Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bangkok's City Pillar

All cities in Thailand have their own city pillar shrine.  The tradition of the city shrines is based on the  Thais Hindu roots and most Thais visit the shrine when visiting other cities to ask for good luck in love and life.

Bangkok's City Pillar is located across the street from the Grand Palace Complex making it convenient for everyone visiting Bangkok to visit the shrine. The shrine offers a traditional dancing show to tell the story of the great city accompanied by traditional music.

More Photos of the Shrine can be found at my Flickr album.

Mango and Sticky Rice on the Street

Mango and Sticky is a world famous Thai dessert and so delicious.  Getting this delicious treat on the streets of Bangkok both a fascinating and fun treat.  This vendor is a practiced mango slicer as you can tell. She probably delivers hundreds of of the delicious dessert a night.

Art Exhibits at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

I visited the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre recently and wanted to share some of the art exhibitions here:

UOB Painting of the Year 2014UOB 5TH Annual "Painting of the Year" - located right inside the main entrance on ground level and presents some of best of the artists entries in UOBs annual contest.  More Photos of this exhibit can be found on my Flickr Album.

Inson Wongsam : The Autonomous SpiritInson Wongsam : The Autonomous Spirit - presents over 100 examples of Inson Wongsam paintings and sculptures. Mr. Wongsam is an 80 year old contemporary Thai artist and his work is fascinating. More Photos of this exhibit can be found on my Flickr Album.

Thai Charisma: Heritage + Creative PowerThai Charisma: Heritage & Creative Power - show cases both traditional and contemporary Thai art from 19 Thai artists.  More Photos of this exhibit can be found on my Flickr Album.

Here is a link to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre website.

The YouTube video below is a video tour of the exhibits, enjoy!

For over 200 photos of Thailand Art that I have taken over the years, click here...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bangkok's Giant Swing

Bangkok's Giant Swing is another of Bangkok's famous City icons. The swing has a long history in Bangkok, being  constructed in the late seventeen hundreds by King Rama I.  The swing ceremonies have their roots in Hindu traditions. The swing has been replaced several times in the past with the most recent in 2007 when huge teak trees were specially grown and selected for the straightness of the trunks and free of knots. I was lucky enough to be in Bangkok for the dedication of the new swing and I remember it was quite a big ceremony. 

Wat Arun - Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun (Wat Arunratchawararam) is one of the main city icons for Bangkok and really is impressive when you approach the Temple from the River.  The historic temple is located along the Chao Phraya River, on the west side, and across from the Grand Palace Complex. The name of the temple means "Temple of the Dawn" but personally the temple looks more impressive in the evening and at night when it is illuminated and reflected by the river. But if the morning is all you have the temple is still impressive.

The main chedi of temple rises well above 250 meters from the Chao Phraya River and you are invited to climb about three quarters of the way to the top.  This gives you an awesome view of the Bangkok skyline.  So if you are fit enough for the climb, please do, the views are worth it.

Thailand Photo Blog - View my 'Bangkok's Wat Arunratchawararam (Wat Arun - Temple of the Dawn)' set on Flickriver

The temple was established as an official Royal Temple representing King Rama II.

Getting there is fairly easy if you are traveling by the river.   Take the express boat to the Ta Tien Pier (Pier #8) and transfer at that pier to the Wat Arun Ferry.  The ferry is only 3 baht. You can work your visit to Wat Arun with your trip to Wat Pho for Ta Tien Pier is very close to Wat Pho.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thailand Butterfly

Photo of the Thailand Butterfly
I couldn't pass taking this butterfly video at Wat Pho while I was visiting...  

Wat Pho - Birth Place of Thai Massage

Wat Pho is an amazing piece of historical real estate, one that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Bangkok.  As indicated in this Blog’s name, Wat Pho is the birthplace of Thai Massage.  What this means is the area of the Temple was used to develop healthful massage techniques, kind of like a medical school of long ago.  To continue this tradition, the temple maintains a massage school near the temple, teaching the local Thais to properly give “Thai Massage”.

Wat Pho has many names, the official name is “Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn.  The Temples original name was Wat Pho Tharam.  “Wat Pho” is the common name and means “Temple of the Bodi Tree”.  The temple is also one the nine Royal Temples of the Chakri Dynasty, being built during the reign of King Rama I of that Dynasty.

The Temple grounds is home to hundreds of ornate chedis (pagodas) and hundreds of Buddha images.  All worth taking your time to discover.

Thailand Photo Blog - View my 'Bangkok's Wat Phrachetuphon Wimonmangkhalaram Rajaworamahavihara (Wat Pho)' set on Flickriver

Wat Pho is located conveniently adjacent and directly south of the Grand Palace Complex.  The easiest way to get there is to take the express ferry to Pier 8.  The temple is located directly out from the pier.  There is an entrance charge of 100 baht for foreigners.

Monday, October 13, 2014

End of Buddhist Lent - Thot Kathin Ceremony

I caught the end of the Thot Kathin Ceremony, which marks the end of Buddhist Lent in Thailand.  The end of lent also marks the end of the Thai rainy season, which is quite long.  The ceremony is actually one month but i was able to attend final portion.  This is just a brief video of the chants.

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