Asia, a land of wonders - these are my thoughts, experiences and travel tips from SE Asia

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bangkok Thailand - Turtle Temple (Wat Prayurawongsawat)

Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawiharn
Turtle Temple - Bangkok Thailand

Temple lays quietly on the banks of the the Chao Phraya river just near Saphan Phut (bridge) and it is a nice place to visit in Bangkok if you happen to like temples. In terms of visit period probably 30 to 45 minutes is about enough. 

The place of the temple was originally the site of a coffee plantation belonging to Somdet Chao Phraya Maha Prayurawong. In 1828 he donated the site for the building of his temple. King Rama III gave the temple its current name but the local people preferred calling it Wat Rualek because of its big fence surrounding the temple made from iron in form of lances, swords and axes. 

Only a part of fence remains. This is the first temple of Rattanakosin period where the Chedi (Pagoda) was built in the Lanka style. 

Inside the wiharn is a Buddha image in subdoing mara posture called Luang Phor Nark. We believe it was one of a pair with Phra Sri Sakkayamuni, the principal Buddha image of Wat Suthat Thepwararam.
วัดประยุรวงศาวาสวรวิหาร - candles
Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawiharn
Chedi - Bangkok Turtle Temple
Buddha statue - Turtle temple

The front part of this Bangkok Thai-Chinese temple has a rock garden, little waterfalls and a small artificial hill with stupas containing the ashes of people that were cremated. A lot of turtles (hence the name) and big fish are hanging out in some pools. 

Feeding is allowed and encouraged. The water is not very clear and the pools seem overpopulated, but walking here feels like being in a fairy tale. The actual temple in the back and has a high white chedi.

You can reach to the temple by taking the BTS Sky Train to Wongwian Yai station and then take a tuk-tuk to the temple. The direction is towards Saphan Phut. Thetemple is on the west side of the Chao Phraya river. 

Have some questions or suggestions? Use the contact page:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Tiger Shrine Bangkok

The Tiger Shrine Temple - Bangkok, Thailand

There are more than 40,000 (forty thousand) temples in Thailand and no matter how much I would try, it would be quite impossible to see even a half of them, however every time I see something new or interesting, like the Tiger Shrine, sharing is a must.

No evidence can tell that the Tiger Shrine really existed but from the telling of the people that live near by and by asking the old abbot we can assume that the shrine existed more than 90 years ago, or before 1917.

At first it was only a small wooden shrine near the big bodhi tree at the East of the old church. Inside the wooden shrine there were the tiger drawings for worship. Later on the people who had faith rebuilt the shrine and the image of the tiger god.

The form of the tiger shrine and image of the tiger are seen nowadays right here at the Tiger Shrine temple in Bangkok.

The image on the left shows brand new painted dragon poles at the temple entrance.

Wax monks statues at the Tiger shrine - they are quite impressive.

 Within the Tiger Shrine there are a few worship places which looks like houses. They are all interesting, some of them holding was monks statues, other golden statues of Buddha. The entrance is free but the shoes must be taken off before entering any of these worship places.

Near by there is a canal and you can feed the fish as well - considered a donation.

Wooden floor makes it nice to walk through
Golden statues - worship place
Buddha statues along with a story written under each one of it

For more information you can make a comment or drop a line at the contact page.

Enjoy your Thailand trip!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bangkok Seaview Restaurant

Bangkok Seaview Restaurant (Bangkok, Thailand)

Many think that the closest place to find the sea is Pattaya or Bang-pu but recently we found out that just around Rama II road, in Bangkok, there is a quick exit to the sea. Turning left just after the BigC Rama II and driving about 10-12 km on a nice new paved road you almost reach to the sea. First you reach a small pier from where you take a long tail boat and they will take you to the Bangkok Seaview Restaurant.

From the long tail boat
The boat ride takes around 20 minutes and it costs 50 BHT for adults and I think 20 BHT for kids.

Nothing unusual, boat ride is smooth and gives you the opportunity to shoot some pics along the canal (klong). Finally you reach to the sea and the restaurant is right there all on the water.

Bangkok seaview restaurant

Fried squid - half squid, half onion probably to control the prices :)
Simple atmosphere (to simple maybe)

All the restaurant is on the water

The good thing about restaurant is that you won't hear to much noise around as it is built on the sea so it is quite a good choice for a relaxing afternoon with some seafood and a cold Singha beer (not many choices here). Prices are not to high in this restaurant but in the meantime you shall not expect to much as well. The waiters are just kids who don't know any of the menus or what they are selling.

