Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand Part 4

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand.

John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thai Street Art, Wall Murals At Lat Phrao 5/1, Bangkok, Thailand

“Bangkok recently hosted their first Street Art Festival, inviting artists from around the world to join the best Thai talent to leave their colourful messages around town. Not everyone likes graffiti, but this is a popular art open to everyone and there is no doubt those artists are extremely talented. Unlike museums, street art is visible to everyone, everyday and are here to stay – as long as the old walls used as canvas are left standing. As construction claims more and more of Bangkok, this artwork will one day disappear, but for now it is here to enjoy. During our exploration of Bangkok, we have found several locations exhibiting these oversized painting. The best known set is next to Ratchatewi BTS Station, not far from MBK, and some other artworks are painted along the nearby canal. Another beautiful set is found at the Alliance Française on Sathorn Road.”
Above comments are from “Bangkok Street Art” website

Read more at: http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/street-art.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Thai Street Art, Wall Murals At Lat Phrao 5/1, Bangkok, Thailand
“Bukruk Festival on Phaya Thai Road Bukruk Street Festival (Bukruk meaning ‘Invasion’) united 16 European and 11 Thai artists for a month of frenzy wall art in the very middle of Bangkok. The most striking pieces are painted on a series of abandoned buildings located on Phaya Thai Road, below Ratchatewi BTS station, just a hundred meters from the famous MBK shopping mall. Here again famous Thai artist Alex Face strikes back, with his ‘rabbit falling from the roof’ and a giant mutated fly by Yuree Kensaku, a hairy one eye monster by Pharuephon Mukdasanit, known as Mamafaka, next to a psychedelic dog by Thai artist P7. More murals can be seen along the nearby Saen Saeb canal, in Siam Square or on Rama 6 Road, past the famous Jim Thompson house. The whole thing is extraordinary and proves that Bangkok too contributes to the comtemporary art scene.”

Above comments are from “Bangkok Street Art” website

Read more at: http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/street-art.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

Thai Street Art, Wall Murals At Lat Phrao 5/1, Bangkok, Thailand
“Exhibition at Alliance Francaise on Sathorn The Street Art Exhibition of Thai artist Alex Face (Patcharapol Tangruen) and French Jace at Alliance Française on Sathorn Road is as discreet as it is unusual. The Alliance Française building has been on Sathorn for ages, since 1912 to be precise, but the Alliance Française (as well as the old French Embassy on the riverside) is due to move to a brand new building currently under construction near Lumpini park. All this explains why the exhibition is unusual and creative… an entire floor of the building has been emptied of all desks, filing cabinets and furniture, and every room has been offered to the two artists to express themselves. Indoor street art inside the abandoned floor of an official building with pieces of discarded desks left in dusty corners? It is beautiful and a bit eerie! Entry is free so you should rush to enjoy this before the Alliance Française moves to its new location and the building torn down. Opening Hours: Closed on Sunday Location: 29 Sathorn Road (next to Banyan Tree Hotel)”

Above comments are from “Bangkok Street Art” website

Read more at: http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/street-art.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001

“Thai Street Art By redmudstain / 26 September 2012 / Captured: Photos of the Land / 2 comments
Chiang Mai Graffiti
UPDATE – NOV. 2013: A friend and I have founded Chiangmai Graffiti, which showcases the work of CNX graffiti and street artists. Once fully launched, it’ll feature exclusive interviews with various up & coming artists, photos of art all around the city,y exhibits and events, and other collaborative works. You can go to our Chiang Mai Graffiti’s Facebook to check out the community so far.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://redmudstain.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/thai-street-art/

Street Art, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Discovering Chiang Mai’s Amazing Street Art
by Kian & Sri | May 1, 2016 | Chiang Mai
Have you seen enough temples in Chiang Mai? Don’t know what to do next? Then take your camera for an afternoon and start exploring Chiang Mai’s stunning street art! Here are the best spots:
Arak Road, Rachadamnoen Road.
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.how2travelsmart.com/discovering-chiang-mais-amazing-street-art/

Street Art, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

Discovering Chiang Mai’s Amazing Street Art
by Kian & Sri | May 1, 2016 | Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai becomes more and more a place where creative people from all over the world meet to exchange ideas and get inspired. Just last April, Chiang Mai was the proud host of the international acclaimed ‘Meeting of Styles’ graffiti festival that welcomed some of the world’s top graffiti artists.
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.how2travelsmart.com/discovering-chiang-mais-amazing-street-art/

Street Art, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Discovering Chiang Mai’s Amazing Street Art
by Kian & Sri | May 1, 2016 | Chiang Mai
Walking along the many alleys and backstreets in Chiang Mai is like walking the aisle of an art museum in Berlin or Hong Kong where collections of stunning murals are exhibited. Most artworks can be found on walls and construction sites in the Old Town while a few others are depicted on walls at parking lots in Nimmanhaemin.
Even the walls along the river side of the U.S. Consulate are decorated with phenomenal illustrations that were created by local schools to showcase the 180-year anniversary of relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Thailand.
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.how2travelsmart.com/discovering-chiang-mais-amazing-street-art/

Street Art, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Discovering Chiang Mai’s Amazing Street Art
by Kian & Sri | May 1, 2016 | Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai becomes more and more a place where creative people from all over the world meet to exchange ideas and get inspired. Just last April, Chiang Mai was the proud host of the international acclaimed ‘Meeting of Styles’ graffiti festival that welcomed some of the world’s top graffiti artists.
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.how2travelsmart.com/discovering-chiang-mais-amazing-street-art/

Umbrella Making Center, Bo Sang, Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
What about the term “Parasol”?
The English term “parasol” is an adaptation of the French term “parasol”, Italian “parasole”. It combines old Greek/Latin “para” for “beside, near, contrary to, against” with the Latin/Indo-European term “sol”. In all languages, including English, the parasol is an unequivocal “sun protector”.
English use of the word “parasol” varies. It may be influenced by the origin or flavor of English that is used – Australian, European or US tinted. For example until about 10 years ago, the term “parasol” was not used very much in the US.
Some ambiguity exists between the English terms “umbrella” and “parasol”: the umbrella has its roots in providing shade and later added rain protection – while generally the rain function is arguably the first that people associate with it. The “parasol” protects from the sun only, and has generally been a lesser used word.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.chiangmaiumbrellas.com/about/oiled-umbrellas
Umbrella Making Centre
Handmade umbrella in Bor Sang village was carried on for centuries, all local craftsman never attend …
DIY, design your own umbrellas. NOK AIR’s activity.
Hand-paint umbrellas, made to order.
The umbrella factory was established in 1978…
Address: Umbrella Making Centre 111/2 Moo 3
Bor Sang Village T.Tonpao Sankamphaeng
Chiang Mai 50131
Phone: 053-338195, 053-338324
Fax: 053-338928
Email: romborsang@yahoo.com
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293917-d545081-Reviews-Sa_Paper_Umbrella_Handicraft_Center-Chiang_Mai.html

