The Rose Garden

Today I had the honour of taking a group of visitors to visit “The Rose Garden” at Suan Sampran not far from Bangkok.  There is a quiet and often overlooked “Thai Village” there that never fails to impress me no matter how often I go there.

Its not only the elephant and cultural shows that most people seem to visit in the afternoon that the village has to offer, but during the morning hours of 10.00-12.00hrs there is a wonderful little activity.   It offers a visitors a hands-on experience of all aspects unique to Thai culture, such as making toys out of grass weaving, growing and milling rice, touching buffaloes, dancing with bamboo sticks, playing on the Thai xylophone, sword fighting, making flower garlands and pottery, watching umbrella painting, silk weaving, Thai cookery and just basically having a good old time.  
The impeccable service makes an impression.
The reaction is always smiles and sounds of laughter despite the scorching summer heat.  (It went to 40 degrees Celsius today).  What I love most is the comments I hear from these distant travelers.
“I love Thailand, you are so lucky to have such a great country and culture.” 
“I wish I could live here, if I lived here, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
“I will come back, definitely.”
Words like these, said from the heart make my heart glow a warm fuzzy hue.  
Thailand is indeed a wonderful country.  It is just a shame that sometimes we need others to remind us that it is so.  We focus too much on what we don’t have.
Often times, we take for granted what we have and end up losing things we will later miss, things that cannot be undone, and realize it only when its too late.  Politics and men’s ego can ruin a country.  I hope Thailand as we know it survives.
I love my country and am proud to be a Thai.