A Short Guide to Koh Larn, Thailand’s Coral Island

Escape Pattaya’s crowded and touristy beaches and head over to Koh Larn or Coral Island. This paradise island is only 7.5 km away from the nearest shore in Pattaya and is a popular day-tour destination. While the island itself is only 4 km long and 2 km wide, the beaches are pristine and surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters.

How to Get There?

There are a two of ways of getting to the island. The cheapest option involves riding a ferry, which costs 30 Baht per person and takes about 40 minutes. On the other hand, you can opt to ride in style on a speedboat, which costs between 300 and 2,500 Baht. The cost may be higher, but it slices the travel time in half.

You can rent the speedboat at the many shops in the Bali Hai pier. However, if you want to get the best price, it’s best to shop around and negotiate. As for the ferry, you can choose between the ferry that goes to Tawaen beach pier or the one that anchors at Na Ban pier. Either way, the ferry begins its journey from the same Bali Hai pier.

Koh Larn island, photo by Alex Voinich, wikimedia commons

Koh Larn island, photo by Alex Voinich, wikimedia commons

 

Where to Stay in the Island?

Due to the rising number of tourists visiting the island, there are quite a number of new places to stay on Koh Larn. Different accommodations are available such as hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and even homestays. Checking in at one of these เกาะ ล้าน  Koh Larn accommodations instead of the ones in Pattaya means you can save on fares if you plan to fully explore the island.

What to Eat in the Island?

If you like seafood, you’re in for a treat at Koh Larn. It’s best to sample the fresh seafood from the downtown market, especially if you’re staying at an accommodation with a kitchen. For day-trippers, restaurants and cheap food stalls dot the island. Aside from serving world-class Thai cuisine, they also have western, Asian, vegetarian, and halal foods.

Fresh seafood in Thailand

Fresh seafood in Thailand

Main Beaches of the Island

The west side of Koh Larn is where the best beaches can be found. That said, all beaches in the island feature white sand and tropical blue waters, so you can’t go wrong wherever you chose to stay.

Tawaen Beach

Tawaen is the most popular beach with daily visitors numbering around 2,000 to 5,000. Luckily, it’s also the longest with 685 meters of pristine sandy shore accommodating vacationers. Guests have an assortment of water activities to choose from such as jet ski rentals, banana boat rides, and parasailing. What’s more, it’s also very commercial, with restaurants and souvenir shops lining up the shore to cater to every visitor’s whim.

Samae Beach

With a 530-meter shoreline, Samae is the second-longest beach in the island. The sand is not quite as fine, but the beach is still worth the visit, as it features some of the classiest resorts in the country. You’ll also be glad to know that you won’t go hungry with the number of restaurants on Samae Beach.

Tien Beach

Take your Instagram shots in Tien, as it’s one of island’s most beautiful beaches. It’s got a respectable 400 meters of beach front with plenty of Thai and western restaurants as well. The vibe at the beach is more relaxed, but you can still engage in aquatic activities like in the larger Koh Larn beaches.

Koh Larn beaches, photo by pongwit wikimedia commons

Koh Larn beaches, photo by pongwit wikimedia commons

Nual Beach

Nual Beach or Monkey Beach gets its name from the group of monkeys that live on the hillside. In the past, very few tourists ever ventured out on its 350-meter shoreline, but now, the beach has become even more popular. Catering to this rise in visitors are makeshift restaurants and food stalls serving different Thai dishes and western fare as well.

Tonglang Beach

This 215-meter beach used to be one of the most challenging to access. However, a new concrete road makes the commute faster and safer. As one of the smaller beaches on the island, you’ll find less tourists and a more relaxed ambiance. That said, you could still find resorts and food stalls that cater to visitors.

Tayaiy Beach

The smallest of the main beaches in Koh Larn is the Tayaiy Beach with only 140 meters of shoreline. If you want the most secluded beach hideaway with the least crowd, you can spend your time here. Keep in mind that there’s only one restaurant and limited accommodation in the area.

Are you excited to go on a holiday to Thailand? Consider staying in Koh Larn and experience for yourself why many vacationers are choosing it over Pattaya.