Umbrella Making Center, Bo Sang, Chiang Mai
What is a “Parapluie”?
Unfortunately it is not an English word. In French, with closely related terms in Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian, the “parapluie” is exclusively a rain protector, the direct opposite of the “parasol”. It is based on the Latin word “pluvia” for rain. No ambiguities here.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.chiangmaiumbrellas.com/about/oiled-umbrellas

Umbrella Making Center, Bo Sang, Chiang Mai
Ancient UmbrellasThe umbrella has a history reaching back to the ancient civilizations of Assyria and Nineveh, the Aztecs, Burma, China, Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, Siam and probably Atlantis. Early depictions with umbrellas as far back as 5,000 years are usually of high ranked dignitaries, emperors, kings, religious leaders. It is apparently less known if, or in how far normal citizens used umbrellas: it simply may not have been recorded in the inner sanctums of the elite pyramids and temples (1). It is beyond doubt, however, that dignitaries who used umbrellas did so for both practical and ceremonial purposes, with shapes and decorations marking status and rank. Another interesting point is that apparently all early documentation and depictions show umbrellas in use for sunshade, not for rain protection. This, in fact refers to early umbrellas as parasols (2).
The ancient depictions and English word roots lead some authors to assume that umbrellas or parasols in early history were exclusively used for sunshade and not for rain protection. This may or may not have been the case. One simple example may be a Chinese legend where animal skin is wrapped over a makeshift frame to serve as rain protection (3).
With the use of umbrellas in so many different early civilizations, the umbrella, rain or shine, is likely to have been invented and re-invented in many different places at different times.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.chiangmaiumbrellas.com/about/oiled-umbrellas Umbrella Making Center, Bo Sang, Chiang Mai

Oiled Umbrellas – Made in Chiang Mai
By Jan Willem Roeloffs for Sunisa Umbrella Workshop, updated 12 November 2013.
Umbrellas are one of Chiang Mai’s most important traditionally produced, creative, handmade items. Foremost of these is the Thai oiled umbrella, exclusively produced in > Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.chiangmaiumbrellas.com/about/oiled-umbrellas

Thai Traditional Massage
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Mechanism of action
All types of massage, including Thai massage, can help people relax, relieve aching muscles, and temporarily boost a person’s mood. However, many therapists make claims that go far beyond what massage can accomplish. It does increase circulation, gives temporary relief of pain, provides a sense of well-being, and promotes relaxation, but there is little evidence of further benefits.[8][better source needed]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
Training
A traditional massage practitioner is required to complete at least 800 hours training.[2]
Wat Pho, the center of Thai medicine and massage for centuries, opened the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School in 1955 on the temple grounds, the first such school approved by the Thai Ministry of Education. Wat Pho offers four basic courses of Thai medicine: Thai massage, Thai midwife-nurse, Thai pharmacy, and Thai medical practice.[7]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
In fact, the history of Thai massage is more complex than this legend of a single founder would suggest. Thai massage, like Thai traditional medicine (TTM) more generally, is a combination of influences from Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian cultural spheres, and traditions of medicine, and the art as it is practiced today is likely to be the product of a 19th-century synthesis of various healing traditions from all over the kingdom.[6] Even today, there is considerable variation from region to region across Thailand, and no single routine or theoretical framework that is universally accepted among healers.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
History
The founder of Thai massage and medicine is said to have been Shivago Komarpaj vaka Komarabh cca, who is said in the P?li Buddhist canon to have been the Buddha’s physician over 2,500 years ago. He is noted in ancient documents for his extraordinary medical skills, his knowledge of herbal medicine, and for having treated important people of his day, including the Buddha himself.[5]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage Illustration
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
“Thai massage” or “Thai yoga massage” is an ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures.
In the Thai language it is usually called nuat phaen thai (Thai:  lit. “Thai-style massage”) or nuat phaen boran (Thai: ugfgo, IPA: [nû?t p????n bo?ra?n]; lit. “ancient-style massage”), though its formal name is nuat thai (Thai:  lit. Thai massage) according to the Traditional Thai Medical Professions Act, BE 2556 (2013).[1]
The Ministry of Health’s Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine regulates Thai traditional massage venues and practitioners. As of 2016 the department says 913 traditional clinics have registered nationwide.[2]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
Traditional Thai massage uses no oils or lotions. The recipient remains clothed during a treatment. There is constant body contact between the giver and receiver, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked.[3]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
The recipient wears loose, comfortable clothing and lies on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. In Thailand, a dozen or so subjects may be receiving massage simultaneously in one large room. The true ancient style of the massage requires that the massage be performed solo with just the giver and receiver. The receiver will be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the course of the massage, that is also combined with deep static and rhythmic pressures.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_massage

Thai Traditional Massage
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
The massage generally follows designated lines (“sen”) in the body. The legs and feet of the giver can be used to position the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fix the body, while the feet do the massaging. A full Thai massage session may last two hours and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body. This may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking knuckles, walking on the recipient’s back, and moving the recipient’s body into many different positions. There is a standard procedure and rhythm to the massage, which the giver will adjust to fit the receiver.[4][better source needed]
For more information please visit the following link:

Go to the top

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand Part 3

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

 I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand. 

 John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

 Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

Wat at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
The Chao Phraya  Thai: Maenam Chao Phraya, pronounced [m???ná?m t?â?w p?rá?.ja?] or [t?â?w p?ra.ja?][1]) is the major river in Thailand,[2] with its low alluvial plain forming the centre of the country. It flows through Bangkok and then into the Gulf of Thailand.
The Chao Phraya begins at the confluence of the Ping and Nan rivers at Nakhon Sawan (also called Pak Nam Pho) in Nakhon Sawan Province. After this it flows south for 372 kilometres (231 mi) from the central plains to Bangkok and the Gulf of Thailand. In Chai Nat, the river then splits into the main course and the Tha Chin River, which then flows parallel to the main river and exits in the Gulf of Thailand about 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Bangkok in Samut Sakhon. In the low alluvial plain which begins below the Chainat Dam, there are many small canals (khlong) which split off from the main river. The khlongs are used for the irrigation of the region’s rice paddies.
The rough coordinates of the river are 13 N, 100 E. This area has a wet monsoon climate, with over 1,400 millimetres (55 in) of rainfall per year. Temperatures range from 24 to 33 °C (75 to 91 °F) in Bangkok.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chao_Phraya_River

