Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thoughts on Thailand

Aside from Hurricane Gustav and the Republican National Convention, if anyone pays attention to global news they will have some idea of what is happening in Thailand right now. There is currently a state of emergency as anti-government protesters are taking over the city asking the Prime Minster to step down due to corruption and with various labor unions weighing in the country looks like it will be stuck for awhile.

I woke up this morning and got an email from my dad saying "It looks like we got out in time" with a new attachment from an English Chinese newspaper stating the Chinese government was cautioning Chinese travel to Thailand.

On our way back to Shanghai we spent the night in Bangkok and security there was warning tourists not to leave the premises due to the first day of peaceful demonstrations happening. My family and I literally made it out of the country by the skin of our teeth. Those peaceful demonstrations over the course of a week have quickly escalated into fights, bloodshed and death.

I'm not here to post my views on the Thailand government but I do want to share with you two awesome programs that I have found while in Thailand. Since I have a passion for all things that make a positive impact in the world. I though some other people might enjoy them too:
  1. Cabbages & Condoms - is a hip and trendy restaurant that I went to when I was 14 during my first trip to Thailand. It offers traditional Thai food with a twist employees also promote the health and safety aspects of condom use in a fun and amusing way. Also, all proceeds from the restaurant are used to fund the social development programs of Thailand's Population and Community Development Association. I got a really big kick out of the condom flower bouquets.
  2. Doi Tong and the Mea Fah Luang Foundation - started in hopes of creating a better life for "The Hill People of Thailand" this foundation brings government support, education, and microfinancing to the area in hopes of building a stronger foundation for the community. The United Nations recently awarded this foundation an excellance award in the fight against drugs. Since Thailand's Hills are known place for drug and human trafficing. I came across this foundation while killing time in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport. A store was selling products made by the Doi Tong Foundation.
Pretty cool stuff. If anyone knows of any cool foundations that are raising funds through non-traditional means. Let me know. Or blog about them yourself!

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