I started my “Advent”ure to SE Asia and India , flying from London Heathrow Nov 30 , landing in Bangkok Dec 1. I had to work around Christmas dates to see my son in Chiang Mai, who came here a year ago. I had never entertained the idea of trip when Christmas was going on. It has proved a brilliant idea!
Chiang Mai is where I am right now, and I have been on an incredible trip. Partly on an endeavour to see if I can really be globalised, I have been experiencing Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and India, namely Kolkata, Bangalore, Kerala. I still have almost 2 weeks and am savouring every moment. Travelling, especially to East, is definitely an inner as well as worldly exploration and certainly a revelation.
Whilst my trip was not at all focused on plants, nevertheless it is plants which have defined these very different regions and responsible for the unique foods, medicines, plants even beliefs which permeate through some amazing cultures. As people, We are definitely not all the same, yet we are also not different, but ‘different’ is what I came for…Nobody will ever convince me that diversity is not the very best thing for us and that if we are to survive and thrive, respecting difference and its place is the first thing.
So here are the favourites where plants are certainly responsible for the memories of rich and varied cultures. Bangkok starts the roll..
National Museum, Bangkok is home to the old palace and wonderful temple. with incredible artistry, interiors and buildings in wood.
Temple interior painted wood floor to ceiling and furniture, , trees widely celebrated as the raw material; C18th Queen’s box, Queens cotton and silk slippers, hand carved wooden 4-poster bed with hand made cotton and silk mosquito net
Outside the Queen’s Red House is an elegant topiary, typical ceramics holding the lotus.
Inside the elegant, stunningly beautiful pallequin, the chair which sits upon the elephant to carry royalty. Made from wood and inspired decorations of lotus.
Food, flavours and art for all
Coconut . Milk, coconut water, oil, flesh, sugar, coir fibre for weaving and twisting, mat making, bark for burning, leaves for weaving, nectar from the incredible flower see on table, which creates the sweet tasting coconut sugar. Perhaps we either haven’t learned how to be so resourceful with our plants in the West or we have forgotten.
Charisma of the orchid. Mangroves supporting canals to the Floating Market outside Bangkok. Floral decorations for the home, office and whatever the highway.
The best banana fritters, recipe worked from grandmother to grand-daughter at the Floating Market
Royal Crematorium. Myths and legends of the deities live in the steaming, crafted water garden, sculptures and watercolours
© 2017 La Floralie 3