In 1982 while on Project Orbis ( the Flying Eye Surgery & Teaching plane), I had the opportunity to meet someone who was to become  one of my dearest and closest friends.  Chusack and his lovely wife Pui have shared there family and friends throughout Thailand on several occasions.  I have been taken from the Northern most city of Chiang Mai to the beautiful and world renown Pukett in the south.   I wish to share with you these people, their life and customs on one of my around the world lectureships in 1996.

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand (Prathet Thai, or “Land of the Free”), country in Southeast Asia. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been occupied by any European or other foreign power, except in war. The country was an absolute monarchy from 1782 until 1932, when rebels seized power in a coup and established a constitutional monarchy. Since then, Thailand has come under the rule of many governments, both civil and military. The country was known as Siam until 1939 (when it was renamed Thailand), and again for a few years in the late 1940s. In 1949 the name Thailand was adopted a second time. Thai people form the large majority of Thailand’s population, and most of them practice Theravada Buddhism.


and so our journey begins.....................

Chusack, wife Pui and family meet us each time with a host of activities  pre-scheduled.

The main house is nestled on many acres, surrounded by lush greenery, a private Ostrich Zoo, traditional furnishings and even a downstairs disco with Karaoke.

A Mausoleum of indescribable beauty in memory of his mother who treated me like a son .

Brother Permsack lives a short distance from the compound in a one-of-a-kind estate made completely from teak wood.




























Some of the gifts given to me by Chusack and his family that are now in my home in the USA.  Permsack actually gave me the most beautiful teak wood clock right off his wall.


























Whether at a restaurant or at home, we always have many family and friends with which to share times that will remain in our minds and hearts forever.


























One thing is for certain, they all keep the phone waves busy every minute of the day.  Actually, in many countries where regular telephone service is unpredictable, cell phones have been used for their main phone for at least the past 10 years.  And to think, we in the USA are only starting this manner of mobile phone use.


























They eat on the run and love fast food just like Americans.


























The amazing array of flowers are all around  in all sizes, shapes, colors and scents.







One of Chusack's businesses which makes furniture for hotels, stores etc. (and me).








These teakwood carvings tell a story of a particular village and take up to one year to complete.  I was given one that is displayed in my office.

Several years ago a UPS truck stopped at my front door and unloaded three huge crates which housed a gift from Chusack (a 17ft. teakwood mirror and four matching picture frames for my favorite Malaysian drawings).

Upon leaving the congestion of Bangkok, the river that is the life's blood of Thailand passes in front of the world famous Bangkok Oriental Hotel and leads to the beauty and mystical religious relics of centuries in the past.

The Chao Phraya River has long been an important transportation artery for Thailand. The river connects the agricultural heartland of central Thailand with the capital, Bangkok, shown here. The port of Bangkok, with its convenient location near the Gulf of Thailand, is the country’s largest port and handles most of its international trade.

                                                     Wat Arun - the Temple of the Dawn






































Wat Arun - the Temple of the Dawn  and the  "boat people" means of travel and carrying supplies.






























Wat Arun - the Temple of the Dawn : The temple of Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand, is among the most famous of the more than 400 Buddhist temples and monasteries in the city. Commonly known as the Temple of Dawn, the Wat Arun displays the prang style typical of the architecture of the former kingdom of Ayutthaya (1350–1767). The central prang rises 104 m (340 ft) above a temple compound pavilion that contains images of Buddha’s life The Royal Wat of King Taksin during the brief Thonburi period, Wat Arun was restored and enlarged during the reigns of King Rama II and King Rama III. The pagoda is covered with pieces of multicoloured glass and broken Chinese porcelain, the ballast from Chinese boats coming to Bangkok. It provides a panoramic view of the river from its upper levels if you have the courage to negotiate the steps!









High speed travel with Bangkok and Temple in background and lazy river activities further on.







 Chusack is our best tour guide through the centuries of historical information.

The Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok is in reality a walled town covering an area of over a square mile. Besides the Chapel Royal where the Emerald Buddha is enshrined, the principal objects of interest within the precincts of the Palace are the two halls of audience.

















The Chakri Palace is an imposing building constructed after the plans of a British architect in the style of the Italian Renaissance, but covered with a roof of pure Thai style.
Most of it is occupied by the Throne Hall.






                                              The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

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The Emerald Temple (Wat Phra Keo) is a 'must' for every visitor to Bangkok. The Grand Palace Complex, which includes the Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keo), is unquestionably one of the wonders of the world today. Within its enormous grounds is the most exotic Buddhist temple and at the heart of the temple itself is a fabulous Buddha image, carved from one-piece jade, which is the holiest and most revered of religious objects in Thailand today. Nearby is the Grand Palace, once the official home of the Kings of Siam - built in traditional Thai architecture mixed with European designs. You will also visit The Royal Funeral Hall and The Royal Coronation Hall.


































The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keo), this wonderland of golden towers and superb buildings decorated with glittering mosaics in lovely colors, is certainly Thailand's most famous sightseeing area. Thailand has nearly 18,000 Buddhist temples, called wats, throughout the country. The temples provide religious sanctuaries for Thailand’s Buddhists, who account for 95 percent of the population. The Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), pictured here, stands in Bangkok and dates to 1782.  The woman  (Lower Rt.) is showing a picture of the Emerald Buddha in seasonal dress.


Bangkok's  many Buddhist temples are usually the first sights the traveler encounters, some are more than 200 years old. The Oldest and Largest of the Bangkok Temples Wat Phra Jerupon - usually called Wat Po. Built in the 16th century, it took 12 years for Rama I to restore it, beginning in 1789. Its chief attraction is the massive Reclining Buddha. This Temple, as well as the Pagoda Fields, is also impressive because of the beautiful constructions : conic solid monuments, with small hand-made mosaics, representing the correct way of preaching to the Buddha.















The Reclining Buddha is a enormous image of brick and concret,  measuring 46 meters long by 15 meters high and plated in gold. The four western stupas of PHRA CHEDIS are good specimens of modern Thai architecture.



Ayuthaya is a 50 miles (85 km) from Bangkok. The city is filled with ancient and majestic architecture. Ayuthaya was at one time considered the "Venice of the East" -- with canals, palaces and temples. Today the ruins of the city are a spectacular site.

















....................................and a little refreshment before we depart.

Our final meal with Chusack, off to the airport passing a tribute to the King.  and then to the next stop.....Malaysia.