Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 15

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

We went for a short walk to the end area of Sukhumvit Road near Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand on August 24,2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Sukhumvit is an exclusive district in Bangkok. It is home to fancy apartments, villas, restaurants, bars and clubs. Popular among foreign visitors and expats, it becomes more and more a Thai residential neighbourhood as you follow the road southeast. Khlong Toei is also dealt with here, which, by contrast, is one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Bangkok.

Sukhumvit Road is not only one of the longest boulevards in Thailand, but one of the longest boulevards in the world. Towards the west end it changes name to Phloen Chit Road and Rama I Road as it enters the Siam Square area, but to the east it runs most of the way to the Cambodian border. The sois are numbered from west to east, with odd numbers north and even numbers south of Sukhumvit Road. The sois on the north and south sides of Sukhumvit don’t line up; for example, Soi 33 is opposite Soi 24. Confusing is that these sois also have names of their own (for example, Soi 55 is better known as Soi Thong Lo) and these sois can also have sois of their own (such as Thong Lo Soi 1). “

For more information please visit the following link:

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Sukhumvit

“Looking at the high-rise apartment buildings, the Skytrain and the perennial traffic jam on Sukhumvit Road, it is hard to believe that this area used to consist of rice fields until World War II. After the war, this area became developed with large contemporary villas catering to the upper class. As property values kept rising, developers have been buying more and more land and cashed them in by constructing big apartment high-rises. The construction of the BTS Skytrain in 1999, covering most of Sukhumvit Road, has increased the popularity of this district even more.”

“The lowered-numbered sois (roughly between Soi 1 and 63) are a popular residential area for western expatriates and affluent Thais. It is densely packed with shopping centres, restaurants and hotels. The fleshpots of Nana Entertainment Plaza (in Soi 4) and Soi Cowboy (between Soi 21 and 23) are also in this area, as are plenty of more (and less) salubrious bars. Also, the pavement of Sukhumvit itself has become a huge market carrying everything from luggage to fake Rolex watches, and after midnight they turn into roadside bars and pubs. Sukhumvit offers the best dining in Bangkok, from five-star dining to street stands, the variety of choices and tastes are almost overwhelming. Japanese nationals can be found in the area Soi 21 and upwards, but most tend to congregate around Soi 55. Indians have settled around Soi 12, while Arabs are grouped at Soi 3/1, which informally is known as Soi Arab. After Soi 63, Thais take over again, though this might change when the Skytrain extension is completed in late 2011.”

A nice commercial Mural of Siam Commercial Bank on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok

We went for a short walk to the end area of Sukhumvit Road near Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand on August 24,2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“South of Sukhumvit’s sois lies Khlong Toei, which, if recognised at all, foreigners only know for the Khlong Toei Market. Khlong Toei is a borough, a market and a port, all named after the canal that flows through the area. It means “canal of pandan” as that plant used to grow along the southern bank of the canal. A large part of it was filled up to make way for Rama IV Road in 1947. South (and under) the Chalerm Maha Nakhon Expressway are the infamous Khlong Toei slums, generally unexplored by even the most adventurous travellers. At the banks of the Chao Phraya river is the Khlong Toei Port, which has a history dating back to the ninth century, when it connected Bangkok with the cities upstream the river. Since 1981, it has lost most of its economic relevance when the larger Laem Chabang Port near Pattaya took over business.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Sukhumvit

“Museums

Garden at Kamthieng House Museum

  • Kamthieng House Museum, 131 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke Rd) (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ? +66 2 661-6470?, [1]. Tu-Sa 09:00-17:00. Ban Kamthieng is a 19th-century Thai stilted teak house where you definitely wouldn’t expect it: right in the middle of Bangkok’s high-rises. It was transported from Chiang Mai in pieces and assembled in Bangkok in 1964 to function as the headquarters of the Siam Society, an organisation that has the goal of preserving the cultural heritage of Thailand. Beside the house itself, on display are traditional tools, arts and crafts used by Lanna farmers and fishermen from northern Thailand in olden times, as well as a large selection of Thai flora in its yard. There is a heavy focus on the cultural heritage of northern Thailand, as that’s where the house and most of the tools on display came from. The only downside of the museum is that it’s quite small, so don’t expect to spend here longer than 30 minutes (or even 15 minutes if you’re quick). 100 baht.”

“Museums

  • Museum of Thai Pharmacy, 40 Sukhumvit Soi 38 (BTS Thong Lo), ? +66 2 391-6243. M-F 10:00-16:00. The museum is on the third floor of the Pharmaceutical Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Building. It was established to publicise about traditional Thai medicine from past to present, so that later generations would learn and treasure it. The exhibition features various topics, such as the birth of pharmacy, the evolution of oriental pharmacy and basic wisdom, the evolution of western Thai pharmacy and the evolution of herbs and natural products. Make contact in advance if you are visiting with a group. Free.”

“Museums

  • National Science Centre for Education, 928 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Ekkamai), ? +66 2 391-0544, [2]. Tu-Su 08:30-16:30. This is an exhibition centre about the variety of scientific knowledge. Among the attractions are a planetarium, an aquarium as well as a permanent exhibition on sports science, communication technology and natural environments. One-hour shows at the planetarium start at 11:00 and at 14:30 with additional shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 and 13:30. 20-40 baht.”  

“Museums

  • Thailand Creative and Design Center, 6F, Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ? +66 2 664-8448, [3]. Tu-Su 10:30-21:00. There couldn’t have been a better place for this design gallery, at the the Emporium, the most fashionable shopping mall of Bangkok. The TCDC, as abbreviation-loving Bangkokians call it, seeks to show and promote Thailand’s design innovations. There is a permanent exhibition about the question what design actually is, and how it is influenced by factors like society, history, politics, economics, geography and religion. There is also a temporary exhibition that often changes. If you want to enter the resource centre and the library, you can get a free one-day pass. You can only do this once and you must carry your passport with you. Spend the day reading amazing design books, or just using the internet. If you want to visit the resource centre and library again later, you’ll need to pay for a subscription. Free.”

“Parks

  • Benchasiri Park, Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong). 05:00-20:00 daily. This compact park was built to commemorate the 60th birthday of HM Queen Sirikit in 1992. It features a huge sculpture of a commemorative coin illustrating an image of HM Queen Sirikit and 12 pieces of contemporary sculptures including children’s works. Free.”

