Monday, December 2, 2013

Wat Arun - a must see Thailand's landmark.

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Wat Arun is a must see landmark. It is a very old Buddhist temple.  The local call it as Wat Chaeng. It  is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, because the design is very different to the other temples that you can visit in Bangkok. It is partly made up of colorfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water.

Wat Arun from Chao Phraya River view
The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand's landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.  Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.
Wat Arun Bangkok
This temple is one of the tourist destinations when seeing the Grand Place complex.  You can go first to Grand Place then take a walk to Wat Pho and finally go to Wat Arun.   Other tourist attractions accessible from here are the National Museum, Chinatown the Ko Rattanakosin area, and the Banglamphu district.

Wat Arun Temple
Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this temple can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The Tha Tien express boat pier, at the southwest corner of the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaew, is diagonally opposite Wat Arun. You can get to Tha Tien on the Chao Phraya River Express boats from any other pier, or take a taxi to it. Plenty of Thonburi canal tours also take tourists to visit this artistic piece of architecture.

Chinese soldier  at Wat Arun
The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which are encrusted with colourful porcelain. This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda incrusted with coloured faience. The height is around 86 m. The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang.

The prang is decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China. The presiding Buddha image, cast in the reign of Rama II, is said to have been molded by the king himself. The ashes of King Rama II are interred in the base of the image.

You can climb the central prang if you wish, the steps are very steep but there is a railing to balance yourself. Getting up is as tricky as getting down! When you reach the highest point you can see the winding Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace and Wat Pho opposite. Along the base of this central tower there are sculptures of Chinese soldiers and animals.

Some tips: 
  • You can get to try the traditional Thailand dress for only 100 baht at the lower part and take photo like crazy with Wat Arun as the background. 
Tourists with Thai Traditional dress
  • At the jetty terminal, buy some fish food and threw them into the Chao Phraya to lure the fishes up, the fishes were huge! 
  • Dress properly, off shoulders (spaghetti straps/ sleeveless ) and shorts for women are disallowed. You might ended up buying a wrap arounds on site if you are considered not dressing properly. 
  • Climbing up to the steep stair of the pagoda is painful but the view for the top is very beautiful. Don't forget to take some photos with this amazing architecture. 
view from Wat Arun
  • There are some stalls along the side of the temple. You can buy some t-shirt here at the outside of temple. The price is fixed.  You can buy 12 pieces for 1000 baht or 6 for 500 baht.  Price of kids size is more lower than that. There are around 10 – 15 seller in here sold T-Shirt and some sold the souvenirs   
  • Despite the name, the most spectacular view of the glittering monument can be seen from the east side of the river at sunset, when the spires of Wat Arun make an impressive silhouette against the skyline. 




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun
http://www.watarun.net/

by "feb zakri"
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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Riverfront - Asiatique Bangkok

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It’s popular not just with tourists, but also with Thais, but it definitely is the most upscale night market in Bangkok. Asiatique has combined two of the most popular shopping experiences in the city: a night bazaar and a mall. It houses over 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants  under a huge replica warehouse complex.

night life at Asiatique Bangkok
The Riverfront is an homage to Bangkok’s past as a riverside trading post during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Originally this was the pier where a lot of the teak wood trade took place, managed by Mr. Hans Nille Andersen. Located on the grounds which formerly belonged to a Danish trading company, many of the original buildings have been retained (although they did get a “facelift”).

Home Deco shop at Asiatique Bangkok
Asiatique is split into four categories to help you find what you are looking for without too much hassle.

The Factory District is where the shopping goes on. There are around 1500 small shops located in old warehouses. You find lots of fashion, some souvenirs, design items, handicrafts, furniture, home furnishings and other things, and the selection resembles the kind of merchandise you find at Terminal 21 – at least when it comes to fashion. It’s not the cheap bargain hunting you find at many other night markets.

This place has the uniquely design section - you can get a lot of unique items not commonly found at other tourist attractions in Bangkok. The clothes/bags are from independent designers with nice designs at affordable prices.

