Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Wat Pho, Wat Arun & Khao San Road

19 Sep 2006

After catching up with enough sleep I got out of the guesthouse (K.T Guesthouse, Sutthisarn Road, Inthamara soi 14, Single: 560 Baht Double: 690Baht A/C,Hot Shower no T.V, Has a pool too)

K.T Guest House

to catch some authentic Thai breakfast and then I remembered that they don’t have any breakfast..they either eat what was cooked in the night or may be have a soup. I wandered my gaze around the street to find a lady cooking something in her wok. I walked to her and asked her to give me a Khao Phat (KHAW PAT: Thai for fried rice) I learnt this from the Lonely Planet – Thailand I purchased in Cambodia for 5 USD.

After polishing another plate of Khao Phat, this time with sea food varieties and a nice plump cake I headed back to the guest house. Even though the guest house was very clean and quiet I’ve come to know that there are more cheaper and lively places in Bangkok to stay. So, I decided to catch some action and I checked out from the guest house and hailed a cab to head to the backpackers ghetto: the Khao San Road. It is often made fun of that if you stay at a guest house in Khao San you have a freak show at your doorstep. Thanks to Lonely Planet.

Khao san road is infact a back packers paradise, as I walked with my 20kg backpack I think I spotted a tourist from every nation I know. Guesthouses, cheap clothes, food carts, massage parlors, Internet cafes, tuk-tuk drivers, shoe sellers, restaurants..boy this place was bustling with action or what. I walked down the street and checked a couple of guest houses only to find that they were already full and other guest house have shared bathrooms and some say that the only room available was the executive or special room what they call which costs around 700 baht a night. So I pulled out my Lonely planet and found that there are most quieter and cheaper guesthouses at Thanon Phra Athit (by the way Thanon is Thai for ROAD and SOI – pronounced as soy, is STREET) just off Khao San Road. I walked into one of the quiet bylanes and found SUKPASATH HOTEL for 400 baht a night with A/C and hot shower.

The clock now stuck 2:30pm I quickly had a shower and headed to the nearest “place to see”, WAT PHO, thanks to the map I picked up at Airport. In fact all the famous “must see” places of Bangkok are situated very conviniently near Th. Khao San. The National Museum, National Theater, Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew (Emrald Buddha), Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of the dawn) are at walking distance range from this road.

Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon: Built in 17th century is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Wat Po hosts one of the largest reclining Buddha, gold plated is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, illustrates the passing of Buddha into Nirvana. The eyes and the feet are engraved with mother-of-pearl decorations. The feet is decorated with 108 auspicious charecteristics of Buddha.

Wat Pho being the oldest wat in Bangkok, is the finest center for traditional Thai massage. Courses are also offered throughout the year if you are interested to learn Thai massage. I think the duration is 30 hours costing approx. 4000-4500 baht over a span of 10-15 days.

Tickets at Wat Pho: 50 Baht

Reclining Buddha, Wat Po

Reclining Buddha

then we headed to the closest ferry station “Ta Tien” to catch a ferry to cross-over the Chao Praya river to Wat Arun, the Temple of the dawn, by paying 3 baht each way..wait a minute that was the cheapest denomination I paid during this whole trip. Then it stuck me that I could reduce my costs by utilising the ferry service. I read a bit about the ferry service in Lonely Planet and with my little smiling skills I was able to understand the routes and for the next four days this would become my preferred mode of transportation in Bangkok.

Wat Arun, The temple of the dawn: One of the most published site by the tourism authority and the only tourist attraction on the other side, Thonburi side, of the Chao Praya river. Construction has an elongated prang(tower which is built in Khmer-style) which is surrounded by four smaller prangs. The prangs are decorated with bits of porcelain. It is also said that the wat hosted emrald buddha for a brief period of time.

Tickets at Wat Arun: 20 Baht

Wat Arun, Temple Of Dawn

Wat arun when viewed across the Chao Praya river when the sunsets down is breath-taking

Wat Arun, Chao Praya banks

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Street Spotting

Th saturday I was all set to test the capabilities of my new D-SLR the CANON EOS 350D.

So along with a bunch of enthusiasts I decided to shoot people rather kids and families on the streets..and man it turned out a wonderful experience for me. I guess one can understand what “unity in diversity” means from this street. The first thing I spotted was a big gateway/entrance which was colorfully decorated with small sculptures of hindu gods and dieties and the back drop was a tall structure emerging from the mosque which was just a few meters down the lane..I decided to walk into the lane and took the right…a quiet start with people immersed in their daily chores.

Housewives washing clothes and cooking, the elderly lot were just baskin themselves in the sun kids playing marbles youth involved in a serious game of carromboard..the moment the cameras were taken out of the bags one of the kids noticed the same out of nowhere as if the guards were alerted with enemy attack.

There were kids and kids all around me asking me what I was doing there and why I was takin pictures..once those questions were answered everyone wanted their “Single Photos” :))..anyways...this is what I saw and captured on those lively streets through my lens..