“Parks

  • Benjakiti Park, Ratchadaphisek Rd (MRT Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre). 05:00-20:00 daily. When the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly moved all its factory operations to Chiang Rai in 2008, the lake and some adjoining land that were part of its compound, previously enjoying semi-wild vegetation, were turned into a public park. Many splendid old rain trees were cut down in order to landscape the park, in which young trees were planted instead. Adjoining the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, it is a neat park with dedicated cycling and walking paths, fixed exercise equipment and several monuments. Free.”

“Eat

There is a huge selection of places to eat in and around Sukhumvit and its side sois, although prices tend to be on the high side by Thai standards. With practically every cuisine in the world represented, this is the place to break your pad thai diet and sample some of the best Japanese, Lebanese or Indian food you will ever eat.”

“Café

  • Cataholic Café, Sukhumvit 39, ? 084 269 7945. Cataholic Café is the café that has many cats (about 8-10 cats) to make you enjoy. Cataholic Café is on New Petchburi Road (Sukhumvit 39), Bangkok. Business Hours Tue-Fri: 12.00 am-9.00 pm Sat-Sun: 11.30 am – 9.00 pm Close every Monday. The restaurant is decorated in warm white color with Japanese style , used furniture like wooden tables and colorful soft cushions. The café area is not very wide. It is a small coffee shop but it has becomes one of the most popular café because of their cats service. Before enter to the cafe, you need to wash your hands with alcohol gel to clean and safety of the cat . The important concept is to make customer feel relaxing by playing with cats while you enjoy the dessert. With free Wi-Fi, you can use your camera to take a photo with cats and sharing to social network.”

For more information please visit the following link:                              https://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Sukhumvit

“Café

  • CityLight Coffee, 21/2 Sukhumvit Road Soi 4 (BTS Nana, Exit #2, left on Soi 4), ? 02-0232071, [27]. Tue-Sat 7:30am to 10:30pm. Comfortable and inviting coffee shop in Nana that uses locally sourced 100% arabica beans, Italian equipment, carrot cake, and freshly baked muffins. Some unique cold creations on the menu like the “Sukhumvit Sling” – a remarkable fizzy limeade mixed with market fresh mint leaves and passion fruit. Wall artwork showcases the Bangkok skyline. Live acoustic music most Friday evenings. drinks 45 to 125 baht.”

“Budget

While not as much an institution as in Siam Square, the food courts in any mall or department store are a good option if you’re trying to survive Sukhumvit on budget and want air-conditioning. Just like in Siam Square, food courts come in many varieties, from basic snack places to more upscale dining. The Emporium Mall, Ploenchit Center and Robinson all have decent food courts (see Buy). Most food courts use some variation of a coupon system; unused coupons are always refunded.”

“There are some cheapie sois with excellent street food if you know where to go:

  • Soi 7 Seafood Market, (BTS Nana). Soi 7 is a good option for seafood. About 30 metres down the soi on the right hand side is a group of Thai seafood restaurants. The sitting area looks shared, but actually only the tables in front of the food stalls belong to that restaurant. So in case you liked the food, remember the name of “your” restaurant. Main courses go for about 150 baht, while a cold beer sets you back 65 baht.”

“Talat Na Sukhumvit Soi 1, Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phloen Chit). Between Soi 1 and Soi 3 is a set of street food stalls with the best one furthest from the street. It is called Oowan Im (literally ‘fatty is full’), but is sign-posted in English with just the word “Seafood” on an otherwise Thai sign. Seafood is their specialty — good things to order include the “crispy fish in chili sauce”, tom yum soup and any of their Thai salads (such as mixed seafood salad). The Chinese-style fried vegetables are also delicious.”

A Mural on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok

We went for a short walk to the end area of Sukhumvit Road near Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand on August 24,2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Budget restaurants are generally hard to find, but the following are favorites among Bangkok’s large expat population:

  • Ramen Ichiban, 3/7-9 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom Phong), ? +66 2 258-6314. An authentically Japanese greasy-spoon noodle joint specializing in ramen soup. A bowl or ramen was 120 baht as of September, 2016. 80-150 baht.”

“Took Lae Dee, Nai Lert Bldg, 87 Sukhumvit Soi 5 (Soi 5, up the street ~50 m in the Foodland store), ? +66 2 254-2367, [28]. 24 hours. Took Lae Dae is a Bangkok institution. Imagine a long bar counter, only with chefs and food instead of bartenders and drinks, and a colourful cast of characters thanks to Nana Plaza across the street. The name literally means cheap and good and indeed basic fried rice starts at 40 baht, but the cheap Western dishes, many less than 100 baht, are what makes this place popular. The American breakfast (two eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, fruit juice, toast, coffee) is particularly good value at 47 baht between 06:00-09:00, or 58 baht at any other time. 50-100 baht.”

“Mid-range

Fusion

Thai food with a modern twist has become particularly popular the last years. Fusion restaurants are centred around the H1 complex on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lo).

  • Be your Guest’ Café, 24 Sukhumvit Soi 53 (BTS Thong Lo exit 1), ? +66 8 1637-9047, [29]. 11:00-18:00 daily. Delicious diverse cooking experience with dishes from all around the world. Soup, salad, sandwich, mains, as well as a selection of typical French, Thai and fusion food are served. The café also provides a large choice of food for take away and delivery. The Villa is also a three-bedroom guest house in a relaxing tropical garden with private pool. 300 baht.”

“Greyhound Café, 2F, Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phrom Phong), ? +66 2 255-6964(-5), [30]. 10:00-22:00 daily. An extremely modern restaurant of concrete and brushed steel, offering a fusionesque menu of food ranging from authentic Thai to Italian pasta to Elvis burgers. Mains are around 300 baht, although the lunch sets are cheaper. 300 baht.”

Many high rise commercial buildings on Sukhumvit Road

“Minibar Royale, Citadines Bldg, 37/7 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Thong Lo), ? +66 2 261-5533, [31]. Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F-Sa 11:00-01:00. If you’re looking for a hip New York or Paris-style brasserie, this is definitely the place. The French decor is well done, and service is OK. On the menu are a mix of French and American comfort food. Drink it down with one of their cocktails and you’ll have a fun night out. Prices are at the upper mid-range end. 450 baht.”

“Thyme Bistro & Martini Bar, 1F, Kingston Suites Bldg, 39/3-7 Sukhumvit Soi 15 (BTS Asok), ? +66 2 120-8288, [32]. 06:30-23:00 daily. A brand new restaurant located in Kingston Suites Bangkok, its dishes could be described as “fusion”, as it offers local, international and some popular Mediterranean dishes. The asparagus rolls are recommended, as are the Martinis. 300-400 baht.”