The Waterfront District is a boat terminal.  Upscale dining selection can be found in this district, with smart Italian, Thai and seafood restaurants.  You find fancy restaurants and event venues lined up along a 300m boardwalk. The New Year festive and countdown celebrations take place here.

The Town  Square District is a mixture of Thai & Western influences – a large sports bar, outdoor space for events and international food. Some independent cafes are dotted around selling strong drinks and decently priced Thai food

There are plenty of international dining options, from Japanese, to Italien, Korean, American, Thai, Seafood, Chinese, and like this shop – Champion Kebab – Turkish (it’s quite popular with international tourists).

sign to The Town Square District
The Chareonkrung District is where you find over 1,000 small boutiques  in four warehouses  that sale souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, home decor  and clothing. The little storefronts are attractive, the displays are interesting and there is a wide range on offer too, from fashionable Thai brands to affordable stores selling merchandise similar to those on offer in places like Chatuchak and MBK.

shops parade at Asiatique Bangkok
Asiatique also has branches of KFC, Pizza Company, Au Bon Pain and MK. As well as all this food and shopping, the two biggest entertainment draws are the Thai puppets by Joe Louis Theatre and Calypso Cabaret, one of Bangkok’s celebrated ladyboy shows. Both these shows have been attracting audiences for years, and Asiatique is the perfect new surrounding for them, offering so much more than just a performance.


Opening Hours: 17:00-midnight
Location: Chareonkrung Soi 74-76
How to get there: The easiest and fastest way to get there is via boat. Take the BTS to Saphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. It only takes ten minutes, and the boat runs until 23:00. Taxis are not recommended as the traffic can be terrible in this area.

Source:
http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-mall/asiatique.htm
http://www.bangkoknightmarket.com/asiatique-the-riverfront

by "Feb zakri"
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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Calypso - The most popular and unique show at Asiatique - Bangkok

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Thailand is well known for their “ladyboys” shows and The Calypso Bangkok Theatre is just the place to visit.  Some of these ‘ladies’ have features that would have made any woman jealous but this is just an attractive illusion; they were all born men.

the uniform show of calypso Bangkok
The Calypso Bangkok is well worth a visit. It is one of the most popular and unique shows in Bangkok as it stars unbelievably beautiful transsexuals and transvestites. These shows are not just about boys who want to be girls throwing on a show. These are seasoned, highly talented performers. This is about great choreography, amazing costuming. Some of which are breath catching! The show treats various "eras" of performance, reflected by the music and the costuming

Calypso ticket
Currently Calypso Bangkok Theater has moved to Asiatique; The Riverfront - Warehouse No.3, the new travel destination in Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River. Asiatique is the perfect location for Cabaret Calypso as this part of town has also gone through a huge transformation. The attempt to recreate a night market on a pier from times gone by seems a little manufactured, but with over 1,500 small boutique shops,  40 restaurants  and faux vintage set-up, the place gives the best panoramic view of the Chaopraya River for photo opportunities.

The easiest and fastest way to get there is via boat. Take the BTS to Sapphan Taksin and jump on the free shuttle at the end of the pier. It only takes ten minutes to get there, and the boat runs until 23:30 allowing you time to get back too.

the opening show of calypso bangkok
The show caters for tourists of all nationalities with songs in Korean, Japanese (a very humorous geisha who will dedicate her performance to an embarrassed and bemused member of the audience), Chinese (a poignant ballad), English (Tina Turner, Michael Jackson), and, of course, Thai. The cabaret was like a Broadway show but it was lip-synced and it went for 1 1/4 hours.

GEISHA: Try not to laugh – the calypso Japanese classic
The theatre sits near the town square, with rainbow neon lights beckoning the audience in. Everything is scarlet: the chairs, lighting, wallpaper, making it feel a little intense at times.  All of the seats with groups of five around each table give you a great view of the stage. You get a small table upon which you can place you glasses and you can keep ordering drinks if you want to.