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan  Wat Arun (Thai pronunciation: [wát ?arun], “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.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun
Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
Travel
Wat Arun can be easily accessed through the Chao Phraya River, and ferries travel across the river towards the Maharaj pier. For the foreigners, the temple charges an entrance fee of 50 baht (as of December 2016). During Kathina, the king travels to Wat Arun in a procession of royal barges to present new robes to the monks.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
Cosmology
The central prang symbolises Mount Meru of the Hindu cosmology.[9] The satellite prang are devoted to the wind god, Phra Phai. The demons (yaksha) at the entranceway to the ubosot are from the Ramakien. The white figure is named Sahassa Deja and the green one is known as Thotsakan, the Demon R?vana from Ramayana.
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand
The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which is encrusted with colourful porcelain.[5] This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda encrusted with coloured faience.[6] The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft). The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang. The prang are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.[7]
The central prang is topped with a seven-pronged trident, referred to by many sources as the “Trident of Shiva”.[8] Around the base of the prang are various figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Over the second terrace are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding on Erawan.[9] In the Buddhist iconography, the central prang is considered to have three symbolic levels—base for Traiphum indicating all realms of existence, middle for Tavatimsa where all desires are gratified and top denoting Devaphum indicating six heavens within seven realms of happiness.[9] At the riverside are six pavilions (sala) in Chinese style. The pavilions are made of green granite and contain landing bridges.
Next to the prang is the Ordination Hall with a Niramitr Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The front entrance of the Ordination Hall has a roof with a central spire, decorated in coloured ceramic and stuccowork sheated in coloured china. There are two demons, or temple guardian figures, in front.[9] The murals were created during the reign of Rama V.[9]
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
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]
For more information please visit the following links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Architecture: Wat Maha That as Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phutthai Sawan and the later built Wat Racha Burana follows the Khmer concept of temple onstruction. We find nearly identical, but earlier built structures at Angkor. Phnom Bakheng, Preah Rup, East Mebon, Baphuon and Ta Keo were all Temple Mountains, consisting of a central tower surrounded by four corner towers, forming a quincunx, the latter also often was surrounded by a courtyard and a gallery.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“The design, architecture and decoration of a Khmer temple were modeled according to a series of magical and religious beliefs. Devotees moved from the mundane world to a spiritual one by walking along one of the four axes, each of which has a different astrological value. East, the direction of the rising sun, was auspicious, representing life and the sexual prowess of the male. Most of the Khmer temples were built with the entrance to the east, as this was the formal approach to most Hindu shrines. In general, however, west is considered inauspicious and epresents death, impurity and the setting sun. North is also auspicious, while South has a neutral value. The Khmers adhered to the Hindu belief that a temple must be built correctly according to a mathematical system in order for it to function in harmony with the universe. [11] The sanctuary or the abode of gods was built in the center of the city to imitate Mount Meru which the Khmers believed to be the center of the universe. The town layout, a square-shape, corresponded with the Mandala concept, arising from Hindu beliefs, which indicated the boundary of the universe. [12]”

“All temples in the early period of the establishment of Ayutthaya were clearly Khmer styled, consisting primary of laterite structures (instead of sandstone) and bricks, enhanced with stucco. Wat Maha That consisted basically of a large central prang surrounded by four subsidiary prangs at the four inter-cardinal points, standing on a raised square platform. The quincunx was surrounded by a courtyard and a roofed gallery, lined with a row of Buddha images. Typically for the Ayutthaya period is that often the gallery was penetrated by a monastic structure, being an ordination or an
assembly hall, or even sometimes both. An exception to this was Wat Phutthai Sawan.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
“The principal prang of Wat Maha That was constructed of laterite at the base. The top part of the stupa was of brick and mortar. Brick work at the four sides of the base indicates that the prang had porches in the cardinal directions, a feature not used in the Early Ayutthaya period (1351 – 1491). These porches could be reached by a staircase. Historians believe that these porches were added during the renovation of the temple
done in 1633 during King Prasat Thong’s reign. Mural paintings of Buddhas in the different postures were found inside the prang. The prang stood until the beginning of the 20th century, but finally the brick part collapsed as unfortunately no preserving had been done since the fall of the city in 1767. Fifty years after its collapse a crypt was found containing relics of the Buddha inside the stupa.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Maha That was certainly not exempted from looting. From its destruction in 1767
until its restoration by the FAD last century, the temple has been prone of severe looting
and damage by illegal excavation.

From the collection of the aerial photograph Peter Williams-Hunt, who took pictures
during reconnaissance missions of Royal Air Force in the 2nd World War, I choose two
photographs to indicated the state of the ruins of Wat Maha That in the year 1946
(photo 1 – photo 2). It is obvious that quite a bit of restoration had been undertaken by
the Fine Arts Department (photo 3).
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Excavations: In 1956 the Fine Arts Department started excavations at Wat Maha That. At first
workers, found in the main chamber of the principal prang, half buried in the sand under
the pedestal of the pagoda, a solid gold lion, sitting in a fish-shaped container decorated
with a gilded motif and filled with other gold accessories.

At a later stage the smell of sandalwood oil hung in the air and the upper ventilation hole
of the crypt was found. A shaft was discovered in September, when a vertical
excavation from the floor of the relic chamber was performed.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Aphivan Saipradist recounts the story of one of the workers, Mian Youngpradit, digging
for the crypt in its analysis as follows:

“It was both exciting and tiring. We had only a crow bar and a basket. And we
had to dig just a big enough hole to go through, layer by layer, until we reached
the main crypt 17 meters underneath. We had to use a lantern. But the ventilation
was so poor that breathing became more difficult. We had to lower leafy guava
branches down the hole to help with the ventilation. The noise of the crow bar
touching the stone in the tiny hole was heart wrenching. When it hit the box, the
compressed air suddenly burst out of the tiny hole was so violent that it seemed
like a big serpent jumping at us. If we had not been prepared, it could’ve killed us.
That was how many crypt diggers were killed.” [11]”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“In the 17-m deep shaft a hollow stone pillar 3.20 m high with a lid buried in a cemented-
brick pedestal was found. Five days were needed to remove it. On 30 August 1956 the
stone container was opened in presence of authorities. The container was filled with a
small stupa wrapped in a lead sheet containing relics, gold ornaments, a large quantity of
bronze images, pewter votive tablets and other valuables.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Jacobus van de Koutere or Jacques de Coutre, born in Bruges (Flanders) around 1572 and a merchant in gemstones gave in his manuscript La Vida de Jaques de Couttre a description of what was likely Wat Maha That. In 1595 de Coutre stayed about 8 months in Ayutthaya as part of an embassy sent to Siam by the Portuguese governor of Malacca. The description you can find here.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya state that during King Songtham’s reign (r.
1610/1611-1628) the prang fell in decay and the upper part of the main prang came down.

“In that year the stupa of the Monastery of the Holy Great Relic collapsed right down to the [B: garuda rafters, the foundation and the steps] [CDEF: level of the garudas and its foundation settled].” [8]

Van Vliet although wrote in The short History of the Kings of Siam (1640) that the tower collapsed in the third year of King Prasat Thong’s reign (r. 1629-1656), thus
being 1631.

“In the third year of his reign the golden tower of the Nopphathat suddenly
collapsed without a crosswind, thunder, or lightning. He had it quickly erected
again, but before this tower was totally restored, the scaffolding (beautifully
durably made of bamboo) also collapsed unexpectedly during a rain to
consequence, strange omens were seen but were kept secret by the soothsayers.”
[9]”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Prasat Thong restored the stupa in 1633 and increased it considerably. Theprang was raised to 44 meters and reached at that time, with its finial, a height of 50 m.