A Mural on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok

We went for a short walk to the end area of Sukhumvit Road near Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand on August 24,2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Thai

+66 2 391-1762, [33]. 15:00-00:00 daily. This is a lovely garden restaurant with palm trees and fountains. Decent food albeit somewhat pricey. Hidden at the rear is the cool and cosy Groove Kitchen club with funky house music. Compared to the crowded clubs of Sukhumvit, this is definitely a change of pace into a more relaxed jungle atmosphere. 300-700 baht.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Sukhumvit

“Cabbages and Condoms, 6 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asok), ? +66 2 229-4610, [34]. 11:00-22:00 daily. Run by Thailand’s Population and Community Development Association, the odd name refers to the fact that the NGO promotes agricultural production as well as condom use; and no prizes for guessing what you’ll get after dinner instead of an after-dinner mint. The food is competent but toned down for the foreign palate. A bit expensive for what you get but it’s for an excellent cause. 300 baht.”

“Check Inn 99 (an Original Bangkok Cabaret Bar), b/w Sois 5 & 7 on Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Nana, tucked away between Soi 5 and 7, look for the white sign with black letters that direct you into a passageway entrance), ? +66 870737989, [35]. 17:00-02:00 daily. Previous reviews said this place was straight out of a James Bond film. However, it’s closer to Rick’s Café in Casablanca and is quite unique as a no hassles old style cabaret style entetainment venue for both couples and singles. Recently it is enjoying cult style following with locals after a recent management change. Check Inn 99 (previously Checkinn Garden) is an oasis amidst the chaos of the Nana area. Good Western and Thai menu, a friendly and attentive staff, and terrific entertainment every night courtesy of three delightful Philippine singers and a gifted accoustic / backing musician. At 20:45, the music starts – often light and relaxed – but the band then gradually wind up the tempo throughout the evening playing to the audience, but is a great place to relax and spend an evening and one of the few bars where there are no girlie hassles. Although not an Aussie Bar – the band perform the best classic Australian Rock from the 70’s-90s you will hear. From Skyhooks,LRB, Aussie Crawl, Cold Chisel, IceHouse to Angels – got to be seen to be believed Happy hour is from 18:00-20:00. The steakhouse style restuarant whilst small is very popular and serves both European and Thai food, the steaks are consistently good. The new style management throw theme parties most Saturdays – so dont be surprised if you come in finding the staff in pajamas or Hawaiian grass skirts. 300-450 Baht no cover charge.”

“Kinnaree, 43 Sukhumvit Soi 8 (BTS Nana), ? +66 2 256-0328, [36]. 11:30-15:00, 18:00-00:00 daily. Very nice Thai ambience and decoration, great in the evening. Lounge bar and private rooms upstairs. The different sets of lunch menus are reasonably priced. The food is excellent and includes dishes hard to find elsewhere. Some dishes could be more spicy by Thai standards though. 200-400 baht.”

“Lemongrass, 5/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24 (BTS Phrom Phong, opposite the Emporium), ? +66 2 258-8637. 18:00-22:00 daily. This is a very good if slightly expat-oriented Thai restaurant. Located in an old tea house, the ambience is very charming and eclectic. The pomelo salad and tom yam kung  are both excellent. As is usual with popular expat places, the spicyness has been toned down somewhat. Also, the service can be a bit hasty. 350-450 baht.”

“Ruen Mallika, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 22 (BTS Phrom Phong, a far hike into Soi 22, take a right at the 7-11 and after about 300 metres it is on your right), ? +66 2 663-3211, [37]. 11:00-23:00 daily. A very good restaurant in an “antique” Thai house with a leafy outdoor section. The menu is a huge picture book which should help in ordering. The staff are very friendly and wear traditional Thai outfits to complete the ambience. 450-650 baht.”

“Horapha Authentic Thai Indian Cuisine, ” (BTS Phrom Phong,), ? +66 20456651, [38]. 11:00- 14:00 18:00-23:00 daily. Horapha Authentic Thai Indian Cuisine use authentic Thai and indian ingredients from Thailand, in a range of exquisite dishes served by our charming and attentive Thai staff. The appeal of Thai and indian cuisine lies in fresh flavours and in featuring some dishes that have a kick of chilli. Diners with a more European taste simply need to ask for their favourite dishes with a less spicy flavour – we will be happy to oblige. 70-250 baht.”

“Asian

Finding your way around the mindblowing variety in Sukhumvit might feel a bit daunting at first. One way to approach the area is to visit its ethnic food neighborhoods. Little Japan is located near Sukhumvit Soi 33 and across the street at Sukhumvit Soi 24, with Phrom Phong BTS station straddling the two. There is also a smaller concentration of Japanese restaurants along Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Soi Thong Lo), notably the Nihonmura (“Japan Village”) in Thong Lo Soi 13.

  • Akiyoshi, 2F, Taksin Square Bldg, 1521/1 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS Phra Khanong), ? +66 2 714-0791. M-F 11:00-14:00, 17:30-22:00, Sa-Su 11:00-22:00. The two must-tries here are the Japanese-style sukiyaki and the shabu shabu. The employees will light up a burning pan on your table and you can just throw in the ingredients yourself. The food is really delicious, and they will serve until you’re full. The ambience is best-suited for a group of people. But better make a reservation if you’re coming after 18:00, as it’s often packed. 400-500 baht.”

“Grande Teppanyaki and Grande Ramen, 25/17-19 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo), ? +66 2 714-1020. Two small Japanese restaurants facing each other, popular with Thais and Japanese alike. Sub-100 baht lunch menus are particularly good value, but the beef curry with real steak is a deal at any time of the day. 130 baht, subs 80 baht.  edit

Le Dalat, 47/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 (BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit), ? +66 2 258-4192. 11:00-14:30, 18:00-22:00 daily. Two Vietnamese restaurants, two locations about a block apart and across the street from each other. When it’s a nice day outside, take a seat in the beautiful tropical garden which is wonderful. The traditional interior You can get lunch for about 250 baht, which is a good value. Service can be rough, be especially wary for the overcharge at the end. 450 baht.”

“Nihonmura, 87 Soi Thong Lo 13 (BTS Thong Lo). Nihonmura, commonly known as Japan Village, is a dining complex with about a dozen quality Japanese restaurants. Uomasa (? +66 2 392-6575) is the best joint for sashimi (raw fish). You can order the “Iso” menu, a plate full of sashimi priced at 1,600 baht. It seems expensive, but its similarly priced to the generic Japanese chain restaurants, but the sashimi here is much fresher and of better quality. 350 baht.