The Elvis show at Calypso Bangkok
You can take pictures or a video to show your friends back home. When you exit the cabaret you will see the cast lined up and you may have your picture taken with the ladyboys!  Prepared somel 100 Baht notes for the tip, usually 100-200 Bahts per ladyboy, sometimes 2 or 3 ladyboys can come to your side

grandma and gorgeous "lady"

Here some of the shows:
  • OPENING: A magnificent presentation of female beauty and evening gowns of fantastic grandezza. 
  • ELVIS: The Elvis and CALYPSO’s most beautiful groupies. 
  • THE BIRDS & THE BOYS: An ostrich festival 
  • MUSIC-HALL: A joyful medley of the alltime favourites of yore. 
  • MISTY: A tour de force of talent, energy and youth. 
  • BLOSSOM: 1 woman and 3 men and she is winning. 
  • BURLESQUE: No need to name her - she’s just ravishing. 
full moon at Calypso Bangkok
  • GEISHA: Try not to laugh – the calypso Japanese classic. 
  • MARILYN: Your eyes will pop - the incredible icon, made in CALYPSO! 
  • TACO: A sophisticated fatamorgana - beautifully daring. 
  • KINNAREE:  tribute to classical THAI DANCE with that typical CALYPSO twist: contemporary. 
  • RIRANG:  interpretation of the touching Korean classic in a haunting rendition. 
  • ALL THAT JAZZ: A never aging or ending sensation of pizzazz in motion. 
  • HONEY RAG: 2 girls 1 rhythm – inseparable – a feast of joy. 
  • THE FLOW OF THE RIVER: the most beloved and admired Japanese song of wisdom of life 
  • THE BLUE LADY: try not to love her – a hilarious gal 
  • FINALE: each and every one on stage in sparkling gowns and tails with high steps & spirits - THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOWBUSINESS
the finale -  calypso Bangkok




source:
http://www.calypsocabaret.com/

by "Feb zakri"
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha - a must see when visiting Bangkok

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Wat Pho known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is a must see when visiting Bangkok. The Reclining Buddha statue and surrounding grounds are stunning with Hundreds of amazing photo opportunities. It is a Buddhist temple located in the Rattanakosin district directly adjacent to the Grand Palace. Its official name is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan.  It also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage

inside Wat Pho
Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. Prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions. An enormous Buddha image from Ayuthaya's Wat Phra Si Sanphet was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767; King Rama I (1782-1809 A.D.) incorporated its fragments to build a temple to enlarge and renovate the complex.

reclining Buddha
The image of reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long with his right arm supporting the head with tight curls on two box-pillows of blue, richly encrusted with glass mosaics. The 3 m high and 4.5 m long foot of Buddha displays are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories. Over the statue is a seven tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand.

reclining Buddha at wat pho
There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. People drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. Though the reclining Buddha is not a pilgrimage centre, it remains an object of popular piety

108 auspicious characters of Buddha
The temple is considered the first public university of Thailand, teaching students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals and sculptures. The temple is home to one of the earliest Thai massage schools. Traditional Thai massage and medicine is taught at the Traditional Medical Practitioners Association Center, an open air hall outside the temple. For Thai massage therapists, the medical inscription inside the temple acts as a base for treatment.

Tips:

  • When you were looking forward to the great massage and it lived up to its reputation.  Do treat yourself with it to escape from all the people outside queuing to take photos with the Buddha.
  • Any time of the year, the tropical climate is too hot. So if you are planning to be here early morning or late afternoon will be the best time.
  • Don’t forget to take your free drinking water that is included at 100 baht entrance fee.
  • There is also a little gift shop onsite if you want to get any souvenirs
  • There are many fruit sellers outside the temple. They sell chill slices of tropical fruits like mangos and pineapples. It was nice for some baht to kill your thirsty. The Vitamin C is good for your health too.
  • Do not expect to spend long there if you are going to see just the Buddha, it was around 30 minutes. But you can run out of time to see the rest of the grounds.
  • A short walk from the ferry,  that will take you to the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). A short walk on both sides, no more than 10 minutes will get you to the other attraction, both of which are must sees.
Coconut Ice cream seller at wat pho
There are a few things you need to know about the reclining Buddha:

