Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Clouds and sea

Clouds and Sea

Copyright Praveen Chamarthi

More photos here on flickr


Speed boaters

Speed Boaters

Image & text Copyright Praveen Chamarthi

This boatman makes a living taking tourists from the beaches of pattaya to the near by islands with coral reefs. He took me to the para-gliding spot..under water sea walking and showed me some amazing reefs..

I thought he looked like Danny Dengzonpa (India actor from Sikkim)

Somewhere in the sea between Koh Larn and Pattaya
May 2006

Larger version here


Taxi, Bangkok

Copyright Praveen Chamarthi

More fotos on my flickr stream here

Thai food

22nd Sep 2006

There isn’t much I’ve done since morning. I had an early breakfast and sat at the Internet cafe for more than an hour to update my friends and to see if my job is still there :).

I slowly checked out of my hotel (check out time is 12:noon) I walked down to the quiet and airy Baan Sabai restaurant and decided to feast on some real Thai food

Tom yam soup with river prawns

Tom yam soup with river prawns

Ham and bacon salad

Ham n Bacon salad

Phad Thai fried noodles with bean sprouts

Phad thai fried noodles

stir fried chicken with Sweet and sour sauce
Stir Fried Chicken in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Fried noodles with mince beef

Fried noodles with mince beef

Silom Village and Patpong Street

21 Sep 2006

There are numerous places to shop around in Bangkok. For the more upbeat type of stores you can visit the Siam Paragaon and for more budget oriented shopping it worth a visit to the MBK shopping center at Siam center. You can reach MBK by taking the nearest sky train to siam (pronounced as sayyam) station. From Th. Khao San take the ferry service a.k.a Chao praya river express from Th. Phra Athit to Takshin ticket: 13baht, and then take the sky train to Siam skytrain ticket: 20baht. Siam is an interchange station commuters interchange here for travelling north of Bangkok toward Mo Chit (Northern bus terminal, buses to Aranyaprathet: Closest town to Cambodian border, depart from here but beware Mo chit skytrain station and the bus terminal are NOT close by so if you intend to go to the bus terminal I suggest you hail a cab or a tuk-tuk and ask for Mo Chit mai). Mo chit is also close the Chatuchak weekend market worth a visit. Even though this is a weekend market one can still find shops during the weekdays. The market opens at 9:00am and closes by 6:00pm.

For all you techies: Even though I haven’t been there personally I’ve heard that the best bargains for all kinds of electronic goods can be found at Panthip Plaza which is also very close to Siam square.

If you are an evening shopper, like me, then head towards Silom village and then to Patpong street. Take ferry service from Th. Phra Athit to Takshin ticket: 13baht, and then take the sky train to Surasak skytrain ticket: 10baht Silom village is walking distance from here. Cheap clothes, bags, wearables, shoes, tatoo’s and other accessories and available in abundance here.

Patpong street is for the hedonists. Dingy bars, sex shows, go-go bars, pimps (both men and women), massage parlours and anything sex sells here. As I walked down the street Murray head played in my head. Honestly, I thought whoever wrote this song must have landed directly from Don Muang (Bangkok International Airport) to Patpong street and he judged Bangkok. I walked passed all of the go-go bars dodging all the pimps out of Patpong and headed towards Sala Daeng, the closest sky train station after you exit out of Patpong street. Another mark that you are in Patpong is the sky train line which runs above the whole evening market.

The clock now struck 7:30pm I climbed the not so steep stairway (as compared to the steps at Angkor) and walked to buy my ticket back to Takshin where I would catch the ferry service back to Th. Phra Athit. But to my disappointment that day Wednesday the ferry service closes at 7:00pm, strange! I saw them operate yesterday at 8:00pm huh! well I should have read those days and timings a little more carefully. Anyways I hailed a cab and it rushed through the already fading traffic and dropped me off at Th. Phra Athit for 63 baht.