“In 995 (1633 AD), a year of the cock, the King in His holy compassion had the
holy stupa of the Monastery of the Great Relic, which had been destroyed earlier, restored. Originally the main section had been nineteen wa, with a sky trident spire of three wa, so the King said, “The original form was extremely squat. Rebuild it so it is a sen and two wa high but retain the sky trident spire so that together they equal one sen and five wa.” When it was built it looked conical and it was ordered that makha wood be brought and added to the brick and that mortar be taken and added to it. In nine months it was completed and a ceremony to dedicate it was
ordered to be held on a grand scale.” [10]

Wat Maha That was restored again in King Borommakot’s reign (r. 1733-1758). Four porticos were added to the prang, which was restored at the same time as the royal vihara and the ordination hall. No evidence of restoration of the monastery could be found after. Obviously chedis, prangs, and viharns were added on several occasions in time. At the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, the monastery was set on fire in the Burmese
attack.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

“Wat Maha That housed before an unusual Buddha image of green stone believed to be
made in the Dvaravati style (Mon) dating from 707 – 757 AD. A governor of Ayutthaya
got this statue moved to Wat Na Phra Men during the reign of King Rama III, where it
still resides in a small vihara next to the ubosot.

The main prang of Wat Maha That survived until the reign of King Rama V, as seen in a
photograph taken in 1903, early 1904. On 25 May, 1904, at 0500 Hr in the morning,
the main prang collapsed at the level of the niche. The prang fell further apart in 1911
during the reign of King Rama VI. The Fine Arts Department restored it partially. The
symmetrical base with staircases on the four sides is all what remains of the once
majestic prang.”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Maha That or the Monastery of the Great Relic is located on the city island in
the central part of Ayutthaya in Tha Wasukri sub-district. The temple is situated on the
corner of the present Chikun Road and Naresuan Road. The monastery stood on the
west bank of Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak, an important canal, which has been filled up
somewhere in the early 20th century. In ancient times the temple was likely fully
surrounded by canals and moats. The structure has been registered as a national historic
site by the Fine Arts Department on 8 March 1935 and is part of the Ayutthaya World
Heritage Historical Park.

or more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand

History: The exact date of the establishment of Wat Maha That is difficult to assess.

The Luang Prasoet version of the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya put its construction in
736 Chula Sakarat (CS) or 1374 of the Christian Era, during the reign of King
Borommaracha I (r. 1370-1388), somehow 23 years after the establishment of
Ayutthaya. The chronicles mention that the central prang had a height of 46 meter.

“In 736, a year of the tiger, King Bòromracha I and the Venerable
Thammakanlayan first erected the great, glorious, holy jeweled reliquary,
towering one sen and three wa, to the east of the royal lion gable.” [1]

Later versions of the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya state that Wat Maha That was
established by King Ramesuan (r. 1388-1395) after his attack of Chiang Mai in 1384
(746 CS). But this date is not corroborating with his period of reign.

“Then the King went out to observe the precepts at Mangkhalaphisek Hall. At ten
thum he looked toward the east and saw a Great Holy Relic of the Lord Buddha
performing a miracle. Calling the palace deputies to bring his royal palanquin, he
rode forth. He had stakes brought and pounded into the ground to mark the spot.
The great holy reliquary which he built there was nineteen wa high, with a nine-
branched finial three wa high, and named the Maha That Monastery. Then the
King had the Royal Rite of Entering the Capital performed and festivities were
held in the royal residence.” [2]

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

 

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
“In general, historians bet on the two horses and take as granted that the construction of
the monastery was started by King Borommaracha I and completed in King Ramesuan’s
reign. In the second version the prang was 38 meter high with on top, a finial of 6 meter.

An earlier source (1), Jeremias Van Vliet, a chief merchant of the Dutch East India
Company in Ayutthaya, wrote in his Short History of the Kings of Siam in 1640, that it
was Prince U-Thong, the later King Ramathibodhi I, who built Wat Maha That.

“Then Thao U Thong began to re-establish the city on the fifth day of the waxing
fourth moon (in our reckoning being the month of March) in the Year of the Tiger
and called it Ayutthaya. He also built three temples which are still considered to be
the most important in the whole kingdom: the Nopphathat, the most holy;
Ratchaburana, the same size and shape as the Nopphathat but not visited by the
kings because of a prophecy that the first king who goes in there will die shortly
thereafter; and Wat Doem still the foremost [monastic?] school. After Thao U
Thong had built the aforementioned city, he had the entire population called
together and declared himself king.” [3]

The chronicles mention that King Borommaracha II (r. 1424-1448) attacked Angkor
in 1431 and had a large number of sacred images of oxen, lions and other creatures
removed from the temples there. These images were brought to Ayutthaya and installed
as offerings at Wat Maha That.”
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

WAT MAHA THAT, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
“Wat Maha That was one of the most important monasteries of the Ayutthaya kingdom,
not only because it was the religious centre and enshrined relics of the Buddha, but also
because of its proximity to the Grand Palace. It was a royal monastery and the seat of
the Supreme Patriarch of the City Dwelling sect till the end of the Ayutthaya period – at
par with the Supreme Patriarch of the Forest Dwelling sect, which had its seat at Wat
Yai Chai Mongkhon (called Wat Pa Kaeo in earlier times). Van Vliet wrote in 1638 in
his Description of the Kingdom of Siam that from the highest ecclesiastic regents,
namely the four bishops of the principal temples of Judia, “The bishop of the Nappetat
(2) has the supreme dignity” [5]

In the past, it was the venue of important royal ceremonies and celebrations. Van Vliet
describes the splendor of yearly Royal procession to Wat Maha That on the occasion of
Kathin, where the Ayutthayan Kings “made their offerings to the gods and prayed for
the welfare of the country”. An excerpt from The Description of the Kingdom of
Siam of 1638 can be read here [7].”

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_MahaThat.html

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand Part 2

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

 I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

 I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand. 

 John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

Thai Mix Vegetables at Bangapi Mall, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand has many kinds of vegetables for stir frying. We cook with Thai hot chili and coconut cream or in soup. We would have all kinds of vegetables in every meal in my family. I am longing to eat most of the food that I ate when I was in Thailand.
For more information please visit the followings:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Thai_ingredients

 

