25 NOVEMBER 2008 As a masked martial arts stick fighter twirled his way across the stage, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark - sitting just inches away, was captivated. The glamorous Danish royal was getting a taste of Thai culture while attending a lifestyle exhibition in Bangkok on a four-day visit to the country with her husband Prince Frederik.
While her 40-year-old husband was opening a business exhibition elsewhere, Mary also watched a fashion show, held at one of the cities biggest department stores. The previous day the couple joined dignitaries at a gala dinner where they watched a classical Thai dance performance.
Although Mary has been to Thailand only once before in 2005, Frederik has made several visits to the exotic country - starting with a trip in 1986, following his graduation.
On subsequent journeys the royal explored the island kingdom extensively. "I was very taken by Chiang Rai," he says. "Phuket is also a nice place. My father the Prince Consort has been there on many occasions to sail in the Phuket King's Cup Regatta."
The couple are currently on their way 200km south to Hua Hin – the famous beach resort in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. There they will be welcomed by the country's popular monarch, King Bhumibol at his summer palace.