Food is reasonable good and it doesn't go into the "great food" category. What we noticed are many seafood restaurants on the way to Bangkok Seaview and those were absolutely packed with people which, in Thailand, means that food reaches to the "great food" category and prices are reasonable as well.

Finally the location of the Bangkok Seaview restaurant is here. On the GPS or Google Earth you can insert these coordinates.
N 13.52776
E 100.42171

Here is the small pier where you take the boat to restaurant. This features a guarded park lot for your car.

Let us know how was your experience at Bangkok Seafood restaurant by adding a comment or drop us a note in the contact us form.

Have a great food in Thailand! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Phra Pathom Chedi Thailand

Phra Pathom Chedi - in Thai: พระปฐมเจดีย์

Phra Phatom Chedi - entrance view
Phra Pathom Chedi is the oldest Buddhist temple in Thailand. It is located in the Region where Buddhism was firstly introduced into the Kingdom of Thailand by Sona Thera and Uttra Thera in the third Buddhist century. The Indian statue style Phra Pathom Chedi which was in ruins for a long time until king Monghut (4) still a monk, paid a pilgrimage to Phra Pathom Chedi which was 84 meters high at that time. When he come to the throne, he decided to restore the Chedi by covering it with the new one. The four wiharn and the cloister were built during his reign. The work began in 1853 and completed in the reign of King Rama 5 who added the new struetion "Belfry" into this monastery, then the principal wiharn was restored and the replica of the former Chedi and the mural paintings were painted in this Wiharn by King Rama 6 command. Next, he pulled down the portico of the north Wiharn and erected the new one to house a standing Buddha image named Phra Rung Rojanariddhisri Indradhit Dharmopas Maha Vajiravuth Roj Pujaniyaborbip. Finally the new ordination hall was bult in the reign of King Rama 7.

Phra Pathom Chedi is the tallest stupa in the world with the height of approx 120 meters.

The name Phra Pathom Chedi means Holy chedi (stupa) of the beginning.

Golden monks
Buddha statue
Phra Pathom Chedi, which is 120 meters high, contains the reclic of the Lord Buddha. During the twelfth Lunar month, which is November, there is an annual fair of this monastery and it's time for the Buddhist to pay homage to this holy Chedi.

Lilawadee orange pink flowers
Phra Pathom Chedi - people come to visit and pray
People writing their names and wishes at the temple
Wat Phra Phatom Chedi - view from inside the walls

Don't forget to drop me a line if you need extra info or planning a trip there.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kasetsart University Plants Fair Thailand

Kasetsart University Plants Fair

As a quick introduction, the Kasetsart University (in Thai language: มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์) is a university known internationally for academic excellence and work of world standard. It is a prime mover in mustering intellectual resources to help the nation achieve sustainable development and negotiating power in the world community. Kasetsart University was established on 2 February 1943 with the prime aims in promoting subjects related to agricultural sciences.

Kasetsart University
Lately the university has made an attempt to include medicine and health science. Kasetsart University has 7 campuses throughout Kingdom of Thailand, where its main and flagship campus is at Bang Khen, Bangkok. The total enrollment at Kasetsart University is over 58,000 people, placing it among the top largest universities in Thailand.

In the Bangkok campus there are various fairs held from time to time and we recently attended to a plants fair but not only. If you know the Thai fairs you will know that the food is present always, at all times, in all fairs and places - the food is a great experience in this country.

The pictures below are taken at the Kasetsart University plants and food fair in Bangkok in February 2012.

Food festival - wanna try it?
Full size roasted pork

Crowds at Kasetsart University plants and food fair

Jack Fruit - big and sweet fruit
Kasetsart University - plants fair, February 2012

The flowers and plants festival was a bit smaller than the food fair which covered a large area and provided a lot of delicious options for the hungry crowds! :) There is always a huge crowd attending this kinds of fairs. Some good deals are available but generally it is just a nice place for a Saturday afternoon.