Thai Fruits, Dragonfruit Hylocereus sp and The longan (lamyai) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand has many kinds of fruits in all seasons for fruit lovers to enjoy. I love all kinds of fruits and long to eat most of the fruits that I ate when I was in Thailand. I am here in Bangkok, Thailand for almost a month, but I have not eaten any of the Thai desserts yet. My desserts are all kinds of fruit.
Dragonfruit  Hylocereus sp, These fruits grow off the long arms of a cactus found in southern China and SE Asia.
“Towards the end of the rainy season, around September, the markets around the north are filled with piles of the oddly shaped dragon fruits. This relative new-comer is now a common sight in the markets and on the table when it is in season.” http://thailandforvisitors.com/general/food/fruit/
The longan (lamyai) or “dragon eyes” is so named because of the fruit’s resemblance to an eyeball when it is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard and closely allied to the glamorous lychee. The fruit is edible, and is often used in East Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried, sometimes canned with syrup in supermarkets. The seeds of fresh longan can be boiled and eaten, with a distinctive nutty flavor.
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Dragonfruit  Hylocereus sp photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Dragonfruit  Hylocereus sp, These fruits grow off the long arms of a cactus found in southern China and SE Asia.
“Towards the end of the rainy season, around September, the markets around the north are filled with piles of the oddly shaped dragon fruits. This relative new-comer is now a common sight in the markets and on the table when it is in season.” http://thailandforvisitors.com/general/food/fruit/
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Jackfruit  Artocarpus heterophyllus photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Jackfruit  Artocarpus heterophyllus
“If a Durian resembles a small bomb then the Jackfruit (kanoon) must be the Mother of them all. Weighing up to 80 pounds and a yard long, the Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. Broken open, the Jackfruit reveals dozens of large seeds covered with a sweet yellow sheath which has a taste similar to pineapple but milder and less juicy. It is said that the flavor of Juicy Fruit chewing gum comes from the Jackfruit.
The fruit is normally eaten raw but can also be dried and made into chips or cooked and added to curries.
A dye from the heartwood of the Jackfruit tree is used by forest monks to give their robes the traditional off-brown color.”
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Mango (Ma-muang) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
“Thailand and Hua Hin are well-known for Mango and sticky rice. The sweet mango and the coconut milk and sticky rice just can’t be beat as a dessert and is readily available in Hua Hin. The most well-known shop is across the street from the Hilton Hotel to the north. This shop normally has ripe mangoes throughout the year though they can get a little expensive during the off-season. There are also stalls in Chatchai Market and across the street on Phetkasem Rd. There are several cultivars of mango with some sweeter and some more sour. Some are eaten with a salt and chili dry dip. There is also a Three Season cultivar which produces year around.”
For more information please visit the followings:
http://www.frangipani.com/wordpress/thai-fruits/#.WXBZa2gpCW8

Thai Fruits, Rambutan (ngo) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Rambutan (ngo) In bright red with yellowish or greenish hair, the rambutan is beautiful in appearance. Its white flesh is firm, sweet, and juicy. The most widely grown species are the pink rambutan, the school rambutan and the che-mong. If you find that the meat does not come off the seed readily, you may use a knife to help. Season: May to June.
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Custard Apple (noi-na) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Custard Apple (noi-na) Transplanted from Central America long ago. Easily broken with a squeeze. Eat the soft, white meat with the help of a spoon and leave out the seeds. Season: June to August.
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Guava (farang) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
“Guava (farang) The Thai name means a White or a Westerner. The fruit derived its name because it originated from tropical America. It has become a popular fruit only after the new Vietnamese species was widely planted more than a decade ago. Eat the white, crisp flesh either alone or with the condiment provided free by the vendor. Don’t eat the core, which would cause constipation. Season: All year round.”
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5Thai Fruits, Durian photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
“Durian (thu-rian) A very special fruit. Reputed to be the king of all fruits, its strong smell sometimes turns people away before they have a chance to taste it. However, if one can overcome one’s initial dislike of its foul smell and give it a try, one is likely to love its rich, unique flavour.
Among the various species, the golden pillow (monthong) is most agreeable to the beginner.Other famous varieties include the long-stemmed (kanyao) and the gibbon (cha-ni). Season: May to June.”
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, Mangoateen (mahngkoot) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Mangosteen (mahngkoot) is often called the Queen of Fruits, due to its “cooling” properties, in contrast to the King of Fruits, Durian, with it’s “heatiness”. The fruiting seasons of the two coincide and they make a very nice combination. The husk or exocarp of the Mangosteen is a leathery purple shell which, when opened, reveals the soft, white fruit which is quite delicate and consists of 4-8 segments, the larger of which contain seeds. The fragrant, fleshy fruit is both sweet and tangy.
For more information please visit the followings:
https://cuesa.org/eat-seasonally/charts?gclid=CjwKCAjwqcHLBRAqEiwA-j4AyKG5Y6dycuMxzckA_7IVsZ1J-5

Thai Fruits, longan (lamyai photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
The longan (lamyai) or “dragon eyes” is so named because of the fruit’s resemblance to an eyeball when it is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard and closely allied to the glamorous lychee. The fruit is edible, and is often used in East Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods, either fresh or dried, sometimes canned with syrup in supermarkets. The seeds of fresh longan can be boiled and eaten, with a distinctive nutty flavor.
For more information please visit the followings:
http://www.frangipani.com/wordpress/thai-fruits/#.WXBZa2gpCW8

Thai Fruits, Langsart (langsart) photographed at Bangapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand has many kinds of fruits in all seasons for fruit lovers to enjoy. I love all kinds of fruits and long to eat most of the fruits that I ate when I was in Thailand. I am here in Bangkok, Thailand for almost a month, but I have not eaten any of the Thai deserts yet. My deserts are all kinds of fruit.
Langsart (langsart) are a sweet fruit with a pale brown skin with an inner stone which is quite bitter. Langsart grows on a tree of medium height. The leaf pattern consists of one large leaf with 5-7 small leaves. The fragrant yellow petals hang in pendulous spikes and start blooming in midsummer.The fruit hang in bunches of 8 to 20 pieces. The smooth outer skin is a dirty yellow color. Under the thin peel, which exudes a milky sap, are about five white or pinkish segments unequal in size. Most segments are sweet, but one or two contain a viable seed and are very bitter to the taste. Some people enjoy the contrast of flavors.
For more information please visit the followings:
http://www.frangipani.com/wordpress/thai-fruits/#.WXBZa2gpCW8

Thai Jasmin Garland and Malagold
Phuang malai  are a Thai form of floral garland. They are often given as offerings or kept for good luck.
Origins of phuang malai
There is no written evidence on who first created phuang malai. The first record of phuang malai was found during the reign of King Rama V or Phrabat Somdet Phra Paramintharamaha Chulalongkorn the Great.[1] There was a literary work written by the king called “Royal ceremony in 12 months”  which contained information about events and ceremonies in the Sukhothai Kingdom. In the 4th month ceremony, it was mentioned that fresh flower garlands were made by the king’s chief concubine “Tao Srijulalux” [2] Then, in the Rattanakosin Kingdom the phuang malai became an important ornamental object in every ceremony. Every girl in the palace was expected to acquire the skills of making phuang malai. Queen Sripatcharindra   devised a wide variety of intricate phuang malai patterns.[1]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phuang_malai

Thailand Bangkok Flower Market
Thailand Bangkok Flower Market Highlights As the biggest flower market in Bangkok, Bangkok Flower Market is the best place to go for all your floral needs. Flowers range from local species (jasmine, chrysanthemum, gerbera, orchids, lilies, roses) to imported species such as tulips, snapdragons, iris, lisianthus, delphinium and more. Props and accessories for flower arrangements are also plentiful, whether vases, flower pots, floral foam, ribbons, florist wire, twigs or all kinds of decorative leaves imaginable. Many vendors at Pak Klong Talad offer flower arranging services. Previously arranged bouquets, flower garlands, floral accessories for weddings or other special occasions are also available. Flower Market Opening Hours: 24 hours, more popular during nighttime Location: Chak Phet Road, the Memorial Bridge or Saphan Phut Chao Phraya pier How to get there: Taxi or Tuk Tuk