Nobu, 414 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo, between Thong Lo Soi 12 and 14), ? +66 2 392-5297, [39]. 11:00-14:00, 18:00-00:00 daily. This is a nice local restaurant. They are very good for lunch with a large selection of Bento (boxed lunch) specials. Getting dinner here is a lot more expensive than lunch. It is focused on fresh seafood and dishes from the Osaka region of Japan. It’s always crowded with Japanese expats that live in the area. 300 baht.”

“Sukhumvit Plaza, 212 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (BTS Asok), ? +66 2 255-4178. Korean restaurants can be found scattered throughout Sukhumvit, but a particularly heavy concentration lurks in Korea Town, the informal name of Sukhumvit Plaza. There are about a dozen Korean restaurants on the ground floor of the complex. These are extremely authentic though and you may have a little trouble ordering if not familiar with Korean food. Price-wise they are on the steep side — Arirang (? +66 2 654-0177(-9), [40]) is among the more fairly priced ones. 300-500 baht.

Tenderloins, 9 Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phrom Phong), ? +66 2 258-4529, [41]. 10:00-01:00 daily. This Australian barbecue restaurant calls itself a “contemporary upmarket sports bar and steak house”, and even they have to admit that it is a weird combination. They serve up a good grill, although a bit on the pricey side. Their 250-baht lunch sets might be a better idea. Reserving a table is recommended, especially at weekends. 250-500 baht.”

We went for a short walk to the end area of Sukhumvit Road near Erawan Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand on August 24,2017

Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Xuan Mai, 351/3 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS Thong Lo, across the street from Mercedes-Benz Thong Lo), ? +66 2 185-2619, [42]. Tu-Th 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00, F-Su 11:00-14:00, 17:00-00:00. Excellent and varied Vietnamese menu, served by the owner, a charming lady who was a former Vietnamese beauty queen and FBI operative before moving to Bangkok to open a restaurant. It has an open kitchen, so you can see the cooking in action. 250-450 baht.

Vientiane Kitchen, 8 Soi Napha Sap Yaek 1, Sukhumvit Soi 36 (BTS Thong Lo, at the corner of Soi 36 and Soi Napha Sap Yaek 1), ? +66 2 258-6171, [43]. 12:00-00:00 daily. This relaxed-looking Lao restaurant serves very good Lao food. It has a nice ambience featuring a band playing music from Laos. 150-300 baht.”

For more information please visit the following link:

https://wikitravel.org/en/Bangkok/Sukhumvit

Go to the top

Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 9

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

Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples (“wat” in Thai).[29] These include:
• Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the city’s most famous temple, stands on Doi Suthep, a hill to the north-west of the city. The temple dates from 1383.
• Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, dating from the 13th century.[1]:209 King Mengrai lived here during the construction of the city. This temple houses two important and venerated Buddha figures, the marble Phra Sila and the crystal Phra Satang Man.
• Wat Phra Singh is within the city walls, dates from 1345, and offers an example of classic Northern Thai-style architecture. It houses the Phra Singh Buddha, a highly venerated figure brought here many years ago from Chiang Rai.[30]
• Wat Chedi Luang was founded in 1401 and is dominated by a large Lanna style chedi, which took many years to finish. An earthquake damaged the chedi in the 16th century and only two-thirds of it remains.[31]
• Wat Ku Tao in the city’s Chang Phuak District dates from (at least) the 13th century and is distinguished by an unusual alms-bowl-shaped stupa thought to contain the ashes of King Nawratha Minsaw, Chiang Mai’s first Burmese ruler.[32]
• Wat Chet Yot is on the outskirts of the city. Built in 1455, the temple hosted the Eighth World Buddhist Council in 1977.
• Wiang Kum Kam is at the site of an old city on the southern outskirts of Chiang Mai. King Mengrai lived there for ten years before the founding of Chiang Mai. The site includes many ruined temples.
• Wat Umong is a forest and cave wat in the foothills west of the city, near Chiang Mai University. Wat U-Mong is known for its “fasting Buddha”, representing the Buddha at the end of his long and fruitless fast prior to gaining enlightenment.
• Wat RamPoeng (Tapotaram), near Wat U-Mong, is known for its meditation center (Northern Insight Meditation Center). The temple teaches the traditional vipassana technique and students stay from 10 days to more than a month as they try to meditate at least 10 hours a day. Wat RamPoeng houses the largest collection of Tipitaka, the complete Theravada canon, in several Northern dialects.[33]
• Wat Suan Dok is a 14th-century temple just west of the old city wall. It was built by the king for a revered monk visiting from Sukhothai for a rainy season retreat. The temple is also the site of Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University, where monks pursue their studies.[34]
• “First Church” was founded in 1868 by the Laos Mission of the Rev. Daniel and Mrs. Sophia McGilvary. Chiang Mai has about 20 Christian churches[35] Chiang Mai is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chiang Mai at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
• Muslim traders have traveled to north Thailand for many centuries, and a small settled presence has existed in Chiang Mai from at least the middle of the 19th century.[36] The city has mosques identified with Chinese or Chin Haw Muslims as well as Muslims of Bengali, Pathan, and Malay descent. In 2011, there were 16 mosques in the city.[37]
• Two gurdwaras (Sikh Temples), Siri Guru Singh Sabha and Namdhari,[38] serve the city’s Sikh community.[38]
• The Hindu temple Devi Mandir serves the Hindu community.[38]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Burmese style chedi
Behind the principal viharn stands the attractive chedi, ornamented with very detailed stucco work. The Burmese style chedi is enclosed by a low crenellated wall, at each of its corners stands a large guardian Chinthe.
The bell sits on a base of several square tiers of receding size and an octagonal tier. The top consists of a spire and a very ornate golden hti.
At the center of each side of the chedi is a niche with a small stairway leading to it, the bodies of a fearsome creature extending over the balustrades. Enshrined in each niche is a standing statue of the Buddha, flanked by celestial beings.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Burmese style viharn
In the North-West corner of the temple complex stands a large Burmese style viharn. The brick building was constructed by a wealthy Burmese teak trader towards the end of the 19th century. The hall enshrines a large seated Burmese style Buddha image.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
How to get to the Wat Mahawan
The temple is found about 300 meters East of Tha Phae gate outside the old walled town center of Chiang Mai. It is located on Tha Phae road just past Tha Phae Soi 5, opposite the Wat Cheatawan.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Founding date unknown
Principal viharn 1865
Location: Tha Phae road just past Tha Phae Soi 5, Chiang Mai
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

