. Sve ono što se, međutim, ovde može doživeti van standardnog turizma, čini ovu zemlju posebnom. Obilazimo tako, delom peške, delom na slonu, džungle tajlandskog severa, prolazeći kroz polja opijuma, gde lokalni vodič posebnim zviždukom mora da naglasi da prolaze turisti, a ne policija ili vojska. Spavamo u brdima, u selima bez vode i struje, dok seljaci i vodiči, pošto pripreme hranu za goste, odmah legnu na stranu i predaju se čarima dugih opijumskih lula, što ubrzo prelazi u totalnu obamrlost i san. To im, ipak, ne smeta da sutradan ustanu odmorni i pripreme slonove za dalje putovanje ka čuvenom Zlatnom trouglu, tromeđi Tajlanda, Burme i Laosa na reci Mekong, gde je trgovina drogom najvažnije zanimanje.
Mala sela između gradova Čijang Maj i Čijang Raj na krajnjem severu Tajlanda često imaju svoje svetkovine, koje traju do kasno u noć, uz neobičnu muziku i akrobacije na ogromnim ljuljaškama od lijana. Kupanje slonova u reci ovde je posebna radost za obe strane, posebno za onoga ko je spreman da uđe u vodu i metalnom četkom donese neizmerno uživanje ovoj divnoj životinji, što će sigurno biti nagrađeno mlazom vode iz surle.
Jug ove zemlje, pored ostalog, čine i brojna ostrvca sa obe strane tajlandskog kraka, koja se ovde nazivaju koh. Koh Samui ima prostrane bele peščane plaže sa bungalovima za bezbrižan odmor, ali i za one koji žele robinzonski turizam. Koh Pee Pee ima čuvene visoke morske pećine, u čijim vrhovima se nalaze ptičja gnezda, koja su specijalna kineska poslastica. Rizikujući da padnu na oštre stene, vešti lokalci, pomoću dugih bambusovih štapova i verući se uz skoro vertikalne zidove pećina, sakupljaju ta gnezda, dok ih turisti radoznalo posmatraju. Taj deo Tajlanda bio je posebno zahvaćen cunamijem, a ja u tom tenutku samo zamišljam kako moj holandski prijatelj Theo van der Rijk, veoma krupan i visok čovek, beži od ogromnog talasa i završava na palmi.
Glavni grad Bankok ipak je nezaobilazna tačka svakog putovanja na Tajland. Taj megalopolis na reci Čao Praja pruža sva zadovoljstva koja se mogu zamisliti. Jedno od najvećih je rana jutarnja vožnja plovećom pijacom na severu grada, gde prodavci krstare dugim drvenim čamcima nudeći čitave koloritne samoposluge lokalnih tropskih proizvoda.
Prepodnevno lutanje po gradskim hramovima ostavlja zlato u zenicama koje teško odatle izlazi, toliko ga ima na palatama i pagodama centralnog gradskog kompleksa, po kome šetaju budistički sveštenici i njihovi učenici u jarkonarandžastim togama, sa suncobranom u ruci i osmehom na licu. Popodnevni šoping je novi izazov za ljubitelje svile, večernji se ostavlja za tajlandsku kuhinju, a noćni za poznatu četvrt Pat Pong. Ako se možda u ovom noćnom izazovu naizgled malo pomešaju polovi, treba razumeti da je tu ponekad relativno ko je muškarac, a ko žena. Transseksualna hirurgija je na Tajlandu veliki biznis, kao i njene posledice. Ipak, kad vas već obuzme luda tajlandska noć u ovom gradu, samo joj se prepustite i, kako bi se populano reklo, pustite da sva čula uživaju.
Uz sve mere opreza, naravno.

Septembar 1986.
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I am usually not delighted with a country that is a tourist destination per se and Thailand definitely is. Yet, everything that can be experienced here outside the standard tourism makes this country special. So we roam the jungles of Northern Thailand, partly on foot, partly on elephants, we pass through opium fields where a local guide has to announce by whistling a special tune that it is tourists passing, not the police or the army. We sleep in the hills, in villages with no water or electricity; the villagers and tourist guides, as soon as they have prepared food for the tourists, lie down on their side and abandon themselves to the delights of the long opium pipes which lead them rapidly to total stupor and sleep. Yet this does not seem to affect them and the following morning they get up rested and ready to prepare the elephants for the continued journey towards the famous Golden Triangle, the tripoint of Thailand, Burma and Laos, on the Mekong River, where drug trafikking is everyone’s main occupation.
Small villages between the towns of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the furthest North of the country often have festivals that last long into the night, with unusual music and acrobatics performed on huge swings made of vine. Elephant bathing in the river is a special treat for both parties, especially for those brave enough to enter the water and bring immense pleasure with a metal comb to this wonderful animal, which is certainly reciprocated with a jet of water from their trunks.
Among other things, the South of this country comprises of many small islands on both sides of the Thai peninsula and they are called koh. Koh Samui has vast white sandy beaches and bungalows for a carefree relaxation, but also for those who crave a Robinson Crusoe type of holiday. Koh Pee Pee boasts famous tall sea caves in which bird nests could be found; they are a special delicacy of the Chinese cuisine. Risking falling on sharp rocks, skilled locals climb almost vertical cave walls and with the help of long bamboo sticks harvest the nests, under the curious gaze of tourists. Sadly this part of Thailand was particularly badly damaged by the tsunami; yet at that moment I only imagine a comical situation in which my Dutch friend, Theo van der Rijk, as tall and stout as he is, finds himself running away from the huge wave and ends up on a palm tree.
The capital city, Bangkok, is still the unavoidable highlight of every travel to Thailand. This megalopolis on the Chao Phraya River offers all kinds of pleasures imaginable. One of the biggest pleasures is the early morning ride on a floating market in the Northern part of the city; the vendors ride their long wooden boats offering a full spectrum of colours of their grocery goods, the local tropical fruit and vegetable.
A morning stroll through the city temples leaves a golden reflection in the eye of the beholder, which stays there for a long time – as gold is omnipresent on palaces and pagodas of the central city complex; there buddhist monks and their disciples wander around wearing intense orange coloured robes, carrying parasols and with smiles on their faces. Afternoon shopping is a fresh challenge for silk lovers, evenings are reserved for Thai cuisine, while nights are to be spent in the famous Phat Pong quarter. If during this night challenge, sexes get mixed up a little, it should be understood that it is relative who is a man and who is a woman. Transsexual surgery is big business in Thailand, as well as its consequences. Yet, once you immerse yourself in a crazy Thai night, just let yourself go, and as they say, let all your senses enjoy.
Of course, with all the precautionary measures.

September 1986

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