  • You cannot wear shoes inside the building.  They will give you a bag to carry your shoes in.
  • You cannot wear hats inside the building
  • The only place you have to cover up is when you go to see the Buddha. They ask you to cover up your shoulders and your legs - if you happen to turn up uncovered they will give you a bright green long robe to cover yourself with (around 10% of people in there were wearing one)

By "febzakri"

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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Grand Palace of Thailand

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The Grand Palace houses are not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well as the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. After King Rama I’s ascension to the throne in 1782 the palace was built. Prior to this, the royal palace and centre of administration had been located in Thonburi, on the west side of the chao Phraya River.

Grand Palace from outside
The new king considered the former capital to be unsuitable and decided to establish a new capital on the other side of the river. The new palace was built to serve not only as King's Residence but also as the site of some administrative offices. The royal compound has been known since then as the Grand Palace. The two earliest structures erected within the complex were the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, and the Phra Maha Monthian.

grand palace Thailand
The palace complex covers an area of 218,000 square metres and is surrounded by four walls, 1900 metres in length. It likes the rest of Ratanakosin Island, is laid out following the general outline of Ayutthaya palaces. The Outer Court, near where you enter the complex today, housed the government departments in which the king was directly involved, such as civil administration, including the army, and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha takes up one corner of the complex next to the outer court.
inside the Grand Palace Bangkok
In the middle is the Central Court, where the residence of the king and the halls for conducting state business were located. You are allowed to look at the fronts of the buildings in the central court, but only two of the throne halls are open to the public, and only on weekdays.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha  inside the Grand Palace Bangkok
Behind the central court was the inner court. This was where the king's royal consorts and daughters lived. The inner court was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty. Even though no royalty currently reside in the inner court, it is still completely closed off to the public.

take a break after walking at Grand Palace Bangkok
Tips:
  • Be careful of touts working outside the palace area. They will offer you guided tour and their 'tour' will be to several shops where they get commissions on your purchases.
  • There is a free guided tour in English. It will be available at 10:00, 10:30, 1:30 and 2:00. You can also rent an audio guide for 100 Baht (3.16 USD) plus passport or credit card to secure return.
  • The Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace grounds are open every day when not being used for state functions. 
  • The audience halls in the Grand Palace are closed on weekends. You can only gain entrance to see the magnificent thrones on weekdays. 
  • The Royal Pantheon in Temple of the Emerald Buddha is only open one day a year, on 6 April.
building at Grand Palace Bangkok
Admission Fee
Admission to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Central Court of the Grand Palace is 400 Baht. (includes an admission ticket to Vimanmek Mansion and several other sights around Bangkok and valid within seven days of your Grand Palace visit)

Hours: The Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 3:30. Note that some buildings can not be access when there is a state function, which is quite rare.

NOTE: There is a strict dress code for visiting the Grand Palace. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. there is a booth near the entry that can provide clothes to cover you up properly. You can rent  a proper dress at some stalls outside the palace for some Bahts.


source:
http://bangkok-thailand-tourism.blogspot.com/2008/03/grand-palace-of-thailand.html
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

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The museum is located to the right of the visitor’s entrance to the Grand Palace. You can visit it at the beginning of Grand Palace tour or at the ending of  tour.  It was nice and not so crowded place.  It doesn't take much time to go through the whole museum. Here, you will learn about the history of traditional Thai dress, and get to see the queen's gorgeous dresses on display. Every girl and lady should visit this!. It was well worth a visit.

Queen Sirikit Meseum Textiles - Bangkok
The museum occupied The 1870 Ratsadakorn-bhibhathana Building that was graciously granted for museum by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The office building - for many decades the Ministry of Finance -was completely renovated in 2003 and turned into a state-of-the-art museum;  its modern facilities include a new lobby, galleries, storage, an education studio, library, lecture hall, and Thailand’s first dedicated textile conservation laboratory.



Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn by Royal Command, represented Her Majesty Queen Sirikit graced the official opening ceremony of  the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles on 26 April 2012. The museum opened to the public on 9 May 2012.

The museum’s mission is to collect, display, preserve, and serve as a center for all who wish to learn about textiles, past and present, from Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Asia, with a special emphasis on the textiles of, and related to, the royal court and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

Hip Wrapper (phaa nung)
Tips:
  • Take time to read the displays. Many people just looked at the costumes without reading the display panels. They have more information about the outfits there!
  • It's a great place to enjoy nice air conditioner break after walking in the tropical heat of the Grand Palace.
  • Recommend seeing the "silk show" towards the end of the museum. This is a small multimedia exhibition about silk manufacturing  The slideshow is very cool of Queen  looking super glamorous in her state appearances over the years .
  • The ticket to the museum is included in the price of the Grand Palace admission. If you want to visit only this museum, there is an entrance fee that you pay at the museum.
  • The museum has four exhibition rooms displaying the revival of the traditional Thai silk production and the Thai national costume through decades of the tireless work of Queen Sirikit. It also has a fabulous collection of her silk dresses.
  • There is a gift shop and also a small coffee shop at the end, as it is a great place to get a wide variety of traditional and newly designed products, including decorative and functional items for the home, cotton and silk fashions and accessories, jewelry, books, stationery, and handmade silk flowers.



Visitor Information

Hours of operation: The museum is open daily from 09:00 -16:30 hrs. Last admission is at 15.30.

Admission:  For visitors to the Grand Palace, admission to the museum is included in your entry fee. Please show your palace ticket at the ticket desk for museum admission. For those only wishing to visit the museum: Adults - 150 baht / Seniors (over 65) - 80 baht / Students (with ID) - 50 baht / Youth (12-18) - 50 baht / Children (under 12) - free

Location:
Ratsadakorn-bhibhathana Building, The Grand Palace, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok.
Telephone: (+66) 2 225 9420, 2 225 9430
Fax: (+66) 2 225 9431
Website: www.queensirikitmuseumoftextiles.org

Special thanks to Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles for providing information and photographs for this article.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Emerald Buddha at The Royal Monastery Thailand

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Emerald Buddha
The Emerald Buddha is enshrined on a golden traditional Thai-style throne made of gilded-carved wood, known as a Busabok, in the ordination hall of the royal monastery. The sacred image is clad with one of the three seasonal costumes (summer, rainy season, and winter). The costumes are changed three times a year in a ceremony presided over by His Majesty the King.

The Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most adored sites in Thailand at north of the royal residence and linked by a connecting gateway. It is a place where people go to pay respect to the Lord Buddha and His Teachings.

The Emerald Buddha is in fact carved from a block of green jade and was first discovered in 1434 in a stupa in Chiang Rai. At that time the image was covered with plaster and was thought to be an ordinary Buddha image. Later, however, the Abbot who had found the image noticed that the plaster on the nose had flaked off, revealing the green stone underneath. He initially thought that the stone was emerald and thus the legend of the Emerald Buddha image began.

The Royal Monastery of Emerald Buddha
The Monastery consists of all the architectural features of a Buddhist monastery but without residential quarters as no monks reside here. It also serves as the monarch’s private chapel and, as such, the ordination hall is furnished with two partitions on either side of the main altar in order to provide a private retiring room for the monarch. This feature is found only at the Royal Chapel of Thonburi, which now serves as the ordination hall of Wat Arun, located on the grounds of the palace of King Thonburi.

pray at Emerald Buddha 
The walls of the ordination hall are decorated with mural paintings. Above the window frames, from the south west corner on the right of the altar, are a series of paintings depicting selscted events of the Lord Buddha’s life, including scenes from his birth, childhood, youth and the Great Renunciation. The murals on the east wall facing the high altar portray scenes of Temptation and Enlightenment, with a picture of the Earth Goddess underneath the Buddha’s seat. The murals along the north wall demonstrate the lord Buddha’s preaching his Dharma and his Entering Nirvana and those behind the main altar represent the Buddhist Cosmology. Those behind the window panels illustrate various scenes from Jataka stories and Thai proverbs.