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

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Just outside the old walled town center of Chiang Mai near Tha Phae gate is the Wat Mahawan, an attractive temple with both Lanna and Burmese style buildings and many sculptures of mythical creatures. Several gate houses in the surrounding wall are guarded by Chinthe, mythological lions often found in Burmese temples.
The temple comprises of a Lanna style viharn and ubosot, a large Burmese style chedi, a Ho Trai and a large Burmese style brick viharn.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Lanna style viharn
The main viharn with its imposing multi tiered roof was build in 1865. The ends of the barge boards are adorned with mythological Naga serpents. At the roofs top are chofah, a decorative element in the shape of a thin bird, representing Garuda, the mount of the Hindu God Vishnu.
Flanking the stairs to the viharn’s entrance are two large, white Chinthe guarding the hall. The Lanna style wooden panels on the front gable are adorned with very detailed carvings of deities and flower motifs in gold on a red background.
Large gold lacquered red columns support the roof. Seated on a pedestal to the back of the viharn is the principal Buddha image in subduing Mara posture surrounded by several smaller images.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai
Ubosot: Next to the principal viharn stands the ubosot, the hall where novices are ordained into monkhood. Access to the small bot is through an entrance gate adorned with very detailed stuccoed decorations of mythological beings and Lanna flower motifs.
The Lanna style building is fitted with a two-tiered roof; stylized Nagas adorn the ends of the elaborately carved white barge boards. The gable is embellished with golden Lanna flower motifs, while the door contains golden flower motifs on a red background.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Mahawan, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ho Trai (temple library), Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Ho Trai – the temple library is another prime example of classical Lanna architecture and it is one of the most beautiful temple libraries in Thailand. The guards, flanking the stairs, consist of lions emerging from the mouths of a Makara, a mythical water creature. This combination is rarely seen elsewhere.

Ho Trai scripture library: The Ho Trai, a dark teak wooden structure wit a multi-tiered roof has been turned into the residence of the Wat Mahawan’s abbot. The building was originally used as the temple scripture library where copies of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist teachings traditionally written on dried palm leaves are kept.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://www.renown-travel.com/temples/wat-mahawan.html

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
History: Construction on Wat Phra Singh began in 1345 when King Phayu,[2]:226–227 the fifth king of the Mangrai dynasty, had a chedi built to house the ashes of his father King Kham Fu. A wihan and several other buildings were added a few years later and the resulting complex was named Wat Lichiang Phra. When, in 1367, the statue of Phra Buddha Singh was brought to the temple, the temple complex received its present name. During restoration works in 1925, three funerary urns were discovered inside a small chedi. It was assumed that these contained royal ashes. The urns have since been lost. From 1578 to 1774 the Burmese ruled Lanna and in this period the temple was abandoned and came under serious disrepair. It was only when King Kawila assumed the throne as King of Chiang Mai in 1782, that the temple was restored. King Kawila had the ubosot built and the chedi enlarged. Later successors restored the Wihan Lai Kham and the elegant Ho Trai (temple library).
The whole temple complex underwent extensive renovations under the famous monk Khru Ba Srivichai during the 1920s. Many of the buildings were again restored in 2002.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Notability: The temple houses an important Buddha statue: the Phra Buddha Sihing which gives the temple its name. The origins of this statue are unknown but, according to legend, it was based on the lion of Shakya, a statue since lost which used to be housed in the Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya (India). The Phra Buddha Sihing statue is supposed to have been brought, via Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), to Ligor (present day Nakhon Si Thammarat) and, from there, via Ayutthaya, to Chiang Mai.
There are two more Buddha statues in Thailand which are claimed to be the Phra Buddha Sihing: one is housed in Wat Phra Mahathat in the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and another in the Bangkok National Museum.[1]:227,369
It is alleged that the head of the statue had been stolen in 1922. The possibility remains that the present statue (or maybe only the head) is a copy.
Every year, during the Songkran festival, the statue is taken from wihan Lai Kham and carried through the streets of Chiang Mai in a religious procession during which the spectators honour the statue by sprinkling water over it.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Phra Singh (full name: Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn; RTGS: Wat Phra Sing Wora Maha Wihan; (pronunciation); Lanna: ) is a Buddhist temple (Thai language: Wat) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), the older brother of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), bestowed on it the status of Royal temple of the first grade in 1935.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wihan Luang – the original wihan was replaced by the present building in 1925.
Wihan Lai Kham – this wihan is the main attraction of the complex. It was built in 1345 to house the Phra Buddha Singh statue and it is a prime example of classical Lanna architecture. The murals of the wihan are also highly remarkable. The murals on the left show the history of Songthong and on the right the history of Suwanna Hongse.

Ubosot – built in 1806, it contains two entrances: a south entrance for monks and a north entrance for nuns. It is as such a song sangha ubosot (‘song’ meaning ‘two’ in Thai). The building houses a mondop with the Phrachaotongtip Buddha statue, a smaller version of the Phra Buddha Sihing and it is therefore also known as Phrasingha noi (‘noi’ meaning ‘small’ in Thai). The northern end of the wihan, near the entrance for the nuns, contains a copy of the Emerald Buddha.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Phrathatluang – each side of the square base of the main chedi of the complex features the front half of an elephant emerging from it. After it was built in 1345, the chedi was enlarged several times.
The Kulai chedi – this small square based chedi, built as a pagoda with five tiered roofs by King Mueangkaeo (1495-1525), is connected to Wihan Lai Kham by a short tunnel which is not opened to visitors. When the chedi was restored under King Dharmalanka (1813-1822), a golden box containing ancient relics was found. After the works were completed, the box and its contents were placed once more inside the chedi.
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Wat Phra Singh is located in the western part of the old city centre of Chiang Mai, which is contained within the city walls and moat. The main entrance is guarded by Singhs (lions). Wat Pra Singh is situated at the end of the main street (Rachadamnoen road) of Chiang Mai. The road runs east from the temple, via Tapae Gate, to the Ping River.
Name: Phra Singh is an abbreviated form of Phra-Put-Tha-Shi-Hing and does not refer to the word Singh (“lion”).
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Singh

Wat Buppharam, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts
Wat Buppharam  pronounced [wát bùp.p???.r??m]) is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Founded in 1497 by King Mueang Kaeo,[1] the temple was where Kawila began a ritual circumambulation of Chiang Mai to reoccupy it after two centuries of Burmese rule.[2] Most of the temple buildings date to the late 1800s.[2] The temple is also known for its Burmese-style chedi, which was rebuilt in 1958, and a Lanna-style ordination hall made from teak and glass inlay mosaic, built in 1819.[3]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Buppharam,_Chiang_Mai

Wat Buppharam, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Bua Pharam is an ancient temple at Phaya Muk Kaeng, King of Lanna No. 12, Meng Rai. Please make it in 2039 was restored in 2362 by the prince of Dharma, please build a small temple. The Lanna Art Wood There is a glazed stucco glass. Carved wood carving The temple is large. Gable, Burmese carvings, is a statue of a handsome bronze Buddha statue weighing 400 kilograms, and a Buddha image. Chiang Saen is casted with bronze on the left and right side of the temple. The Buddha image of teak lap width of 1 watts is about 400 years old, however.