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/pak-klong-market.htm

Thailand Bangkok Flower Market
Thailand Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Klong Talad) is the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok. The market has all kinds of popular flowers and flora-related items, including roses, forget me nots, orchids, lilies and more. Most of them sold in packs of 50 or 100 flowers in each, and prices are amazingly cheap. Part of the Old City, Bangkok Flower market is located on Chak Phet Road near Saphan Phut or the Memorial Bridge. Shops and vendors are housed inside two to three-storey shop-houses on both sides of the main road. The market lies just south of Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and has access to a river pier, so it makes for a great one-day trip when combined with other historical attractions in the Old City.
For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/pak-klong-market.htm

Mural at the Flower Market, Bangkok Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Thailand Bangkok Flower Market Open 24 hours, Pak Klong Talad is most lively after midnight. If you want to see the market in full action, though, the best time to go is pre-dawn or at 3:00-4:00. This is when the roadside , into a kaleidoscope of bright, blooming colours, as vendors receive floral goods from each flower-growing area in the country. Wholesalers bring in truckloads of freshly cut flowers, while traders and retailers come to buy their stock in bulk. It can be quite a chaotic scene, and vendors may be less patient when dealing with visitors. If you go during this period, it’s best to just observe and absorb the surrounding atmosphere. During the day, Bangkok Flower Market is relatively sleepy, although this is a good time for visitors to shop around. Prices are usually reasonably cheap, but during specific festivals such as Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, or graduation season, certain flowers will be three to four times more expensive (the same rule applies when you buy from any shop throughout the city). Bangkok Flower Market Highlights As the biggest flower market in Bangkok,

For more information please visit the following link:
http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/pak-klong-market.htm

Go to the top

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand Part 1

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

I went to Thailand to visit my family for two months, from July and August 2017.  I did not visit home since 2006.  I was glad to see my family.  I enjoyed seeing all new development in Bangkok and loved eating authentic Thai food, especially Thai fruits.

I had a chance to visit my home town, Lopburi, where I was raised when I was young, before we moved to Bangkok.  I traveled to Ayutthaya to see the ruins of temples that were burned by Burmese soldiers, when the Burmese wanted to take over Thailand, The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767).  Ayutthaya was one of the former capitals of Thailand before moved to, Thonburi and then Bangkok.  I also traveled to, Chiang Mai, located in the Northern part of Thailand.  Chiang Mai is the second largest and second most popular city of Thailand. 

 John, my husband came to Thailand in August.  He joined me traveling to different part of Thailand.  I had a good time taking videos and photographs wherever I traveled around Bangkok and other part of Thailand.  I hope the viewers of my website will enjoy the photographs that I present in these projects.

Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts, Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

 Thai Flag and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand (/?ta?lænd/ TY-land), officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam, is a country at the center of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), Thailand is the world’s 50th-largest country. It is the 20th-most-populous country in the world, with around 66 million people.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has switched between parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades, the latest coup being in May 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order. Its capital and most populous city is Bangkok. It is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
The Thai economy is the world’s 20th largest by GDP at PPP and the 27th largest by nominal GDP. It became a newly industrialized country and a major exporter in the 1990s. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. [13][14] It is considered a middle power in the region and around the world.[15]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand

History of Thailand
There is evidence of human habitation in Thailand that has been dated at 40,000 years before the present, with stone artifacts dated to this period at Tham Lod Rockshelter in Mae Hong Son. Similar to other regions in Southeast Asia, Thailand was heavily influenced by the culture and religions of India, starting with the Kingdom of Funan around the 1st century CE to the Khmer Empire.[21] Thailand in its earliest days was under the rule of the Khmer Empire, which had strong Hindu roots, and the influence among Thais remains even today.
Indian influence on Thai culture was partly the result of direct contact with Indian settlers, but mainly it was brought about indirectly via the Indianized kingdoms of Dvaravati, Srivijaya, and Cambodia.[22] E.A. Voretzsch believes that Buddhism must have been flowing into Siam from India in the time of the Indian Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire and far on into the first millennium after Christ.[22] Later Thailand was influenced by the south Indian Pallava dynasty and north Indian Gupta Empire.[22]
According to George Cœdès, “The Thai first enter history of Farther India in the eleventh century with the mention of Syam slaves or prisoners of war in” Champa epigraphy, and “in the twelfth century, the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat” where “a group of warriors” are described as Syam. Additionally, “the Mongols, after the seizure of Ta-li on January 7, 1253 and the pacification of Yunnan in 1257, did not look with disfavor on the creation of a series of Thai principalities at the expense of the old Indianized kingdoms.” The Menam Basin was originally populated by the Mons, and the location of Dvaravati in the 7th century, followed by the Khmer Empire in the 11th. The History of the Yuan mentions an embassy from the kingdom of Sukhothai in 1282. In 1287, three Thai chiefs, Mangrai, Ngam Muang, and Ram Khamhaeng formed a “strong pact of friendship”.[23]
After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 13th century, various states thrived there, established by the various Tai peoples, Mons, Khmers, Chams and Ethnic Malays, as seen through the numerous archaeological sites and artefacts that are scattered throughout the Siamese landscape. Prior to the 12th century however, the first Thai or Siamese state is traditionally considered to be the Buddhist Sukhothai Kingdom, which was founded in 1238.
Following the decline and fall of the Khmer empire in the 13th–15th century, the Buddhist Tai kingdoms of Sukhothai, Lanna, and Lan Xang (now Laos) were on the rise. However, a century later, the power of Sukhothai was overshadowed by the new Kingdom of Ayutthaya, established in the mid-14th century in the lower Chao Phraya River or Menam area.
Ayutthaya’s expansion centred along the Menam while in the northern valleys the Lanna Kingdom and other small Tai city-states ruled the area. In 1431, the Khmer abandoned Angkor after Ayutthaya forces invaded the city.[24] Thailand retained a tradition of trade with its neighbouring states, from China to India, Persia, and Arab lands. Ayutthaya became one of the most vibrant trading centres in Asia. European traders arrived in the early 16th century, beginning with the envoy of Portuguese duke Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511, followed by the French, Dutch, and English. The Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767) left Ayutthaya burned and sacked by King Hsinbyushin Konbaung.
After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 to the Burmese, Taksin moved the capital to Thonburi for approximately 15 years. The current Rattanakosin era of Thai history began in 1782 following the establishment of Bangkok as capital of the Chakri dynasty under King Rama I the Great. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, “A quarter to a third of the population of some areas of Thailand and Burma were slaves in the 17th through the 19th centuries.”[25][26]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand

