Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life in TH - One de' Full Day in Bangkok (Part IV)

Continue... it was a short distance from Wat Pho to the pier of Tha Tien , which is half hidden past a market alley full of stalls selling dried squid etc. I could see the white spires of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) across the Chao Phraya River.

I walked in a restaurant beside the boarding area, ordered my dinner and a bottle of drinking water. Sat back relax and waiting for the sunsetting moment.

Wat Arun (วัดอรุณ) is known for it central pagoda that is encrusted in porcelain which sparkles in the sun. The famous Wat Arun, perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. It consists of a massive elongated prang (Khmer-style tower), and is surrounded by four smaller prangs.

At around 5.30pm while I had finished my dinner, quickly hop aboard the angular little ferry and pay 3baht per trip.

At first I thought Wat Arun was closed as the visiting hour is until 5.30pm, therefore I walked around to see if there were any interesting to shoot.

wat arun 01

Took this shot from a Wat beside Arun, I felt the life here was so peacefull and relax even though there were protesting just across the river.

I continued to wonder around and noticed that the ticket booth were still opened. The entrance ticket cost 50baht. I took a closer glance behind the ticket and it said:
- Please dress up politely
- Do not climb the rail
- Do not dangle any doll
- Do not drop cigarette and waste on the floor

The sun was setting down fast, without wasting more time... shoot shoot shoot.

wat arun 05

Look how the decorations of the spires are in fact all made from millions of bits of smashed white porcelain painted with patterns.

wat arun 02

Despite it's name (coming from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn), the best views and photos of Wat Arun are in the evening with the sun setting behind it. Heard that there are some restaurants on the opposite side of the river that are good for watching sunset. Timing for sunset is around 6pm - 7pm all year round in Bangkok.

wat arun 03

However, I felt otherwise while I shot the sunset standing high up in Wat Arun.

wat arun 04

From a different view point

wat arun 06

And the normal post card view from the garden...

I got chased out by the guard, as he said already past the closing time....actual time spending in Wat Arun were 20mins :(

Well, I had not done yet, had another race to run.... quicky ran to the pier, took the ferry back the Tha Tien Pier. Grabed a tuk tuk and zoomed back to hotel.

wat arun 07

That was the most exciting part of the day, I felt I was in amazing race.... all these actions just for:

wat arun 08

wat arun 09

The sky colour changed so fast that either got it or missed it...

Well, thats the end of 'One Full Day in Bangkok' guide... hope you find these threads usefull.

Life in TH - One de' Full Day in Bangkok (Part III)

Continue.... another 20mins walk, I reached the entrance of Wat Pho

Wat Pho (วัดโพธิ์), or Wat Phra Chetuphon (วัดพระเชตุพน) as it is generally known to the Thais, is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. The Reclining Buddha is in the perennially busy building to my right as I entered.

Wat Po 01

The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration,

Wat Po 02

Slowly explore the place, I walked up to another hall where there was a ceremony taking place.

Wat Po 03

A glistening Buddha in the main chapel.

Wat Po 04

Wat Po 05

Wat Po 06

Not to forget the Massage - Wat Pho is also famous as Thailand's first university, and is center for traditional Thai masage - the rich, famous and powerful have all been known to come here. Inscribed on stone in the walls of Wat Pho are all that was known about Thai massage dating from the reign of King Rama III

Whats more can I say, after a long day of walking under the hot sun. The best thing to do was a leg massage on a confortable chair in a fully air-con room under the red hot sun. I signed up a 1hr leg massage session cost around 250baht.

Wat pro 001

Wat Pho is home to the famous reclining Buddha, but it also covers a wide area of central Bangkok and is worth a stroll as there are many interesting and colourful smaller wats and stupas within its precincts.

Wat pro 002

Opening: 8.00 - 17.00 daily
Admission: 50Baht

Well, next in line were Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)...

Life in TH - One de' Full Day in Bangkok (Part II)

Continues... after my visit to Wat Suthat, I took a 15-20mins walk to the Grand Palace. It is not easy to find the way in, but just follow the white Grand Palace fortress walls till you see the gigantic Ministery of Defense.

The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 04

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha - no photography are allowed within the temple.

Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is one of the most venerated sites in Thailand where people convene to pay respect to the Lord Buddha and His Teaching.

The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD. Raised high on a series of platforms, no one is allowed near the Buddha except His Majesty the King.

NOTE: There is a strict dress code for visiting the Grand Palace. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves -- no tank tops. Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc.

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 06

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 05

Phra Mondop & Phra Siratana Chedi

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 03

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 01

Dont forget to view the beautiful galleries on the wall surrounding Wat Phra Keaw. The painting on the wall tell a story about the Emerald Buddha

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 02

Artist @ work Do not disturb

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 07

Chakri Maha Prasat Hall

built by King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V), was completed in 1982. This hall now serves many purposes, most notably for reception of foreign ambassadors and for state banquets in the honour of visiting Heads of State.

