Tag Archives: Bangkok

Wat Arun Temple of Dawn at sunset

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Wiki: “Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or Wat Arun (Thai pronunciation: [wát ʔarun], “Temple of Dawn”) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna,[1] often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.[2] Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II. A Buddhist temple had existed at the site of Wat Arun since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It was then known as Wat Makok, after the village of Bang Makok in which it was situated. (Makok is the Thai name for the Spondias pinnata plant) According to the historian Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the temple was shown in French maps during the reign of King Narai (1656–1688). The temple was renamed Wat Chaeng by King Taksin when he established his new capital of Thonburi near the temple, following the fall of Ayutthaya.[3] It is believed that Taksin vowed to restore the temple after passing it at dawn. The temple enshrined the Emerald Buddha image before it was transferred to Wat Phra Kaew on the river’s eastern bank in 1785.[4] The temple was located in grounds of the royal palace during Taksin’s reign, before his successor, Rama I, moved the palace to the other side of the river.[2] It was abandoned, for a long period of time, until Rama II, who restored the temple and extended the pagoda to 70m.[2]”

Canon 6D, F11, 2 sec, ISO 320, small Joby tripod

Wat Arun Bangkok

Phra Buddha Palilai

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Phra Buddha Palilai, Wat Pho – Bangkok Thailand

Canon 6D, F9, 1/40 sec, ISO 1250, handheld

This scene really interested us when we saw it. Out minds again explored the link between Hinduism and Buddhism. We wondered why the monkey and elephant were kneeling in front of the Buddha. I know one person (Nirun) that will either already know the answer or who will explore this link:http://www.watpho.com/buddha.php?id=5&lang=en

Bangkok

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“Bangkok (English pronunciation: /ˈbæŋkɒk/[5]) is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร, pronounced [krūŋ tʰêːp mahǎː nákʰɔ̄ːn] ( listen)) or simply About this sound Krung Thep (help·info). The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres (605.7 sq mi) in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country’s population. Over 14 million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand’s other urban centres in terms of importance.
Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam’s (as Thailand used to be known) modernization, during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre of Thailand’s political struggles, throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and several uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand’s politics, economy, education, media and modern society.
The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a major regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a regional centre for the arts, fashion and entertainment. The city is well known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts. The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world’s top tourist destinations. It is named the most visited city in MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index, and was named “World’s Best City” for four consecutive years by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Bangkok’s rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. This in turn caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem. Four rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.” ~ Wikipedia
Canon 6D, 24-105 mm, F10, 1/160 sec handheld, ISO 100 taken from Mercure Ibis Hotel roof top.

A walk inside Wat Pho, Bangkok

Irene and I went for a lovely stroll in Wat Pho and stared in awe at the Reclining Buddha. We also came across two ladies who were dressed up in pretty outfits. They allowed me to take their photos and I promised to share them when I got back to South Africa. So this afternoon when I stared at the 50 GB of photos I brought back with me I thought let me start with where I had made promises to people.

Wikipedia: “Wat Pho (Thai: วัดโพธิ์, IPA: [wát pʰoː]), also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is on Rattanakosin Island, directly south of the Grand Palace.[2] Known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn[1] (Thai: วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลารามราชวรมหาวิหาร; rtgsWat Phra Chettuphon Wimonmangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan; IPA: [wát pʰráʔ tɕʰê:t.tù.pʰon wíʔ.mon.maŋ.kʰlaː.raːm râːt.tɕʰá.wɔː.ráʔ.má.hǎː.wíʔ.hǎːn]).[3] The more commonly known name, Wat Pho, is a contraction its older name Wat Photaram (Thai: วัดโพธาราม; rtgsWat Photharam).[4]

The temple is first on the list of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.[5][6] It is associated with King Rama I who rebuilt the temple complex on an earlier temple site, and became his main temple where some of his ashes are enshrined.[7] The temple was later expanded and extensively renovated by Rama III. The temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including a 46 m long reclining Buddha. The temple was also the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and still houses a school of Thai medicine. It is known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage which is still taught and practiced at the temple.[8]

Thailand – “One Night in Bangkok”

Farang for a few weeks.