The importance of the temples of all the worshipers is that this was once the abode of the Patriarch of Passover. And it is enshrined the Lord Buddha’s relics of Lord Buddha. There will be a tradition of worshiping Buddha relics on the lunar calendar month six (north central month 4) around February every year.

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For more information please visit the following link:
https://thai.tourismthailand.org/%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%97%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%87%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%88%E0%B8%A2%E0%B8%A7/%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%A1–131

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

Location: Located at 143 Thapae Road, opposite Wat Sa Fang, Chang Klan District, Muang District, Chiang Mai Province. For that trip. Drive along the Super Highway. Lampang – Chiang Mai Before Chiang Mai. Turn left at the intersection Luang Luang. Then drive straight ahead. Until the bridge over Nawarat. Then drive straight for about 800 meters, Buppam temple located on the left hand side.

For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Buppharam,_Chiang_Mai

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Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand part 8

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

Bangkok Railway Station
“Bangkok Railway Station, unofficially known as Hua Lamphong Station is the main railway station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the center of the city in the Pathum Wan District, and is operated by the State Railway of Thailand.
The station is officially referred to by the State Railway of Thailand as Krungthep Railway Station in Thai  ‘Krungthep’ is the transliteration of the common Thai language name of Bangkok) and Bangkok Station in English.[1] Hua Lamphong is the informal name of the station, used by both foreign travellers and locals. The station is often named as Hua Lamphong in travel guide books and in the public press.[citation needed]
In other areas of Thailand the station is commonly referred to as Krungthep Station, and the name Hua Lamphong is not well-known.
In all documents published by the State Railway of Thailand (such as train tickets, timetables, and tour pamphlets) the station is uniformly transcribed as Krungthep in Thai.[1]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok_Railway_Station

Advertising Poster near Bangkok Railway Station

“Bangkok Railway Station, unofficially known as Hua Lamphong Station is the main railway station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the center of the city in the Pathum Wan District, and is operated by the State Railway of Thailand.
The station was opened on June 25, 1916 after six years’ construction. The site of the railway station was previously occupied by the national railway’s maintenance centre, which moved to Makkasan in June 1910. At the nearby site of the previous railway station a pillar commemorates the inauguration of the Thai railway network in 1897.
The station was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance-style, with decorated wooden roofs and stained glass windows. The architecture is attributed to Turin-born Mario Tamagno, who with countryman Annibale Rigotti (1870–1968) was also responsible for the design of several other early 20th century public buildings in Bangkok. The pair designed Bang Khun Prom Palace (1906), Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in the Royal Plaza (1907–15) and Suan Kularb Residential Hall and Throne Hall in Dusit Garden, among other buildings.
There are 14 platforms, 26 ticket booths, and two electric display boards. Hua Lamphong serves over 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers each day. Since 2004 the station has been connected by an underground passage to the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) subway system’s Hua Lamphong Station.”
The station is also a terminus of the Eastern and Oriental Express luxury trains.[2]
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangkok_Railway_Station

One of the Train Stations along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai: Lanna sometimes written as “Chiengmai” or “Chiangmai”, is the largest city in northern Thailand. It is the capital of Chiang Mai Province and was a former capital of the Kingdom of Lan Na (1296–1768), which became the Kingdom of Chiang Mai, a tributary state of Siam from 1774 to 1899 and finally the seat of a merely ceremonial prince until 1939. It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok and is situated amongst the highest mountains in the country. The city sits astride the Ping River, a major tributary of the Chao Phraya River”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

People were waiting for the Train at One of the Train Stations along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai means “new city” and was so named because it became the new capital of the Lan Na kingdom when it was founded in 1296, succeeding Chiang Rai, the former capital founded in 1262.[1]:208–209
Chiang Mai gained prominence in the political sphere in May 2006, when the Chiang Mai Initiative was concluded between the ASEAN nations and the “+3” countries (China, Japan, and South Korea). Chiang Mai was one of three Thai cities contending for Thailand’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 (the others were Chonburi and Ayutthaya).[2] Ayutthaya, however, was the city ultimately chosen by the Thai Parliament to register for the international competition.[3][4]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The Train went through the Tunnel of the Hill.  It is Greener and more Hilly in the Northern part of Thailand.

“Chiang Mai is subdivided into four wards (khwaeng): Nakhon Ping, Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila. The first three are on the west bank of the Ping River, and Kawila is on the east bank. Nakhon Ping district comprises the north part of the city. Srivijaya, Mengrai, and Kawila consist of the west, south, and east parts, respectively. The city center—within the city walls—is mostly within Srivijaya ward.[9]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

Rice Field in the middle plain of Thailand, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai

“Chiang Mai’s historic importance is derived from its close proximity to tthe Ping River and major trading routes.[7][8]
While officially the city (thesaban nakhon) of Chiang Mai only covers most parts of the Mueang Chiang Mai district with a population of 160,000, the city’s sprawl extends into several neighboring districts. The Chiang Mai Metropolitan Area has a population of nearly one million people, more than half the total of Chiang Mai Province.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

People were cleaning the Train at One of the Train Stations.

People were cleaning the Train at One of the Train Stations.

“No Smoking Cigarettes or Drinking Alcohol on Train or in Station” The sign showing at one of the train station, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The city emblem shows the stupa at Wat Doi Suthep in its center. Below it are clouds representing the moderate climate in the mountains of Northern Thailand. There is a naga, the mythical snake said to be the source of the Ping River, and rice stalks, which refer to the fertility of the land.[17]”

For more information please visit the following link:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We enjoyed seeing the greenery and little village in the valley surrounded by the hills.

