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Journey to Thailand: Exploring Thai Traditional Medicine, Culture, and Cuisine

Author: Sruthi G

MSc Life Sciences (Ayurveda Biology)

4th Semester

Thailand, a captivating blend of stunning natural beauty and a vibrant cultural tapestry, welcomed me with open arms. This adventure seamlessly combined serene landscapes, the energy of bustling city life, and a profound exploration of the world of Thai traditional medicine.

For the first four days, I found myself immersed in the serene and lush town of Prachinburi. Nestled amidst nature's embrace, Prachinburi offered a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The tropical heat, accompanied by the town's charm, immediately captivated my heart. We had the privilege of being hosted by the esteemed team at Abhaibhubejhr Hospital. Their exceptional hospitality and wealth of knowledge greatly enhanced our experience during our time there.

Our visit to Prachinburi was an enlightening exploration of Thai traditional medicine. We were struck by the profound influence of Ayurveda on Thai traditional medicine, evident in shared terminology and concepts. However, it was disheartening to see that Thai traditional medicine hasn’t gained the same level of acceptance as Ayurveda.

Our interactions with experts and practitioners provided deep insights into Thai traditional medicine. We learned about applied Thai techniques and clinical studies, reflecting the institutions' goal of encouraging the use of Thai traditional medicine. The cultural reverence and belief in traditional medicine among the people we met left an enduring impression.

Chao Phya Abhaibhubejhr Hospital stood out with its unique healthcare model, allowing patients to choose between traditional Thai medicine and modern treatments, respecting individual preferences while ensuring collaborative care.

The hospital's commitment to providing safe, high-quality herbal medicines symbolizes the successful integration of traditional and modern healing methods. This visit shed light on the nation’s dedication to preserving its traditional healing legacy while embracing contemporary healthcare practices.

One piece of information we acquired is that 97% of Thailand's population is covered by Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This statistic emphasizes the government's commitment to providing accessible healthcare to the majority of its citizens. Thailand's UHC system serves as an exemplary model for other nations, demonstrating how comprehensive and equitable healthcare can be extended to a significant portion of the population. This insight highlights Thailand’s dedication to the health and well-being of its people.

sruthi writes about thailand trip

A significant highlight of my journey was our visit to the Abhaibhubejhr Spa, a luxurious establishment funded by the government. The fact that such a splendid spa is government supported left me in awe. The spa's architecture and interior exuded elegance, adorned with green and cream hues. It serves as a sanctuary of tranquillity, reflecting Thailand's commitment to holistic well-being. The spa's popularity is well-deserved, considering people from around the world flock to Thailand for the renowned Thai massage, an integral part of Thai traditional medicine. Booking a slot at this spa requires an advanced appointment due to its high demand.

During our time in Thailand, we were pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to attend the Chinese Vegetarian Festival. It was a delightful and unexpected experience, offering us a chance to explore Chinese vegetarian cuisine right in the heart of Thailand.

Exploring Thai cuisine was an adventure in itself. With three servings of rice a day and early dining times, I adapted to the Thai way of life. The Thai menu featured an abundance of green leafy vegetables, a diverse array of mushrooms in various shapes and sizes, fermented foods like tofu, and a profusion of seedless fruits such as guava and apple. I even tried the beloved mango sticky rice and pad Thai, delightful staples of Thai cuisine. Thailand's culinary tradition diverged from dairy products, but its diversity and flavours proved to be a culinary delight, even for a vegetarian like me.

I extend my gratitude to TDU for the opportunity to explore the realm of Thai traditional medicine, immersing myself in rich cultural experiences, and savouring the diverse Thai cuisine. Thailand's enchantment, coupled with the wealth of knowledge shared with me, will remain etched in my memory for years to come.


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