Discover a different side of Thailand: “One Night Stay with Locals”

From Southern provinces that you may already be familiar with such as Phang Nga and Chumphon, to the more remote Northern provinces of Lampang, Nan and many more, 13 destinations have been carefully chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of this newly-launched “One Night Stay with Locals” project.

Not only are these villages very remote (meaning you will beat the crowds even in high season), there is also a huge variety of community-focused activities available, such as getting your hands dirty picking fruit in orchids with the locals, taking tractor rides through the jungle to waterfalls or heading out on fishermen’s boats to find the catch of the day!

One Night Stay with Locals

Spanning across four provinces (Lampang, Chiang Rai and Nan) there are four different communities to visit in the North of Thailand as part of this One Night Stay with Locals program – each one as fascinating as the next. Tucked away in the mountains of Lampang, there is the chance to go miang leaf picking with the locals at Baan Pa Miang, as well as to learn how to make (and eat) the popular dish using this produce.

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang-One Night Stay with Locals

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang-One Night Stay with Locals

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang- learn how to make (and eat) the popular dish

ป่าเหมี้ยง-Lampang- learn how to make (and eat) the popular miang leaf dish

Neighboring Chiang Rai province has two destinations to choose from: the laidback Pangha Homestay near the border to Myanmar where you can learn all about the Tai Lue people and the old-age craftsmanship, or Baan Tha Khan Tong, a thriving community next to the Mae Kong River that combines elements of Isaan and Lanna culture. To truly get away from it all, Nan province’s Sila Petch village feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, yet there are still plenty of friendly locals to show you around the area and guide you through the forests to a waterfall.

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

ท่าขันทอง-Tha Khan Tong Chiang Rai

In addition, Baan Khiri Wong Kot in the northeast of the country (Udon Thani) lets you experience a true taste of Isaan – especially the deliciously spicy food, rural countryside and famously friendly Isaan hospitality from the locals.

คีรีวงกต-Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต-Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต- Udon Thani

คีรีวงกต- Udon Thani

Tourists also flock to Thailand’s Southern provinces for the beaches, boat rides and adventure activities. In the southern communities, you can experience all of this and more – but still far away from the crowds. For example, at Phang Nga’s hidden Baan Sam Chong Nuea community there’s a chance to explore swamps and mangrove forests with a local fisherman while helping to afforest the area. At Pa Tew (Bang Son) in Chumphon, most of your time will also be spent on the water while eating as much seafood as you can, rafting and spotting fireflies in the evening.

ประทิว-Chumphon

ประทิว-Chumphon

ประทิว-Chumphon-Seafood

ประทิว-Chumphon-Seafood

Other local communities waiting to be discovered are located in the less-frequently visited provinces of Phatthalung and Yala. These include the stunning Tamod Community where you can join in with a range of sufficiency economy educational activities, as well as kayaking and taking in the sunset over the reservoir, while Yala’s Chulaporn Pattana 9 Tourism Community is famous for its gorgeous combination of forests, mountains and rivers.

จุฬาภรณ์พัฒนา-Yala

จุฬาภรณ์พัฒนา-Yala

Phatthalung

Phatthalung

Last but not least, other choices of local communities that you can visit includes Bo Hin Farm Stay in Trang, Phrom Lok in Nakorn Si Thammarat, Laem Pak Bia in Petchaburi and Laem Klat in Trat.

แหลมกลัด- Trat

แหลมกลัด- Trat

Food at Nakorn Si Thammarat

Food at Nakorn Si Thammarat

For more information, please visit ‘One Night Stay with Locals’ and check out Facebook and stand a chance to win free trips with locals.




A Complete Guide to Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

With their stunning and romantic scenery and the chance to make some long lasting memories, a beach wedding in Thailand is popular with couples who are planning to tie the knot. The large and lovely island of Koh Samui is a great place to get married as it boasts a large number of stunning sandy beaches, excellent resorts complete with luxurious spas and honeymoon suites and plenty of activities for the happy couple to enjoy while they unwind and enjoy this piece of paradise. Here are some things to take into consideration if you are thinking about getting married in Koh Samui.

Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

Beach Weddings in Koh Samui, Thailand

 

Choosing the Right Time of Year

Thailand features three distinct seasons; the winter season, the summer and the monsoon season. The winter runs from November until February and this is typically the most popular time of year to arrange a beach wedding in Thailand as couples are treated to plenty of dry days and the weather is typically cooler at this time of year. While there are plenty of dry days from the end of February until the end of June, temperatures soar at this time of year and April and May in particular tend to be very hot and humid. While temperatures fall at the end of July, rainfall is common until the middle of October. Couples who want to beat the heat without paying inflated prices during the height of the tourist season will find that there are plenty of great deals to enjoy in October and March.

 

Selecting the Perfect Beach

There are several stunning stretches of golden sand on the island that make ideal locations for Samui beach weddings. While Chaweng is the largest beach on the island, this is also the most popular area of the island among tourists and the bars that line the beach pump out loud music long into the night. Just to the south of Chaweng, Lamai features a number of upmarket beachside resorts that offer luxurious services, although the nightlife scene here aimed more at party people than those who want to unwind in style. For a more romantic experience, couples are sure to love the quiet northern shore beach of Choeng Mon. Couples who choose to tie the knot here can be almost certain that the beach will be deserted, while a few luxurious hotels can be found on the cliff top overlooking the beach, providing a stunning setting for a tropical wedding. The northern coast is also home to Mae Nam, which is a narrow stretch of powdery golden sand that boasts stunning sunsets and a laid back atmosphere.

 

All Inclusive wedding Packages

Many of the leading Samui wedding planners such as resorts and hotels off all inclusive wedding packages. People who opt for one of these wedding packages will find that everything is taken care of for them, from the wedding itself to the reception, the Samui wedding photographer and accommodation for the happy couple and their guests.

 

Planning Your Budget

Of course, before you can select a wedding package or start planning your beach wedding in Thailand, you will need to work out how much money you are willing to spend. Important considerations include the cost of accommodation and flights, activities in Thailand and the wedding reception. It is possible to cut costs significantly by choosing to get married in the low season when there are plenty of deals and discounts to choose from and couples can also save money by shopping around and booking their beach wedding in Koh Samui far in advance.

by Wassana Lampech




Tha Maharaj: Life at the River

‘Tha Maharaj’ is a community mall located on Maharaj Road in the Rattanakosin area, thus in walking distance of Thammasat University. The Rattanakosin Island was built in the early Rattanakosin period. Hence, Tha Maharaj tries to capture the charm of the old town’s architecture.

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

This community mall is thus in close proximity of the Chao Phraya River and there is also the Tha Maharaj Pier. What is more, it is surrounded by some important cultural attractions of Bangkok including The Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Nearby this place are also Silpakorn Fine Arts University and Siriraj Hospital.

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River (photo credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)

Tha Maharaj Pier at the Chao Phraya River*

Of course, due to this location, Tha Maharaj has become a tourist attraction as well. However, locals also love this place because there are specialists of antiques and one of the greatest Thai amulet markets in the country.

At Tha Maharaj*

A community mall with many shops and restaurants*

Tha Maharaj aims at bringing the beauty of the Chao Phraya River near to the visitors. In addition, people should get to know and enjoy the local culinary specialities which can also be referred to as the Taste of the River. What is more, the place surprises the visitor with some colourful details 🙂 Thus, there is also a community garden and a riverside promenade.

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

There a numerous shops and a community garden*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Colourful details for a good mood*

Tha Maharaj includes seven buildings in total and a parking building. There are more that 50 restaurants, retail shops dedicated to fashion and beauty. You can reach this place by road but also via Chao Phraya Express Boat. Other options to get there are Chao Phraya Tourist Boat, Long-Tail Boats and Private Boats.

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Reach the Tha Maharaj by road or by boat*

Summing up, Tha Maharaj is certainly worth a visit since there are not only numerous interesting shops, facilities and restaurants but also special events and activities like weekend market.

A colourful place for special events and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

A colourful place for special events like the weekend market and friends of the Chao Phraya River*

For more information check out: Tha Maharaj

Yours, Sirinya

(All photos in this post, credit: Amporn Konglapumnuay)




Slow Life on Koh Phayam

How about a quiet day on Koh Phayam? I’d like to take you on a photographic journey to this island in the Andaman Sea. Koh Phayam is off the coast to Rayong Province in the East of Thailand near to the Gulf of Thailand. The island is about 30 km from Ranong.

Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam amazing seascape (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)

Koh Phayam’s amazing seascape (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)

Koh Phayam has two major beaches which are called Ao Yai (Great Bay) and Ao Kao Kwai (Buffalo Bay). As the name suggests, Ao Yai is the largest beach which is located on the west coast. In point of fact, this bay has beige-grey sand and is 300m wide and 3km long.

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam*

Beach and boats on Koh Phayam*

You can head to the isle via ferry. Actually, on the island, the main means of transportation are motorbikes since there are no roads where cars can drive.

Heading to the island via ferry, Ao Yai*

Heading to the island via ferry, Ao Yai near the Andaman Sea*

Koh Phayam is thought to be one of the most beautiful Thai islands. Thus, the isle has many amazing and also pristine beaches. In fact, it’s a nice place to chill in a hammock or lounge chair enjoying a refreshing drink like coconut water 🙂

Fresh coconuts at Koh Phayam, Ao Kao Kwai*

Fresh coconuts at Koh Phayam, Ao Kao Kwai*

Chill in a hammock on one of the most beautiful Thai islands*

Chill in a hammock on one of the most beautiful Thai islands*

Indeed, this island has been a favourite destination for hippies and globetrotters, thus some of the beaches are not so tranquil and clean anymore. However, in the northwest there is a more natural and untouched beach called Ao Kao Kwai. In fact, this beach is quite clear and not so much polluted.

Pristine seascape at Buffalo Bay, Ao Kao Kwai*

Pristine seascape at Buffalo Bay, Ao Kao Kwai*

There are not so many people either, hence this beach seems to be cosy, secluded and private. Nonetheless, Buffalo Bay is not lonely since you may encounter one of the furry inhabitants like this dog 🙂

A dog on the island*

A dog on the island*

You may also spot an amazing landscape like this rockformation or a storm approaching. There are also such stunning things like a floating pagoda at the pier.

Land- and seacape, rockformation on the island near Ranong*

Land- and seacape, rockformation on the island near Ranong*

Is there a storm appraoching? Andaman Sea, Koh Phayam*

Is there a storm appraoching? Blue sky and beach at the Andaman Sea*

A floating pagoda at a pier in Koh Phayam*

A floating pagoda at a pier in Koh Phayam*

Finally, I hope you enjoyed my little photographic trip to Koh Phayam. If you have the chance, make the island you next destination… 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(all photos in this post, credit to Siwaphong Pakdeetawan @knack66)




A Hidden Gem: The Bangkokian Museum

The Bangkokian Museum is also known as the Bangkok Folk Museum. In Thai, it is called Phiphithaphan Chao Bang Kok (พิพิธภัณฑ์ชาวบางกอก). This museum is located in the Bangrak district only several hundered meters from the Chao Phraya River and hence not far from the well-known Oriental Hotel. It is placed at Soi Charoen Krung and Maha Set Road.

Entrance to the Bangkokian Museum (photo: Amporn Konglapumnuay)*

Entrance to the Bangkokian Museum (photo: Amporn Konglapumnuay)*

The Bangkok Folk Museum has two wooden houses which date back to the time of World War II. These teak houses are behind a wooden gate, in the back of a garden. Thus, the museum captures the spirit and lifestyle of middle-class people in Bangkok during WWII and the after war period.

A Hidden Gem: The Bangkok Folk Museum*

A Hidden Gem: The Bangkok Folk Museum*

This museum was once the home of the Suravadee family*

This museum was once the home of the Suravadee family*

The houses, built in 1937, were the home of the Suravadee family. They became a museum to preserve Thai lifestyle of early Bangkok and have been managed by the Bangkok  Metropolitan Authority since 2004. Today, Ms Waraporn Suravadee is the caretaker of the museum which was once her residence.

The living room*

The living room*

Ms Waraporn Suravadee*

Ms Waraporn Suravadee*

In the first building, there is an ancestors’ quarters upstairs. There are many valuable objects but also everyday items of the Suravadee family who used to live there. Some treasures include precious Benjarong jars. These jars are made from Thai porcelain, painted in five basic colours black, green, yellow, red and white. The technique dates back to the time of King Rama V (1858-1910). What is more, the museum also habours other amazing porcelain art which stem from the early Rattanakosin period.