“With the decline of the Lan Na Kingdom, the city lost importance and was occupied by the Burmese in 1556.[13] Chiang Mai formally became part of Siam in 1775 by an agreement with Chao Kavila, after the Thai King Taksin helped drive out the Burmese. Because of Burmese counterattacks, Chiang Mai was abandoned between 1776 and 1791.[14] Lampang then served as the capital of what remained of Lan Na. Chiang Mai then slowly grew in cultural, trading, and economic importance to its current status as the unofficial capital of Northern Thailand, second in importance only to Bangkok.[15]
The modern municipality dates to a sanitary district (sukhaphiban) that was created in 1915. It was upgraded to a municipality (thesaban) on 29 March 1935, as published in the Royal Gazette, Book No. 52 section 80. First covering just 17.5 km2 (7 sq mi), the city was enlarged to 40.2 km2 (16 sq mi) on 5 April 1983.[16]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

Looking down into the valley between the hills.

“Chiang Mai succeeded Chiang Rai as the capital of the Lan Na kingdom. Pha Yu enlarged and fortified the city, and built Wat Phra Singh in honor of his father Kham Fu.[1]:226–227 The ruler was known as the “chao”. The city was surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall since nearby Burma was a constant threat, as were the armies of the Mongol Empire, which only decades earlier had conquered most of Yunnan, China, and in 1292 overran the bordering Thai Lü kingdom of Chiang Hung”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train went on top of one of the hills.

“King Mengrai founded the city of Chiang Mai (“new city”) in 1296[1]:209 on the site of an older city of the Lawa people called Wiang Nopburi.[10][11] Gordon Young, in his 1962 book The Hill tribes of Northern Thailand, mentions how a Wa chieftain in Burma told him that the Wa, a people who are closely related to the Lawa, once lived in the Chiang Mai valley in “sizeable cities”.[12]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The lovely greenery reflection on the quiet pond and far away hills. Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“The northern center of the Meteorological Department has reported that low-pressure areas from China trap forest fire smoke in the mountains along the Thai-Myanmar border.[24] Research conducted between 2005 and 2009 showed that average PM10 rates in Chiang Mai during February and March were considerably above the country’s safety level of 120 ?g/m3, peaking at 383 ?g/m3 on 14 March 2007.[25] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the acceptable level is 50 ?g/m3.[26]
To address the increasing amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in Chiang Mai, the city government has advocated the use of non-motorised transport (NMT). In addition to its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the NMT initiative addresses other issues such as traffic congestion, air quality, income generation for the poor, and the long-term viability of the tourism industry.[27] It has been said that smoke pollution has made March “the worst month to visit Chiang Mai”.[28]”
or more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

A Monk was walking under the waving Thai flag and other passengers leaving the train to their destination at one of the stations.

“A continuing environmental issue in Chiang Mai is the incidence of air pollution that primarily occurs every year towards the end of the dry season between February and April. In 1996, speaking at the Fourth International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement conference—held in Chiang Mai that year—the Governor Virachai Naewboonien invited guest speaker Dr. Jakapan Wongburanawatt, Dean of the Social Science Faculty of Chiang Mai University, to discuss air pollution efforts in the region. Dr. Wongburanawatt stated that, in 1994, an increasing number of city residents attended hospitals suffering from respiratory problems associated with the city’s air pollution.[21]”

or more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw more corn fields in the northern area, near Chiang Mai.

“During the February–March period, air quality in Chiang Mai often remains below recommended standards, with fine-particle dust levels reaching twice the standard limits.[22]
According to the Bangkok Post, corporations in the agricultural sector, not farmers, are the biggest contributors to smoke pollution. The main source of the fires is forested area being cleared to make room for new crops. The new crops to be planted after the smoke clears are not rice and vegetables to feed locals. A single crop is responsible: corn. The haze problem began in 2007 and has been traced at the local level and at the macro-market level to the growth of the animal feed business. “The true source of the haze…sits in the boardrooms of corporations eager to expand production and profits. A chart of Thailand’s growth in world corn markets can be overlaid on a chart of the number of fires. It is no longer acceptable to scapegoat hill tribes and slash-and-burn agriculture for the severe health and economic damage caused by this annual pollution.” These data have been ignored by the government. The end is not in sight, as the number of fires has increased every year for a decade, and data shows more pollution in late-February 2016 than in late-February 2015.[23]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw mountain and hills far away, the clouds were hanging low over the top of the mountain,

“Chiang Mai has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw), tempered by the low latitude and moderate elevation, with warm to hot weather year-round, though nighttime conditions during the dry season can be cool and much lower than daytime highs. The maximum temperature ever recorded was 42.4 °C (108.3 °F) in May 2005.[18]”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

I thought we were on top of one of the hill because we saw the top of the greenery.

“Khantoke dinner is a century-old Lanna Thai tradition[41] in Chiang Mai. It is an elaborate dinner or lunch offered by a host to guests at various ceremonies or parties, such as weddings, housewarmings, celebrations, novice ordinations, or funerals. It can also be held in connection with celebrations for specific buildings in a Thai temple and during Buddhist festivals such as Khao Pansa, Og Pansa, Loi Krathong, and Thai New Year (Songkran).”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train went through the hill by tunnel. I looked back and saw the end of train emerging from the tunnel.

“Museums
• Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center.
• Chiang Mai National Museum highlights the history of the region and the Kingdom of Lan Na.
• Tribal Museum showcases the history of the local mountain tribes.
• Mint Bureau of Chiang Mai or Sala Thanarak, Treasury Department, Ministry of Finance, Rajdamnern Road (one block from AUA Language Center) has an old coin museum open to the public during business hours. The Lan Na Kingdom used leaf (or line) money made of brass and silver bubbles, also called “pig-mouth” money. Nobody has been able to duplicate the technique of making pig-mouth money, and because the silver is very thin and breakable, good pieces are now very rare.[40]
• Bank of Thailand Museum”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train was very close to the hill as if the train was hugging the hill, the greenery appeared on the train window showing a nice reflection of the view.

“Language
The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna). Historically, it is a dialect referred to as the Chiangsaen dialect (also a precursor Kingdom to Chiangmai and Chiangrai) still spoken in parts of northern Laos today, they speak this dialect among themselves, though Standard Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. The script used to write this language, called Tua Mueang, is studied only by scholars, and the language is commonly written with the standard Thai alphabet.[39] English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses.”

