Mark Arbeit: Thailand


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I’m married to Thailand via my wife Pattariya. Over the past 15 years, I’ve visited this land with its warm people, spiritual culture and delicious food!

Like Thai cuisine, traditional Thai massage is also unique to this culture, and can be enjoyed in every city in Thailand—even under a coconut tree on the beach on one of the many islands.

We visit Thailand at least once every year and a half. Our trip usually begins in Bangkok, where we stay for a few days. After Bangkok, we head off to one or two of the other Thai Islands. A few of our favorites are, Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Pipi. Our last trip, we visited Koh Chang and Koh Kood.

During the last leg of our trip, we visit my wife’s village, which is near Ubon Rachatani, in Northeast region of Thailand. This area is also known as Isan—situated near the Mekong River, opposite the riverbank to Laos.

If you’re planning on visiting Bangkok, Wat Pho Temple is one of our favorite places to frequent. It’s a beautiful temple with one of the largest reclining Buddhas in the world.


Not far from Bangkok is Ayutthaya, which was the old capital of Thailand (formerly the Kingdom of Siam). Beautiful Temples are everywhere. Ayutthaya is an island at the center of three rivers. By 1700, Ayutthaya had become the largest city in the world. In 1767, the Burmese invaded Ayutthaya, burning the city to the ground, and only the stone temples remained.


If you’re planning on doing some shopping in Bangkok, you have to visit Chatuchak Flea Market. Here, you can find everything from clothes, home decorations, Thai handicrafts

and a section for antiques. Chatuchak Flea Market is massive! It’s a weekend market, with restaurants and food stands, so we usually end up making a day of it. This is the place to get some great deals for yourself and gifts for your friends back home. We’ve bought clothes, shoes, wood sculptures, woven placemats and picnic mats, bamboo lamps and every type of handicraft. It’s a fun and interesting place to visit. On the opposite end of the shopping spectrum, if you’re looking for high-end fashion brands, Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok is the place to visit. It’s a gorgeous modern structure, replete with restaurants, movie theaters and Asia’s largest aquarium.

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