|Few people in this limited audience would be aware of the film, Emanuelle in Bangkok, which was a masterpiece on many different levels. Having lived in Bangkok during the era of the movie's filming added a certain twist to a revelation that occurred a few weeks ago in the wonderful mountain resort of Phu Chai Sai in The Golden Triangle of Thailand where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand come together. We were guests of Mom Da, owner, and Jason Friedman, Managing Director, of this fantastic property to celebrate the author's birthday. It was particularly poignant given the time spent in the region some fifty years in the past apart from the film story.
The birthday celebration adventure began with a monk blessing from one of the coolest and most witty Buddhist monks on the planet. Moreover, have you ever seen a monk on a horse as they are supposed to walk everywhere though these monks have special dispensation as they traverse mountains. The mischievous smile normally on this monk's face has been masked at this particular moment. By the way, the water in the bamboo is blessed to remember those who have preceded you on your birthday celebration.
This event was followed by another blessing on the crest of the mountain overlooking the three countries by another group of Buddhist monks. The views and the aura were spellbinding.
If you look closely, you will notice the teak floorboards, they are incredibly wide by any standard. As the author scooted across them to maintain eye level with each monk and make merit with gifts, a certain pain began to creep in from the splinters. Therein, we have the heart of this story. Some years ago, Mom Da, the wonderful owner and spiritual leader of Phu Chai Sai, was born in the Thai house in Bangkok where these floorboards resided. Later the house became the Baan Thai restaurant where the author had a few high-end Thai meals during the late 1960's. Subsequent to that period, Mom Da sold the property to a Japanese group who did not want the house and parts of it today are in Phu Chai Sai. To cut to the chase, Emanuelle in Bangkok was filmed in that house. The birthday celebration was epic. Moreover, you can witness the smile and strength of Mom Da below on the right. She has surrounded herself with wonderful neighbors like the former Thai Ambassador and his wife on the left.
Jason hosted the event at his residence with the former TES elephant polo team, Khun Wee and Khun Seng, along with fellow polo player, Sangjay, from Nepal and Khun Jill from Bangkok to say nothing of the distinguished Thai guests who were baffled by the behavior of elephant polo players.
On our free day, we went across the border from Mae Sai to Tachilek, Myanmar which would have been the source of the opium smoked in Emanuelle representing a kind of a coming home experience. Opium in the old days was the source of the currency to fund the war in Laos, causing some of us to be there in the Emanuelle in Bangkok era.