Thailand Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
In 1767, the Kingdom of Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese, and King Taksin then moved the capital to Thonburi where he built the old palace beside Wat Arun on the west bank of Chao Phraya River. In 1778, Taksin’s army under the command of Chao Phraya Chakri (who later became Rama I) captured Vientiane and took the Emerald Buddha back to Thonburi.
In 1782, King Rama I succeeded to the throne and founded the Chakri Dynasty, and he decided to move the capital across the river to Bangkok as it would be better protected from attack.[6] The site chosen for the palace is situated between two old wats, Wat Pho and Wat Mahathat, an area inhabited by Chinese residents who were then moved to the present Chinatown.[7] He started the construction of the Grand Palace so that the palace may be ready for his coronation in 1785. Wat Phra Kaew, which has its own compound within the precinct of the palace, was built to house the Emerald Buddha, which is considered a sacred object that provides protection for the kingdom. Wat Phra Kaew was completed in 1784. [2][8] The formal name of Wat Phra Kaeo is Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, which means “the residence of the Holy Jewel Buddha.”
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew[1] is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha housed in the temple is a potent religio-political symbol and the palladium (protective image) of Thai society. [2][3] It is located in Phra Nakhon District, the historic centre of Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace. [4][5]
The main building is the central phra ubosot, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. According to legend, this Buddha image originated in India where the sage Nagasena prophesized that the Emerald Buddha would bring “prosperity and pre-eminence to each country in which it resides”, the Emerald Buddha deified in the Wat Phra Kaew is therefore deeply revered and venerated in Thailand as the protector of the country. Historical records however dates its finding to Chiang Rai in the 15th century where, after it was relocated a number of times, it was finally taken to Thailand in the 18th century. It was enshrined in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in 1782 during the reign of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, King Rama I (1782–1809). This marked the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand, whose current sovereign is Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X.
The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue, is in a standing form, about 66 centimetres (26 in) tall, carved from a single jade stone (“emerald” in Thai means deep green colour and not the specific stone). It is carved in the meditating posture in the style of the Lanna school of the northern Thailand. Except for the Thai King and, in his stead, the Crown Prince, no other persons are allowed to touch the statue. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year, corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons, an important ritual performed to usher good fortune to the country during each season. [3][4][5]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew has a plethora of buildings within the precincts of the Grand Palace, which covers a total area of over 94.5 hectares (234 acres). It has over 100 buildings with “200 years royal history and architectural experimentation” linked to it. The architectural style is named as Rattanakosin style (old Bangkok style). The main temple of the Emerald Buddha is very elegantly decorated and similar to the temple in ancient capital of Ayudhya. The roof is embellished with polished orange and green tiles, the pillars are inlaid in mosaic and the pediments are made of rich marble, installed around 18th century. The Emerald Buddha is deified over an elevated altar surrounded by large gilded decorations. While the upper part of this altar was part of the original construction, the base was added by King Rama III. Two images of the Buddha, which represent the first two kings of the Chakri dynasty, flank the main image. Over the years, the temple has retained its original design. However, minor improvements have been effected after its first erection during Rama I’s reign; wood-work of the temple was replaced by King Rama III and King Chulalongkorn; during King Mongkut’s reign, the elegant doors and windows and the copper plates on the floor were additions, Rama III refurbished the wall painting (indicative of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology) and several frescoes that display the various stages of the Buddha’s life; three chambers were added on the western side by King Mongkut; in the chamber known as ‘Phra Kromanusorn’ at the northern end, images of Buddha have been installed in honour of the kings of Ayutthaya; and in the 19th century, Khrua In Khong, a famous painter executed the wall murals. The entry to the temple is from the third gate from the river pier. [3][5][10][11][12][13][14]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Thai Wall Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Excerpts from the Ramakien Part 1
Demon king Totsakan seduces his niece in the mistaken belief that she is Princess Sita.
With the help of Sukreep, Hanuman and the other monkey warriors, Prince Rama’s army defeats the army of the demon king Totsakan, and advances towards his palace. In desperation, Totsakan devises a ploy to defuse the cause of the war. If Princess Sita were dead, he thinks, Prince Rama would discontinue the war. He therefore orders his niece, Princess Benjakai, to transform herself into Princess Sita, feign dead and float pass Prince Rama’s camp on the river.
Ramakien is a well-known epic in Thailand, derived from the Indian epic Ramayana. The main story is identical to that of the Ramayana. The major part of the Ramakien revolves around the war between Rama, the rightful king of Ayutthaya, and Totsakan, the evil king of the island of Lanka, who had abducted Rama’s beautiful wife, Sita, and taken her to Lanka. Rama is assisted by several monkey warriors. Totsakan’s allies are various demons.

This is the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana, an allegory of the triumph of good versus evil. Our hero, Rama is a paragon of virtue – the ideal king. The villain, or demon king Tosakan. This epic tale is thought to established after the Thais occupied Angkor in the 15th century. It has been an inspiration for painting and classical drama.
For more information please visit the following links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew
https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/thailand-social-manager/read/31814/the-story-of-ramakien
http://www.thaiembassy.no/News/joe_louis/en_Ramakien.html

Thai Wall Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Excerpts from the Ramakien Part 2
Princess Benjakai listens to his order and later re-appears before him as the beautiful Princess Sita. Totsakan is so taken by the tr ansformation that he mistakes her for the real Princess Sita with whom he is madly in love and begins to seduce her with unrelenting ardour. Princess Benjakai tries to convince him that she is his niece, not Princess Sita. Eventually she succeeds, and carries out his order to feign dead and float in the river to Prince Rama’s camp.

Thai Wall Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Excerpts from the Ramakien Part 3
The white monkey warrior Hanuman captures Princess Benjakai.
The body of Princess Benjakai, appearing as that of Princess Sita, arrives on the bank of the river
by Prince Rama’s camp. Hanuman sees it but suspects trickery as the body had unnaturally floated against the current. He suspects the body not to be of Princess Sita but of Princess Benjakai, demon king Totsakan’s niece. Knowing that Princess Sita is impervious to fire and Princess Benjakai is not, he puts the body to the ultimate test.

 

Thai Wall Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Excerpts from the Ramakien Part 4
On contact with fire, the body of Princess Benjakai escapes quickly into the skies. Hanuman tries to stop her, but she escapes into the clouds. Being Hanuman – or rather, animal – his glimpse of her had left a dent in his heart and so the great white monkey warrior pursues her assiduously through the skies and succeeds in bringing her back to camp. She is later seduced by him and becomes his wife.

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
The entire complex, including the temples, is bounded by a compound wall which is one of the most prominent part of the wat is about 2 kilometres (6,600 ft) length. The compound walls are decorated with typically Thai murals, based on the Indian epic Ramayana. In Thai language these murals are known to form the Ramakian, the Thai national epic, which was written during the reign of Rama I. The epic stories formed the basic information to draw the paintings during the reign of King Rama I (1782–1809). These paintings are refurbished regularly. The murals, in 178 scenes, starting with the north gate of the temple illustrates the complete epic story of Ramayana sequentially, in a clockwise direction covering the entire compound wall. The murals serve to emphasize human values of honesty, faith, and devotion. [3][5][10][13]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

 

Thai Wall Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
The entire complex, including the temples, is bounded by a compound wall which is one of the most prominent part of the wat is about 2 kilometres (6,600 ft) length. The compound walls are decorated with typically Thai murals, based on the Indian epic Ramayana. In Thai language these murals are known to form the Ramakian, the Thai national epic, which was written during the reign of Rama I. The epic stories formed the basic information to draw the paintings during the reign of King Rama I (1782–1809). These paintings are refurbished regularly. The murals, in 178 scenes, starting with the north gate of the temple illustrates the complete epic story of Ramayana sequentially, in a clockwise direction covering the entire compound wall. The murals serve to emphasise human values of honesty, faith, and devotion.[3][5][10][13]
For more information please visit the following links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew
http://www.thaiembassy.no/News/joe_louis/en_Ramakien.html
https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/thailand-social-manager/read/31814/the-story-of-ramakien