A display of porcelain from the Rattanakosin era*

A display of porcelain from the Rattanakosin era*

Some more porcelain in a cabinet*

Some more porcelain in a cabinet*

In the ground floor are the dining rooms, library and offices. Upstairs are the neat bedrooms with cabinets and closets. There are also valuable objects like antique jewelry for instance.

The Library at the Bangkok Folk Museum*

The Library at the Bangkok Folk Museum*

A neat bedroom*

A neat bedroom*

At the rear, behind the main building, is the second house of the museum. This place was supposed to be the clinic of Dr. Francis Christian who was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn. However, he passed away before he could move in. For instance, there you find his amazing cigar collection displayed and an old kitchen with typical utensils dating back to the war period.

Dr. Francis Christian was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn Suravadee. This bust was created by Prof Silpa Bhirasr. *

Dr. Francis Christian was the stepfather of Ms Waraporn Suravadee. This bust was created by Prof Silpa Bhirasri*

Kitchen utensils from the war era*

Kitchen utensils from the war era*

In addition, you can also admire some stunning antique jewelry. Do you like the amazing purple spider brooch? I do 😉

Antique jewelry*

Antique jewelry*

A beautiful dresser from the war era*

A beautiful antique teak dresser*

In a nutshell, we may say that the Bangkokian Museum is one of the important heritage buildings in Bangkok like the Jim Thompson House, Suan Pakkad Palace and Vimanmek Palace. If you are in Bangkok, this place is worth a visit for sure 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(All pictures in this post, credit to Amporn Konglapumnuay)




Slow Life in Nan Province

Today, I’d like to take you on a photographic journey to Nan province in Thailand. I thus invite you to enjoy the peaceful and serene atmosphere and landscape of this place. Enjoy the beauty of Nan province!

Nan Province

A Buddha in Nan province (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

A Buddha in Nan province (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

Nan is a hidden gem in Northern Thailand where life is still slow anf tranquil. Thus, Nan has become increasingly propular with both local and foreign travelers and the province is also known for its amazing handicrafts.

Temple in Nan province

Mythical beings in front of a temple in Nan*

Nan is located near the Laotian border and it is also in close proximity to Luang Prabang, the capital of Laos. Hence, this place is very much upcountry Thailand. Historically, Nan was once an independent kingdom. Hence, Nan’s history has been very much influenced by the neighbouring countries and in particular by the kingdom of Sukhothai.

Temple in Nan (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

Golden temple in Nan*

In history, this province was an independent principality under the reign of Lanna, Sukhothai, Burma and Siam. However, in 1558, Nan was conquered by the Burmese. It was not until the late 18th century that Nan became allied to the Rattanakosin Kingdom.

Painting in a temple in Nan National Park in Nan, Thailand Temple in Nan (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

Mural painting in a temple in Nan*

Amazing handicraft from Nan Painting in a temple in Nan National Park in Nan, Thailand Temple in Nan (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

Amazing paintings from Nan*

Thus, Nan was a half-autonomous kingdom with its own kings who reigned from 1786-1931. Nan is also the home of many Tai Lue people and other hill tribes like the Hmong, N’tin, Yao and Khamu. About 10 percent of Nan’s population belong to the hill tribes. They preserve their traditions and customs.

National Park in Nan, Thailand Temple in Nan (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

National Park in Nan, northern Thailand*

In Nan, there are also great agricultural areas where rice and fruits also grown.

Nan is devoted to agriculture, particularly to rice cultivation

Nan is devoted to agriculture, particularly to rice cultivation*

What is more, Nan is known for its stunning national parks. For instance, the Doi Phukha National Park is well-known for its nearly 2000m high mountains. Therefore, Nan is also a popular destination for people who like trekking and hiking. Interestingly, the provincial tree and flower is the Orchid tree.

Nan is a popular destination for people who like trekking.

Nan is a popular destination for people who like trekking*

Make a wish! Have you ever seen such a starlit sky?