http://bangkok-thailand-tourism.blogspot.com/2008/03/royal-monastery-of-emerald-buddha.html
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Erawan Shrine - The Four-Faced Buddha - Bangkok

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The Erawan Shrine (Thai: ศาลพระพรหม, San Phra Phrom) or Thao Mahaprom Shrine is a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma, who is regarded in Thai culture as a deity of good fortune and protection.

Erawan Shrine at Bangkok
Worshipers of Phra Phrom usually offer incense, candles, jasmine flowers or jasmine garlands and young coconut milk (with water in them) in their worship, usually placing these offerings before all four heads of Phra Phrom, each head representing a different aspect of the deity; it is believed each side of Phra Phrom offers different blessings. Another common way of worship is to place wooden elephant statues on the altar to honor him.

Worshipers of Phra Phrom
The shrine is located by the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, at the Ratchaprasong intersection of Ratchadamri Road in Pathum Wan district, Bangkok, Thailand. It is near the Bangkok Skytrain's Chitlom Station, which has an elevated walkway overlooking the shrine. The area has many shopping malls nearby, including Gaysorn, CentralWorld and Amarin Plaza.

worshiper at Four Faces Buddha Bangkok
The Erawan Shrine was built in 1956 as part of the government-owned Erawan Hotel to eliminate the bad karma believed caused by laying the foundations on the wrong date.  The hotel's construction was delayed by a series of mishaps, including cost overruns, injuries to laborers, and the loss of a shipload of Italian marble intended for the building. Furthermore, the Ratchaprasong Intersection had once been used to put criminals on public display.

An astrologer advised building the shrine to counter the negative influences. The Brahma statue was designed and built by the Department of Fine Arts and enshrined on 9 November 1956. The hotel's construction thereafter proceeded without further incident. In 1987, the hotel was demolished and the site used for the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.

Phra Phrom is also known to admire Thai classical music, which is played near larger scale outdoor altars, accompanied by  dancers. At The Erawan Shrine, A popular tourist attraction often features performances by resident Thai dance troupes, who are hired by worshipers in return for seeing their prayers at the shrine answered.

dancer ready to perform
Worshipers of Phra Phrom are also usually advised to abstain from consuming meat. It is also believed that worshipers have to make good on any promises made to the deity else misfortune will befall them instead of the fortune that was asked for.

Thai dancers at Erawan Shrine Bangkok
On 21 March 2006, a man vandalized the shrine and was killed by bystanders. However, two months after the incident a new Brahma statue was completed and placed in the shrine on 21 May 2006

Phra Phrom is colloquially known outside Thailand as the four-faced Buddha (四面佛, Sìmiàn fó) by overseas Chinese worshipers, especially in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan where worship of Phra Phrom is popular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erawan_Shrine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phra_Phrom

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Chatuchak weekend Market - Everything is on here

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The Chatuchak (or Jatujak; Thai: : จตุจักร) weekend market in Bangkok is the largest market in Thailand and the world's largest weekend market. Frequently is called J.J. It has reached a landmark status as a must-go place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. This is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. The local brochure says 1 in 1,000 places to see before you die.

art and home decoration stall at Chatuchak market
The Chatuchak  market covers over 35 acres (0.14 km²) and contains upwards of 15,000 stalls. It is estimated at the market receives 200,000 visitors each day. Most stalls only open on Saturdays and Sundays though Jatujak Plaza, the western section is open daily.

cool staffs at Chatuchak market
The Chatuchak Market is definitely a worthwhile experience for those looking to buy just about anything from household items, clothing, Thai handicrafts, religious artifacts, collectibles, foods, live animals, to souvenirs for folks back home. You name it and you can find it here. For tourists, there are a number of onsite companies who will send purchases abroad.