 

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
There are twelve salas that were built by Rama I, around the temple. They house interesting artefacts of regions such as Cambodia and Java. One of these salas had an inscription of Ramkamhaeng, which was shifted, in 1924, to the National Library. During the reign of King Mongkut, the Phra Gandharara – small chapel on the southwest corner – and a tall belfry were new additions.[3]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

 

Golden Chedi of Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
In 1767, the Kingdom of Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese, and King Taksin then moved the capital to Thonburi where he built the old palace beside Wat Arun on the west bank of Chao Phraya River. In 1778, Taksin’s army under the command of Chao Phraya Chakri (who later became Rama I) captured Vientiane and took the Emerald Buddha back to Thonburi.
In 1782, King Rama I succeeded to the throne and founded the Chakri Dynasty, and he decided to move the capital across the river to Bangkok as it would be better protected from attack.[6] The site chosen for the palace is situated between two old wats, Wat Pho and Wat Mahathat, an area inhabited by Chinese residents who were then moved to the present Chinatown.[7] He started the construction of the Grand Palace so that the palace may be ready for his coronation in 1785. Wat Phra Kaew, which has its own compound within the precinct of the palace, was built to house the Emerald Buddha, which is considered a sacred object that provides protection for the kingdom. Wat Phra Kaew was completed in 1784.[2][8] The formal name of Wat Phra Kaeo is Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, which means “the residence of the Holy Jewel Buddha.”
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Golden Chedi of Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew has undergone a number of renovations, restoration and additions in its history, particularly during the reign of King Rama III and Rama IV. Rama III started the renovations and rebuilding in 1831 for the 50th Anniversary of BangkoK of 1832, while Rama IV’s restoration was completed by Rama V in time for the Bangkok Centennial celebrations in 1882. Further restoration was undertaken by Rama VII on Bangkok’s 150th Anniversary in 1932, and by Rama IX for the 200th Anniversary in 1982. [2]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Thai Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
A painted representation of the Ramakien is displayed at Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew, and many of the statues there depict characters from it.
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew[1] is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha housed in the temple is a potent religio-political symbol and the palladium (protective image) of Thai society. [2][3] It is located in Phra Nakhon District, the historic centre of Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace. [4][5]
The main building is the central phra ubosot, which houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha. According to legend, this Buddha image originated in India where the sage Nagasena prophesized that the Emerald Buddha would bring “prosperity and pre-eminence to each country in which it resides”, the Emerald Buddha deified in the Wat Phra Kaew is therefore deeply revered and venerated in Thailand as the protector of the country. Historical records however dates its finding to Chiang Rai in the 15th century where, after it was relocated a number of times, it was finally taken to Thailand in the 18th century. It was enshrined in Bangkok at the Wat Phra Kaew temple in 1782 during the reign of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, King Rama I (1782–1809). This marked the beginning of the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand, whose current sovereign is Vajiralongkorn, King Rama X.
The Emerald Buddha, a dark green statue, is in a standing form, about 66 centimetres (26 in) tall, carved from a single jade stone (“emerald” in Thai means deep green colour and not the specific stone). It is carved in the meditating posture in the style of the Lanna school of the northern Thailand. Except for the Thai King and, in his stead, the Crown Prince, no other persons are allowed to touch the statue. The King changes the cloak around the statue three times a year, corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy seasons, an important ritual performed to usher good fortune to the country during each season. [3][4][5]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, Thailand
The entrance is guarded by a pair of yakshis (mythical giants – 5 metres (16 ft) high statues). The eponymous image Buddha in brilliant green colour is 66 centimetres (26 in) in height with a lap width of 48.3 centimetres (19.0 in). It is carved in a yogic position, known as Virasana (a meditation pose commonly seen in images in Thailand and also in South India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia). The pedestal on which the Emerald Buddha deified is decorated with Garuda (the mythical half-man half-bird form, a steed of Rama, who holds his mortal enemy Naga the serpent in his legs) motifs It is central to Thai Buddhism. The image made with a circular base has a smooth top-knot that is finished with a “dulled point marking at the top of the image”. A third eye made in gold is inset over the elevated eyebrows of the image. The image appears divine and composed, with the eyes cast downward. The image has a small nose and mouth (mouth closed) and elongated ears. The hands are seen on the lap with palms facing upwards. [3][12][15]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

A group of Thai Buddhist Monks at the Wat Phra Kaew temple
A ceremony that is observed in the wat is the Chakri Day (begun on April 6, 1782), a national holiday to honour founding of the Chakri dynasty. On this day, the king attends the ceremony. The former king Rama IX, with his Queen, and entourage of the royal family, the Prime Minister, officials in the Ministry of Defence, and other government departments, first offered prayers at the Emerald Buddha temple. This was followed by visit to the pantheon to pay homage to the images of past Chakri rulers that are installed there. [3]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

Thai Murals of Wat Phra Kaew
Ramakien is a well-known epic in Thailand, derived from the Indian epic Ramayana. The main story is identical to that of the Ramayana. The major part of the Ramakien revolves around the war between Rama, the rightful king of Ayutthaya, and Totsakan, the evil king of the island of Lanka, who had abducted Rama’s beautiful wife, Sita, and taken her to Lanka. Rama is assisted by several monkey warriors. Totsakan’s allies are various demons.
This is the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana, an allegory of the triumph of good versus evil. Our hero, Rama is a paragon of virtue – the ideal king. The villain, or demon king Tosakan. This epic tale is thought to established after the Thais occupied Angkor in the 15th century. It has been an inspiration for painting and classical drama.
For more information please visit the following links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew
http://www.thaiembassy.no/News/joe_louis/en_Ramakien.html
https://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/thailand-social-manager/read/31814/the-story-of-ramakien

Thai Murals at Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok,                                                   ThailandWelcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
The entire complex, including the temples, is bounded by a compound wall which is one of the most prominent part of the wat is about 2 kilometres (6,600 ft) length. The compound walls are decorated with typically Thai murals, based on the Indian epic Ramayana. In Thai language these murals are known to form the Ramakian, the Thai national epic, which was written during the reign of Rama I. The epic stories formed the basic information to draw the paintings during the reign of King Rama I (1782–1809). These paintings are refurbished regularly. The murals, in 178 scenes, starting with the north gate of the temple illustrates the complete epic story of Ramayana sequentially, in a clockwise direction covering the entire compound wall. The murals serve to emphasise human values of honesty, faith, and devotion. [3][5][10][13]

There are twelve salas that were built by Rama I, around the temple. They house interesting artefacts of regions such as Cambodia and Java. One of these salas had an inscription of Ramkamhaeng, which was shifted, in 1924, to the National Library. During the reign of King Mongkut, the Phra Gandharara – small chapel on the southwest corner – and a tall belfry were new additions. [3]
For more information please visit the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Kaew

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