I walked down Phra Athit to find the night dwellers already on their duty and the street smelled of food. I stopped by a friendly noodle maker and bought myself a “mee foon” (rice noodles) and a spring roll for 35baht and on my way I picked “Singha beer” which has soon become my favorite.

Singha Beer

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

20 Sep 2006

Thanking myself for moving out of K.T Guesthouse and choosing to stay in Banglamphu turned out to be a wise decision. I didn’t need to think twice to get to the palace as I already knew the road that leads to it. The Grand Palace opens at 8:30am and I was there at 9:00. As I walked past through the huge wooden doors entrance I spotted armed guards standing still and staring at you and the also I some tourists taking pictures of them, with them and from them too. I noticed that the guards were sending most of the “scantily dressed” women to the counter where they provide you free shirt (for covering those sleeveless blouses) and trousers(if you are wearing a mini skirt or shorts apparently even 3/4ths are not allowed). I later learned that there was a strict dress code to enter into this sacred site.

Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves — no tank tops. If you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc.

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew Stupas

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

Bon Voyage

Tonite I embark on a journey to experience the wonders of the far-east.
To visit the most rarest sight on planet earth, an architectural marvel, a lost civilization and a mystery that surrounds these temples “the holy city which is a temple”: Angkor wat

I plan to post everyday my experiences during this journey.
So here is my plan

Day 1  14 Sep 2006

I fly tommorow morning 3:35hrs to Singapore and then to Bangkok 13:35hrs
Out of the airport by 15:30hrs (depends on how long the VISA takes)
Check into a hotel and roam around the city for a bit.

Day 2  15 Sep 2006
Leave to Morchit bus terminal to catch a bus to Aranyaprathet (border to cambodia) and reach Siem Reap
by 16:00 hrs Check into a guest-house or a budget hotel. Visit night market rest early.

Day 3  16 Sep 2006
Leave guest house around 4:00 hrs to catch the first rays of sun hitting the Angkor Wat temples then spend the whole day visiting the temples (I heard one can do max 3 per day)
Angkor Wat
Angkor Thom

Day 4  17 Sep 2006
More temples
Preah Khan

Ta Prohm
Pre Rup
Ta Som

Day 5  18 Sep 2006
and more..
Neak Pean
Banteay Srei
Banteay Samre

Day 6  19 Sep 2006
Early morning leave Siem Reap to Bangkok reach Bangkok by evening rest or leave the same day to Pattaya/Phuket

Day 7  20 Sep 2006
Pattaya/Phuket (actually havent decided which one)

Day 8  21 Sep 2006
Beaches, Coral Islands of Pattaya/Phuket (actually havent decided which one) Leave to Bangkok

Day 9  22 Sep 2006
Visit the Ratchaburi Floating Market, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Cruise in the Chaopraya river
City night tour

Day 10 23 Sep 2006
Visit MBK Shop for some goodies souvenirs leave to COLOMBO

Day 11  24 Sep 2006
Sight Seeing in Colombo (luckily I dont need a VISA for srilanka)
Flight leaves 18:00hrs to Bangalore

Day 12  25 Sep 2006
Back to the rat race
but I will have some more cherishable memories for a life time..hopefully

Cheers my friends stay linked to know more about Thailand and Cambodia

This how Angkor looks from the eyes of s_st’s


and through arjuns eyes

Angkor Sunrise

and through shapeshift eyes

Angkor Thom

Breakfast in Thailand?

Since I booked my tickets last week, I’ve been eating, drinking and sleeping Thailand/Combodia.
This morning, as I was having my breakfast I was wondering what would be the staple breakfast in Thailand?
After some googling and snapping I found out that there is no particular dish that is made for breakfast.
It is usually rice soup for breakfast but most of the times it is the same dish that is eaten for dinner.
You can learn more about this here.

I also found this strange looking cereal called Nam Tao Hu Song Crueng
Breakfast Cereal
You can find the recipie here
I also noticed that Thai’s go light on Breakfast, medium on lunch and a full course meal for dinner.

I always believed that one should Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a pauper but I guess in Thai-land I need to believe backwards..:)

Some interesting links: