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Adventure Writing Prompts : Travel to Thailand

Adventure Writing Prompts

Travel to Thailand

8 Photos & Writing Prompts

By Kristi Tencarre

Thailand, known until 1939 as Siam, is a country rich in history and beauty. Adventure seekers flock to its shores and jungles to ride elephants, climb steep rock faces, and to lay on the pristine beaches. It has almost fully recovered from the devastating 2004 Tsunami.

As I was planning my trip two years after the Tsunami, I wondered if there was anything I could bring or anywhere I could volunteer, but the answer I got was simply to come and spend my money as that was the best help I could give the Thai people. It was a similar response from the Balinese: "Come, enjoy our land, spend your money, and tell your friends it is safe!"

Perhaps you have visited this emerald gem or seen the pictures taken during the travels of others. Perhaps you never really knew about this land until the Tsunami made it impossible not to know.

Mix your sense of sight with your feelings and create thoughts to share or to hide in your journal.

Journey with me into Thailand!


Tropical Sunsets

1 Tropical sunsets. Palm trees. Warm air. Do you feel the stress releasing off your shoulders as you have a Zen moment?

To where do you float away in this picture? Do any of your characters need a moment to relax, to breathe deeply, to maybe sip a Mai Tai out of a pineapple? Do you?

If you cannot escape to Paradise in real life, escape there in your writing! Set the scene by considering some W5s: with Whom are you? What are you wearing? What are you doing? What is the atmosphere? Where are you — at a bistro table on a sidewalk patio, walking along the sandy beach at sunset, heading off to dance away the night? When is this event taking place? Why are you where you are?


Phi Phi Island

2 Phi Phi Island was ravaged by the 2004 Tsunami. The shape of the island funneled the wave wall so that it was taller here than when it hit other areas of Thailand, like Phuket. One can still see the damage to the palm trees despite the fact that buildings have been restored and boats float idyllically in the bay. I traveled there two years after the Tsunami and saw the resilience of the locals as well as their continued entrepreneurial efforts.

Island paradise or reminder of the past? Tranquility in warm air and water, white sand beaches and soft blue sea or hazardous island where you bide your time before you are in life-threatening danger? Time to live in the present or the past?

Is anywhere in the world safe? With the threat of earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, floods and melting ice caps, is there anywhere worth traveling? Is there anywhere worth settling?

It is healthy to grieve the past, yet not to be defined by it. Is there anything in your life that needs grieving so that you can move on and truly live your life?


Phuket Beach

3 Sunset on a beach in Phuket (but it could also be a sunrise!). What do you see? Do you see gentle waves at the end of a relaxing day or ghostly images of a tsunami one life-changing morning? Where else in the world could you be?

Are all beaches created equal? Are all beaches comparable?

Try this: make a list of the top 10 beaches anywhere in the world you would like to see. Now make another list of all the beaches you have already experienced. Are there any you would recommend to a friend about to embark on a vacation?

Consider writing a travel article on your favourite beach and submitting it to your local newspaper for their travel column, or to a travel magazine. Travel websites are always looking for reviews. How can you share your experiences with the world?


Gold Treasure

4 Gold. The stuff of legends. Pirates sought it. Kings fought for it. Knights quested for it (that and the Holy Grail). People worked for it. Rings are made of it.

It fills cavities in teeth.

Do we value gold as we used to? Has the advent of paper money replaced our fascination with golden nuggets? How has the flaunting of wealth changed over time as well as culturally?


Local vs Foreign

5 The discrepancy between local and foreign is evident in so many places, this picture included.

Write a conversation between a local and a foreigner on this beach.


Caverns and Caves

6 Pirate cave? Natural wonder? Ghostly cavern?

Make this the setting of your next scene. Are the anchored boats a threat to your character(s) or are they mere pleasure seekers snorkeling in the clear blue waters… finding Nemo?


Islands of Rock

7 These islands of rock are scattered between Phuket Island and the Phi Phi Islands. Notice how the rock has been eroded by the waves at water level. Notice also that abundant life grows out of the crags.

Is there fragile life trying to grow out of you? Out of one of your characters?

Take a moment to write a stream of consciousness. If you are afraid that you do not have the time, set your timer to 5 minutes. Begin by writing what you see in the photograph. Allow your mind to wander and your pen to simply capture every thought that flows out of your mind.


Meal Ready-to-Eat

8 The bag in this photo is the outer packaging of an MRE — a Meal Ready-to-Eat that has washed up on shore. The US Military issues these to soldiers (contractors and locals too) when DFAC facilities are unavailable.

From where did this bag come? I found it washed up on Karon beach near my hotel in Phuket. But who tossed this bag? Is it from the Black Market? Did it arrive from a navy seaman's careless toss over the side of his ship in the Persian Gulf? Did a soldier or civilian contractor on R&R decide to forgo local delicacies for a little "taste of home" and then toss the outer package aside on this beach or on some other beach? Where are the rest of the wrappers that are contained within this outer bag? The presence of stuck seaweed indicates it has been in the water for some time. •

Next: Travel to The Dominican Republic »

© 2009 Kristi Tencarre. All rights reserved.

Updated 1/17/14