Sawadee krup; Sawadee ka.

At the risk of using some really old dodge pics; I have gone ahead with this post.

But memories are memories, and scanned low-quality 35mm pics still tell a story.

Let me take you back to March 2002 at the time when I climbed onto an SAA plane from Johannesburg to Bangkok with an odd looking brown army backpack (more like a sack).

I did this trip alone and my best mate, shown below, drove me to the airport playing One Night in Bangkok with a big grin on his face.

Once I landed in Bangkok, I caught a bus to my accommodation in the central CBD.

I managed to snap a pic of the mini-gym below during the ride in.

 

I quickly dumped my sack in my room and then scooted across the road for a snack.

 

After sampling the kebabs above, I walked in and around a large market where I discovered an assortment of counterfeit clothes, shoes, watches, jewellery and other property. The “fake” women were discovered that night.

 

But before I met my first lady boy (Kathoey), I went to watch some Thai kickboxing at Lumphini.

 

After watching some chaps knock the hell out of each other, I went along to explore the infamous or famous Khao San Road.

 

 

The beers slipped down my parched throat with pinpoint speedy accuracy.

The real lady on my right (left) was stalking a German tourist “Mike” who told me that not all the girls were girls.

I found this unbelievable as the ladies in the booze bus / bar behind me looked like real damsels in distress from far.

 

Mike lured me to the rear of the bus where our alcohol induced bravery saw us evacuate the bus.

It was not long before I posed for this pic and the lady with a deep voice and really strong grip gave me a bear hug. Wow!!

 

Mike is below on the right. He liked the Thai women for sure but the other chaps in the pic.. well I am not entirely sure which side they batted for.

 

Mike was clearly a regular visitor to Thailand. He knew all the ladies and made sure that we did not drink alone.

 

The next day I made my way to Wat Pho temple for a top-class massage.

 

 

The night before and activities during the morning that followed were strained across my face.

The chilli based meal in Chinatown really tasted good.

 

To escape Bangkok, I caught an overnight train down to Surat Thani, a springboard to the islands.

 

In Phang Na almost everyone meets Mr Kean. He is famous worldwide.

 

While on tour with Mr Kean, we stayed overnight at Ko Panyi below.

 

Jeanette, who I met with Frank on the tour, kept the Thai boys at bay.

 

I also had my hands full. They loved my karaoke skills (I think it was the English not my singing skills).

 

I also caught the Monks sneaking a Lucky Strike in Phang Na.

 

After Phang Na I spent a few days on the Phi Phi islands.

I am not sure if the Rasta chap below, who had a bar on the beach, made it out of the tsunami in December 2004.

 

Next, I headed by ferry to Ko Somui.

 

My little hut at Lamai Beach.

 

The lady below (across from the Muay Thai stadium) cooked up a real storm for me – the chilli ginger prawns were mouthwatering.

 

Northern Koh Somui.

 

The bar ladies were more interested in selling “massages” instead of alcohol beverages.

 

Northeast Koh Somui.

 

On the ferry from Koh Somui to Koh Phangan I met Chai who was selling accommodation at his sister’s resort at Laem Son Beach.

 

Chai and family.

 

Their instructions were quite precise “we have everything at your service”.

 

Paradise found.

 

Lying in the hammock with a coconut whiskey milkshake was heaven on earth.

 

This was male-bonding at its best – Red Hot Chilli Peppers pumping the tunes off the laptop.

 

Back in Bangkok. i enjoyed the sign on the rear of the chair.

 

Last night in Bangkok. A 7 course meal by the looks of things. Traditional Thai dancing at Baan Thai.

 

Well that was a decade back in time.

I ate so much green chicken curry on that trip! Oh, and so much Singha beer…

I said I would return to Thailand; yes, maybe, one day soon.

Kob khun krup, Kob khun ka!