Khantoke dinner, pig-mouth money, Loi Krathong, Songkran, Flower Festival, Chiangsaen dialect, Nam Tok Huai Kaeo, Doi Inthanon National Park, Doi Pha Daeng National Park, Chiang Dao National Park, Doi Luang Chiang Dao, Pha Deang, Chiang Mai University

We were approaching a mountain and hills, the clouds were hanging low over the top of the mountain.

“Chiang Mai hosts many Thai festivals, including:
• Loi Krathong (known locally as Yi Peng), held on the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar, being the full moon of the second month of the old Lanna calendar. In the Western calendar this usually falls in November. Every year thousands of people assemble floating banana-leaf containers (krathong) decorated with flowers and candles and deposit them on the waterways of the city in worship of the Goddess of Water. Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom fai or kom loi), which are hot-air balloons made of paper, are launched into the air. These sky lanterns are believed to help rid the locals of troubles and are also used to decorate houses and streets.
• Songkran is held in mid-April to celebrate the traditional Thai new year. Chiang Mai has become one of the most popular locations to visit during this festival. A variety of religious and fun-related activities (notably the indiscriminate citywide water fight) take place each year, along with parades and Miss Songkran beauty competition.
• Chiang Mai Flower Festival is a three-day festival held during the first weekend in February each year; this event occurs when Chiang Mai’s temperate and tropical flowers are in full bloom.
• Tam Bun Khan Dok, the Inthakin (City Pillar) Festival, starts on the day of the waning moon of the sixth lunar month and lasts 6–8 days.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

I felt a little nervous looking down the deep ravine with the two train tracks laying across between two hills, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai.
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Transportation
“Songthaew on Wua Lai Rd, Chiang Mai
Tuk-tuks near Tha Phae Gate, Chiang Mai
A number of bus stations link the city to Central, Southeast, and Northern Thailand. The Central Chang Puak terminal (north of Chiang Puak Gate) provides local services within Chiang Mai Province. The Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal north-east of the city (which can be reached with a songthaew or tuk-tuk ride) provides services to over 20 other destinations in Thailand including Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Phuket. There are several services a day from Chiang Mai Arcade terminal to Mo Chit Station in Bangkok (a 10- to 12-hour journey).
The state railway operates 10 trains a day to Chiang Mai Station from Bangkok. Most journeys run overnight and take approximately 12–15 hours. Most trains offer first-class (private cabins) and second-class (seats fold out to make sleeping berths) service. Chiang Mai is the northern terminus of the Thai railway system.
Chiang Mai International Airport receives up to 28 flights a day from Bangkok (flight time about 1 hour 10 minutes) and also serves as a local hub for services to other northern cities such as Chiang Rai, Phrae, and Mae Hong Son. International services also connect Chiang Mai with other regional centers, including cities in other Asian countries.
The locally preferred form of transport is personal motorbike and, increasingly, private car.
Local public transport is via tuk-tuk, songthaew, or rickshaws. Local songthaew fare is usually 20–50 baht per person for trips in and around the city. For groups, the fare per person is less. Tuk-tuk fare is usually at least 60–100 baht per trip (the vehicles are comfortable for two passengers, but some can squeeze in four passengers); fares increase with distance.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

The train was very close to the hill as if the train was hugging the hill, the greenery appeared on the train window showing a nice reflection of the view.

“ Language
The inhabitants speak Kham Muang (also known as Northern Thai or Lanna). Historically, it is a dialect referred to as the Chiangsaen dialect (also a precursor Kingdom to Chiangmai and Chiangrai) still spoken in parts of northern Laos today, they speak this dialect among themselves, though Standard Thai is used in education and is understood by almost everyone. The script used to write this language, called Tua Mueang, is studied only by scholars, and the language is commonly written with the standard Thai alphabet.[39] English is used in hotels and travel-related businesses.”
For more information please visit the following link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

After we had our excitement of seeing the long train go over the deep ravine, I glanced back to the end of the train. It impressed us to see the curve of the train tracks that wrapping around the hill.

“Recreation
• The Chiang Mai Zoo, the oldest zoo in Northern Thailand, sprawls over an enormous tract of land.
• Shopping: Chiang Mai has a large and famous night bazaar for local arts and handicrafts. The night markets extend across several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds, and in open squares. A handicraft and food market opens every Sunday afternoon until late at night on Rachadamnoen Road, the main street in the historical centre, which is then closed to motorised traffic. Every Saturday evening a handicraft market is held along Wua Lai Road, Chiang Mai’s silver street[43] on the south side of the city beyond Chiang Mai Gate, which is then also closed to motorised traffic.[44]
• Thai massage: The back streets and main thoroughfares of Chiang Mai have an abundance and variety of massage parlours which offer anything from quick, simple, face and foot massages, to month-long courses in the art of Thai massage.
• Thai cookery: A number of Thai cooking schools have their home in Chiang Mai (see also Thai food).
• For IT shopping, Pantip Plaza just south of Night Bazaar, as well as Computer Plaza, Computer City, and Icon Square near the north-western corner moat, and IT City department store in Kad Suan Kaew Mall are available.
• Horse racing: Every Saturday starting at 12:30 there are races at Kawila Race Track. Betting is legal”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

It was nice to see the workers sitting near by the train tracks smiling to us.

“Nature
Nam Tok Huai Kaeo (lit. “Crystal Creek Waterfall”) lies at the foot of Doi Suthep on the western edge of the city
• Nearby national parks include Doi Inthanon National Park, which includes Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand
• Doi Pui- Doi Suthep National Park begins on the western edge of the city. An important and famous tourist attraction, Wat Doi Suthep Buddhist temple located near the sumit of Doi Suthep, can be seen from much of the city and its environs.
• Doi Pha Daeng National Park, or more commonly Chiang Dao National Park which includes Doi Luang Chiang Dao and Pha Deang mountain near the border with Myanmar.
• Hill tribe tourism and trekking: Many tour companies offer organized treks among the local hills and forests on foot and on elephant back. Most also involve visits to various local hill tribes, including the Akha, Hmong, Karen, and Lisu.[42]
• Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

We saw a part of the hill that was cut down for laying train tracks, the scenery along the Way of Our Trip to Chiang Mai
Welcome To My Beloved Country, Thailand
Photograph by Ing-On Vibulbhan-Watts

“Education
Chiang Mai has several universities, including Chiang Mai University, Chiangmai Rajabhat University, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Payap University, Far Eastern University, and Maejo University, as well as numerous technical and teacher colleges. Chiang Mai University was the first government university established outside of Bangkok. Payap University was the first private institution in Thailand to be granted university status.”
For more information please visit the following link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Mai

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
https://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
https://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
https://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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