colorful flower decoration at Jatujak market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the perfect place for bargain hunting. Brush up your negotiation skills and be prepared to walk away when the deal fails to go your way. It also helps to do a few practice runs before you actually start buying. Note that a friendly attitude and big smile are your biggest allies in securing the best possible deal. Then, you’ll either be offered a lower price or simply find the same merchandise at another stall. Although whatever you buy here is probably no longer the best deal you can find, but you can use the average price for the same item at several stall as a best deal price.

lamps and accessories stall at Chatuchak Market
You can save your time if you know exactly what you want or which stall to go to. However, many expect to be surprised and let the sights of all the goods take them through a journey down the maze of stalls. Most often, shoppers arrive with a rough idea of what they want, then are hypnotized by what they see and end up going home with more than a few extra shopping items.

gate 1 chatuchak weekend market
Alleys are number and in sections, however what they say is in the section isn't always consistent with what is there. Here is the list of stall at Jatujak market with section number .

1. Miscellaneous & secondhand clothes
2. Trees & Home Furniture
3. Trees & accessories
4. Home furniture
5. Handicraft & Miscellaneous
6. Pets and animals accessories
7. Trees and gardening accessories
8.    Arts and crafts. Clothing & wickerwork
9.    Pets and wickerwork
10. Handicraft, clothing and miscellaneous
11. Wickerwork and ceramics
12. Dried food, hiking equipment and clothing
13. Pets and animals accessories
14. Clothing, hiking equipment and leather
15. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
16. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
17. Food and drink, ceramic and furniture
18. Clothing, food and drink
19. Dried food, gift and benjarong
20. Clothing, gift and hiking equipment
21. Clothing, shoes and miscellaneous
22. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
23. Food and drink, clothing and miscellaneous
24. Trees & agricultural equipment
25. Handicraft, antiques & collectibles
26. Antiques, dried food & clothing
27. Food & drink, book & miscellaneous

Map of Chatucak

Jatujak market map
Here is some tips:
  • Remember this is a weekend market so if you are in Bangkok on Saturday or Sunday, this makes a great shopping attraction to consider
  • A lot of stalls also have fans or even aircon, so you can strategically plan your purchases with nice free cooling. The air-conditioned JJ Mall next to it is worth checking out, lots of small shops selling interesting things.
  • Food & drinks available all over and exchange office at all entrances! Bottled water was only 10 baht so no worries there. Coconut ice cream, fried chicken, coconut water, shrimps, durian sticky rice, pineapple ginger smoothies, Wanton Noodles.....everything delicious. You can also find Chatuchak a prominent place to find skilled Thai iced tea makers practicing their trade.

Resto at Chatuchak Market
  • Be advised that if you make an offer, be prepared to pay. If you back off you will create a tense situation.
  • It is very hot in the market due to enclosed areas, due to lack of ventilation. Dress in cool clothing, and take it easy, even if you get excited about all of the stuff you can buy
  • There are many pick pockets and petty thieves watching, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The local said theft is common here!
art and antique stall
  • Go as early as you can as it does get hot and very crowded (risking missing most shops if they are not opened) or late afternoon so at that time local sellers also joins as a street vendors and they are much cheapers in the rates.
  • When you get tired or hungry there are lots of stalls where you can sit and eat or you can go next door to the Railway Park which has lots of benches to sit on. Try foot massage for 100 baht!
foot massage at chatuchak market
  • The BTS stops right at Chatuchak and is probably the easiest way of getting there.. My favorite sections were the art area and the housewares/furniture area. Each vendor had unique pieces in these areas
  • Bring a few empty big shopping bags & and haggle away!
T-Shirt for souvenir
  • This is a place where you can't find any honey with your credit card. and it can be a long walk to the next ATM. Money changer is quite crowded so get your Baht ready.
  • Protect yourself against the sun, by wearing sunglasses, a hat and use sunscreen
  • Make sure you get a map at one of the entrances. If you venture right into the centre of the markets where you can find pets, ducks, chickens etc. it may take you a little while to find your way back without a map.

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