It’s hard to believe that more than three years have passed since I first visited Thailand. It was my first time in Asia and I had that strange sensation of being simultaneously excited and nervous – a great feeling for a traveler. The week in the Thai capital was a blur of food, river boats, temples and smiles; lots and lots of smiles. The country’s nickname may sound trite, but it really is a Land of a Thousand Smiles and I haven’t felt as welcome anywhere else in the world. Even today I long for that smell which is only found in Bangkok, the food that is only found in Bangkok and that great tingly ‘other’ quality found only there. The Japanese have a term for a fifth taste, Umami, a mysterious sensation applied to things which are delicious. Bangkok is my travel umami; something I can’t define but which is one of the best experiences I’ve ever enjoyed.
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