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 08

Helped three monks to take a group shot, I snaped another shot of them while they were looking at their photos. They laughed after I showed them.

Wat Pra kaew & Grand Palace 09

Love sunglass... a refection shot showing Dusit Maha Prasat Hall

Overall, I find that this is a huge place with lots of tourist. I can spend half a day taking photos of structure, instead I spend only 2 hours here.

Open: 08:30 - 15:30 daily
Admission: 350Baht

Next stop, I headed toward Wat Pho to see the world largest Reclining Buddha...

Life in TH - One de' Full Day in Bangkok (Part I)

bkk - ayuthaya 02

Good morning Bangkok!

This is a simple One day guide for those who like to visit temples. Most of the activities are around Chao Phaya River.

Getting Ready!

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Bangkok is the world's hottest city, so please do not underestimate the heat. Do start out early beacause afternoon heat is draining your energy and there wont be much air-conditioning while temple-tramping.

Drink enough waters, as there are plenty of convenience stores selling cooled beverages. The only problem i faced was to dispose the empty bottle, I hardly found any rubbish bin ...

Since I was staying in China Town area, most of the temple are within walking distance. Do wear comfortable shoes and dress for climate. If you watch your budget closely, this 1 day itinerary will not cost more than 1000Baht/day. Single temple entrance or short taxi ride will not cost more than 50Baht, while simple lunch and dinner are around 150Baht.

wat suthat 04

Wat Suthat

Wat Suthat is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, famed for its beautiful roofline, huge golden Buddha, magnificent frescoes and giant swing out front. You will easily identify Wat Suthat, as you can see a Giant Swing in front of the temple.

The main wihan (hall) of Wat Suthat houses a beautiful 13th-century Phra Buddha Shakyamuni, a bronze Buddha image over 8m (25ft) tall. The ashes of King Rama VIII, brother of the current king, are contained in its base.

wat suthat 05

wat suthat 09

The splendid wall paintings cover an area of 2565 sq. m (27,450 sq. ft) and are perhaps the most extensive and important of their kind in Thailand. They underwent thorough and costly restoration in the late 1980s, after significant damage caused mainly by bat droppings.

wat suthat 07

wat suthat 06

wat suthat 02

The large and peaceful cloisters surrounding the wihan contain more than 150 Buddha images along the outer wall. The statues are in various states of repair, since each is "adopted" by a patron to make merit for a departed loved one, who may be interred in the base or the wall next to the Buddha.

wat suthat 03

wat suthat 01

wat suthat 08

Another part of Wat Suthat, over here has lesser people, I saw a few kids running around have fun

wat suthat 10

Here I met Manthos, from Greece. Let see the beautiful Wat Suthat from a different perspective.

Overall I like this temple as there are less tourist compare to Wat Pro. Here, I also met a friendly english speaking local Thai, whom I had a short chat and know more about Thai culture.

Open: 8.30-21.00 daily
Admission: 20฿

After spending around one hour thirty minutes at Wat Suthat, I continued my journey to the gigantic Grand Palace....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Life in TH - Viewing Sunrise from Above the Cloud

fly in sky 02

Back to the past, sharing some of my Thailand trip photos and experiences.

One month ago, I took an early flight 7.15am from Singapore Changi Airport to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The scene from above the sky was so beautiful, not to forget the Golden relection from the sea.

fly in sky 01

fly in sky 03

Golden Sea

I reached Bangkok at around 9am (Bangkok time) and took an hour taxi ride to a hotel located in China Town area. Checked in, geared up and started my Bangkok adventure...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Life in TH - Cute Girl + Motorbike

Bangkok Motor show girls 30

Nui + friends

While most people was squeezing inside the motor show hall, I found this small display outside the exhibition hall. Here I met Nui... , I chose the cutest/pinky bike and since I cant speak thai so the only way was using hand signal to direct her to pose.

Bangkok Motor show girls 32

Bangkok Motor show girls 31

Bangkok Motor show girls 33

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life in SG - Into the Groove @ Bugis Junction

bugis runway 04

Want to be funky, sexy, cool, chic or cheeky? All you need to do is to nail that signature look!

Lets Have Fun Tonight!

bugis runway 03

bugis runway 01

bugis runway 02

bugis runway 05

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life in SG - On The Runway

on the run way 02a

This spring experience style up close and personal as fashion buskers hit the street of Raffles City and turned shopping into a full-fledged fashion extravaganza.

on the runway 20

on the run way 03

on the run way 05

on the runway 21

on the run way 01a

on the run way 04

Love this type of fashion runway, as I got more space to choose the background as well as angle.
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