Make a wish! Have you ever seen such a starlit sky? The milkyway is just around the corner*

Summing up, we may say that Nan province has not only impressive and interesting cultural destinations like temples and museums but also an unique laid-back charm. Last but not least, the province also offers amazing quality cafes and restaurants for refreshment 🙂

Quality cafe for refreshment Amazing handicraft from Nan Painting in a temple in Nan National Park in Nan, Thailand Temple in Nan (photo: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66)

Quality cafe for refreshment*

Yours, Sirinya 🙂

*All photos in this post: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram @knack66




The History of Wat Arun

Wat Arun is known as the Temple of Dawn located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. It is a very prominent landmark in Bangkok. This temple is best seen from the opposite river bank. The complete name of this temple is Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan.

Wat Arun

View on Wat Arun from from Bitter Deck at Sala Arun. photo: Amazing Thailand FB page

View on Wat Arun from Bitter Deck at Sala Arun. photo: Amazing Thailand FB page

Wat Arun is a temple complex that consists of the towers, the so-called ‘Phra Prang’ (spires) which symbolize the Mount Meru of Hindu cosmology. There are also narrow lanes, old white buildings, shrines and two giants called ‘Yak Wat Jaeng’ who are the mortal enemies of the ‘Yak Wat Pho’ located across the river. The Yaks are figures from the Thai Ramakien, the white figure is called Sahassa Deja and the green one is Thotsakan, the Demon Rāvana.

‘Yak Wat Jaeng', the temple guardians of Wat Arun (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

‘Yak Wat Jaeng’, the temple guardians of Wat Arun (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

The temple has existed since the days when Ayutthaya was Thailand’s capital. It was then named Wat Makok in the place called Bangmakok meaning ‘Village of Olive’. Hence, Bangmakok was shortened to ‘Bangkok’.

The Chao Phraya River as seen from the main spire of Wat Arun; photo by John Thomson in 1865, Wellcome Library London

The Chao Phraya River as seen from the main spire of Wat Arun; photo by John Thomson in 1865, Wellcome Library London

After defeating the Burmese Army in Ayutthaya, King Taksin reached this place to establish the new capital Thonburi. He arrived at dawn and thus renamed the temple ‘Wat Jeang’. ‘Jeang’ means bright, dawn and clear. During his reign, no monks lived in this temple. However, it was used to house the Emerald Buddha which is located at Wat Phra Kaeow today.

The precious Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaeow (photo credit: JPSwimmer, wikipedia.org)

The precious Emerald Buddha, today located at Wat Phra Kaeow (photo credit: JPSwimmer, wikipedia.org)

King Taksin’s General had taken the Emerald Buddha from Vientiane in Laos to Wat Jeang. Later after King Taksin’s death, this General became King Rama I (Buddha Yodfa Chulaoke). Eventually, King Rama I moved his capital from Thonburi to Bangkok taking the Emerals Buddha with him. There the Buddha was moved to his present site in the Emerald Buddha Temple.

King Rama I, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke; photo: wikimedia.org

King Rama I, Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke; photo: wikimedia.org

King Rama II (1809-1824) started the construction of the tall spire and the four smaller ones. This was completed by King Rama III (1824-1851). The towers are supported by rows of demons and monkeys and very narrow steps lead to a balcony on the central tower.

The towers of Wat Arun are supported by a row of demons, photo: Sirinya Pakditawan

The towers of Wat Arun are supported by a row of demons, photo: Sirinya Pakditawan

The towers are built of brick covered with stucco and the decorations are also unique. There are numerous pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain.

Pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain at the Temple of Dawn, Bangkok (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

Pieces of multi-coloured Chinese porcelain at the Temple of Dawn, Bangkok (photo: Sirinya Pakditawan)

The central tower also harbours the figure of the God Indra seated on his vehicle Erawan which is the three-headed elephant. What is more, there are also figures of the Moon God on a white horse. In addition, the trident of Shiva extends from the top of each tower.

Wat Arun stairway, photo: wikimedia.org

Wat Arun stairway, I think in the centre there is Indra on his vehicle Erawan, photo: wikimedia.org

Thus, the central balcony offers an impressive view of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River. From there you can also see the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Pho.

