This essay was published in To Thailand With Love by ThingsAsian Press. 2013
As I descend towards Suvarnabhumi Airport, Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan appears below. Since the population of Thailand is 95 percent Buddhist, a temple complex near the airport is not unexpected. What is unexpected is the large Aeyatul Muslimin mosque that towers beside the airport expressway en route to downtown Bangkok.
Most Thai Muslims live in Southern Thailand, near Malaysia, but there is a sufficient population in the capital to support more than 100 local mosques. Citizens of the Hindu faith maintain several mandirs.
Christians of every denomination attend large churches or smaller neighborhood assemblies.
As an American Jew who retired to Bangkok, I expected to find a semblance of Jewish life in this city. But what took me by surprise was the vibrancy of the small yet devoted community. I met Jews from the Americas, Israel, Australia, France, England, Romania, Hungary, South Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.