Case you are interested in these fairs or wanna study in Thailand you can drop us a line at the contact form and we will see if there is any way we can help you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don Hoi Lot near Bangkok Thailand

Don Hoi Lot (Thai: ดอนหอยหลอด) is a sandbar off the coast of Samut Songkhram Province at the northwestern tip of the Bay of Bangkok. The sediments of the Mae Klong River together sediments from the sea form a system of mudflats, which is settled by the Razor Clam shells, which also gave the site its Thai name. The site has the largest population of this shell species, which is endemic to the northern Gulf of Thailand.

Don Hoi Lod - searching for shells/clams
 Being such a famous place among Thai citizens, we decided to take a look. Driving there from Bangkok only takes an hour or so and then we reach the place ... Don Hoi Lot, entering we can see restaurants on the left side of the road and a market on the right side. There is the car park as well - so glad to see that, we all know how difficult to find a parking spot is in Bangkok or popular tourist attraction places.

The place is a famous for its sea food restaurants, which include those shells which gave their name to the place. Don Hoi Lot means sandbar of the Lot shells, better known as Razor Clam shells.

There is a set of picture from this trip below here.

Don Hoi Lod restaurant view

Don Hoi Lod market

Car parking @ Don Hoi Lod

Ready to eat fish!

Squid on stick - ready to eat & delicious

Shells and prawns
Here we can have a sit and eat @ Don Hoi Lod
This was quite delicious although a lot of bones in that fish
Museum at Don Hoi Lod

Souvenirs tshirts

Don't forget - for any comments or feedback you have the contact page or the form below this article.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Phang-nga Thailand a 800km ride from Bangkok

Anyone interested in a car ride towards the South of Thailand? only a 800 KM ride.
If, so, here is a great possible destination: Khao Lak ( in Thai เขาหลัก ) in Phang-nga province in the South of Thailand.
Khao Lak เขาหลัก - Phang-nga

Sunset - Muang Thai beach

Khao Lak is a seaside resort located in the Takua Pa district in the Phang Nga province, Thailand and popular as a departure point for liveaboard scuba diving trips to the Similan Islands and Surin islands.
Located approx 60 kilometers North of the Phuket island on Phetkasem Road, one of four major highways in Thailand. Khao Lak is serviced regularly by bus and taxi services. Phuket International Airport (HKT) is situated 74 kilometers south on the island of Phuket. Though Thailand's economy is mostly export-dependent, Khao Lak remains mostly tourist-dependent, with surrounding agriculture and commercial fishing.

What differentiates Khao Lak from neighboring tourist destination like Phuket, is its quiet up-scale secluded coastal resorts; lack of over-crowded masses; family-friendly nighttime environment and the provincial ordinances prohibiting structures to build beyond the height of a coconut palm (albeit, more or less), keeping Khao Lak pristine.

We visited Phang-nga during the month of December and it is known to be a kind of rainy season during this month. However the weather was beautiful in most of the days, with a bit of rain in one day and a bit cloudy on another day. 

Quite impressive is the speed boat tour to visit the Similan islands. They took us since morning and return to the pier of Khao Lak around 4-5 PM. The Similan islands are totally amazing with their white smooth sand and crystal clear water.

High waves - Similan islands
There was quite a wavy day I may say, waves were taller than me, I could say about 2 or 2.5 meter waves. We had lunch on an island and snorkeling near another of the islands that makes the Similan arhipelago. 

In Khao Lak you can find accomodation probably starting around 1,000 BHT per night and reaching to anything you want, like 10-15K BHT per night ( 30 USD to 500 USD and more).

We found that Khao Lak is mostly for families and kids, honeymooners and others who enjoy a relaxing holiday in a quiet and clean place in Thailand. 
Wedding set on the beach in Khao Lak, Thailand
During the stay in Phang-nga we tried quite a few restaurants but I must say that they are all about the same. Mostly it is food made for foreigners and not really authentic Thai food, but this is perfectly normal since I really don't know who can directly eat Thai food without staying here a while or having other contact with this type of food which, by the way, is very delicious.
Khao Lak beach panorama - evening
A set of pictures from Khao Lak are below including some snorkeling shots and white sands beaches of Similan islands.
Snorkeling picture around Similan
Similan white sands beaches
Speed boat fighting with the waves - Similan
Similan island wavy beach

Enjoy and drop me a line if you need some travelling advise or you need help in booking some tours.
Thailand, Bangkok to Phang-nga car ride approx 800 km.