Wat Arun seen from the Chao Phraya River, photo: wikimedia.org

Wat Arun seen from the Chao Phraya River, photo: wikimedia.org

Summing up, I find that Wat Arun is one of the most impressive monuments that I have ever seen. I really love to visit this place soon again 🙂

Yours, Sirinya




‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

This month’s topic of the Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem (คลองผดุงกรุงเกษม) market is ‘Mementos For Fathers & New Year’s Gifts’. The market is situated next to the Government House in Bangkok’s Old City and takes place from 1-24 December 2015, daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

‘Mementos For Father’s & New Year’s Gifts’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Market

Divided into two periods, the first one from 1-12 December 2015 focussed on the theme of ‘Gifts for Father’s Day’. The second period from 13-24 December 2015 is all about ‘New Year’s Gifts’. For every item you purchase for 300 Baht per shop, you have the chance of getting a prize from the lucky draw station. In addition, you can also get free gift wrapping.

Since H. M. King Bhumibol’s Birthday was on 5th December, the market invites you to show loyalty to the King by writing a salute. After registering at the zone, you receive a piece of paper to write down a salute and hang on the Bodhi tree.

Write down a salute for H.M. King Bhumibol

Write down a salute for H.M. King Bhumibol

Are you a flower and nature lover? Then I have some special items to present to you from this market festival. First, there are the adorable handmade ‘Real Flower Accessories’. Aren’t they amazing? The petals are dried and arranged, then coated with resin.

'Real Flower Accessories' at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market festival

‘Real Flower Accessories’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem market festival

Colourful necklaces made with real flowers

Colourful necklaces made with real flowers

Maybe you are looking for a nice floral home decoration? Take a look at ‘Fah Artificial Flower’ from Supanburi Province. They offer a special price on their wonderful fabric flowers.

‘Fah Artificial Flower’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

‘Fah Artificial Flower’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Another wonderful item and New Year’s present is the ‘Gift Box’ which contains beautifully arranged artificial flowers.

A nice Gift Box with beautifully arranged artificial flowers

A nice Gift Box with beautifully arranged artificial flowers

What is more, the market presents numerous amazing and unique Thai handicraft products such as these exquisite articles by Sukkee. By the way, Sukkee is one of the OTOP exporters that were awarded by the Ministry of Commerce.

Exquisite articles by Sukkee

Exquisite articles by Sukkee

Thai handicraft products by Sukkee

Thai handicraft products by Sukkee

In fact, there are a variety of appealing products to satisfy shoppers such as these adorable handmade articles by ‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’. These turtles with crystals on their carapace are believed to symbolize and bring both longevity and prosperity to the owners.

‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’, turtles with crystals

‘Thaisouvenir & Gift’, turtles with crystals

Amazing Thai handicraft at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

Amazing Thai handicraft at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem, elephants with crystals

I also cherish the stunning Thai handicraft articles by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”.Take a look at these fine arts 🙂

Thai handicraft by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”

Thai handicraft by “Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory”

“Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory” at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

“Jiam Sansajja Bronze Factory” at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

There are many more exotic products like these beautiful articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”.

Articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”

Articles made from Thai mango trees by “Creationwww”

Thai mango tree products by “Creationwww”

Thai mango tree products by “Creationwww”

Last but not least, there are some very cute teddy bears from ‘Teddy Bear Thailand’ that offers a super special price only at this event. You can take pictures with a bunch of furry teddy bears and take one home.

'Teddy Bear Thailand' at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

‘Teddy Bear Thailand’ at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem

For more information, please check out: facebook.com/khlongphadungkrungkasem. For tourists, I recommend that you print this map out and show it to a taxi driver, adding that the market is situated next to the Government House (ทำเนียบรัฐบาล).

Map & travel info

Map & travel info

Summing up, we can say that the market at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem is an innovative attraction in Bangkok appealing to both locals and to tourists with amazing articles and Thai wisdom products. This month, the market offers some unique New Year’s Gifts and Father’s Day gifts. There is simply something for everyone’s taste. Thus, don’t miss the event!

Yours, Sirinya




The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand

Today I’d like to take you on a photographic journey to the Sanctuary of Truth (ปราสาทสัจธรรม) which is a temple construction in Pattaya, Thailand. The Sanctuary is also known as Wang Boran and Prasat Mai.

The Sanctuary of Truth

Entrance to the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand

Entrance to the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand*

The special characterisitc of this temple is that it is completely constructed from wood. Thus, it is a great example of the art of Thai woodcarving. The sanctuary harbours numerous wooden scupltures from Buddhist and Hindu mythology.

The Sanctuary of Truth is an amazing example of Thai woodcarving

The Sanctuary of Truth is an amazing example of Thai woodcarving*

However, in the top of the building, which is 105 meters high, there are also pieces of modern visionary art exhibited. In 1981, the temple complex was initiated by Lek Viriyaphant who is also the founder of the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan. Actually, the Sanctuary of Truth is not completed yet and the year for its completion is supposed to be in 2050.

Wang Boran, the Sanctuary of Truth, hall with royal images

Wang Boran, the Sanctuary of Truth, hall with royal images*

The temple construction is a unique and fine example of Thai architecture and it is also reminiscent of ancient Khmer buildings. There are four monumental towers representing images from the Buddhist and Hindu religions and mythologies of Asian countries like Cambodia, China, India and Thailand. Hence, the Sanctuary honours the ancient civilizations of Southeast Asia and their accomplishments.

The construction of Wang Boran is reminiscent of Khmer architecture

The construction of Wang Boran is reminiscent of Khmer architecture*

Therefore, the Sanctuary of Truth also gives credit to the seven creators which are of vital importance to man because without them, he cannot exist. These creators are Heaven, Earth, Father, Mother, Moon, Sun and the Stars. Thus, the purpose of this temple complex is to use art and culture in order to reflect Eastern philosophy and the ancient knowledge and vision of Southeast Asia. Visitors are invited to take a glimpse at and experience ancient knowledge, the connectedness of all beings and the cycle of life.

Prasert Mai, Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya

Prasart Mai, Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya*

The Sanctuary of Truth is divided into different halls. Hence, the 1st hall is about the origin and stands for the earth, the four elements and the universe. According to Hindu belief, Shiva is the God of Earth and Fire (beginning and end), Vishnu is the God of Water and thus the preserver of life, while Brahma is the God of the Wind and thus the creator. Trimurati is the God of the Universe and the universal aspect.

Wang Boran stands for stands for the earth, the four elements and the universe

Wang Boran stands for the earth, the four elements and the universe*

The 2dn hall represents the sun, moon and stars and thus symbolizes the created environment. The sun, moon and stars are also creators because without the sun there would neither be day nor night. The moon causes tideing and the stars are the reason for every cause. Hence, everything and even the creators are interconnected.

Sanctuary of Truth, everything is interconnected even the creators

Sanctuary of Truth, everything is interconnected even the creators*

The 3rd hall represents Parental Love which also stands for unconditional love, starting a family, tranquility and peace. In this way, the hall also represents father and mother who are givers. They do not ask anything in return for their love and the receivers, the children, are grateful and pay respect to their parents. The 4th hall stands for the world supporter and thus for the Bodhisattva who is the Buddha. His attributes are love, compassion, selflessness and service to others. What is more, this is also the basis for all religions.

Bodhisattva, his attributes are love, compassion, selflessness and service to others

Bodhisattva, his attributes are love, compassion, selflessness and service to others*

Finally, the Centre Hall stands for the four noble truths that the Buddha has preached to all men. It means that human beings can understand the wheel of life and overcome suffering in order to reach Nirvana.

Centre Hall stands for the four noble truths that the Buddha has preached to all men

The Centre Hall stands for the four noble truths that the Buddha has preached to all men*

Hence, the four spires on the top roof represent the four elements: there is a female celestial being holding a book representing the continuation of philosophy and morality. The other female celestial that holds a pidgeon in her hand stands for peace. The male celestial with a lotus flower represents the establishment and continuation of religion. Finally, the celestial holding the hand of a child and leading the elderly represents life.

The Sanctuary of Truth, the four spires on the top roof represent the four elements

The Sanctuary of Truth, the four spires on the top roof represent the four elements*

Summing up, we may say that the Sanctuary of Truth is an amazing temple construction and a stunning example of Thai woodcarving that captures the ancient vision of the earth. I really recommend a visit to this place 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

*all photos in this post by Amporn Konglapumnuay