Pa-THAI Tayo Dyan! At paiko-ikot pa
25-30 June 2011
Woke up with a heavy down pour, when we went down to the lobby and met our driver where the day before we ask him to take us to a floating market and agreed to take us to three other places including the floating market (I thought he would just take us to a near-by floating market), left the hotel at around 0700hrs (0600hrs TT) and traveled almost 2 hours to the place known as Damnoen-Saduak known as the famous floating market where photos of this market are placed in postcards and are also used as a set for movies and TV commercials. Since it was raining and arrived a little early, we were one of the first boats going around the market and since it was still raining, the boat has a tarp over it to keep us dry.
Damnoen-Saduak this large and popular floating market is about 80km southwest of Bangkok in the Ratchaburi Province. Photos of this vibrant market featuring many small boats laden with colorful fruits and vegetable and paddled by Thai women wearing bamboo hat, are among the most often published in Travel Magazines and Brochures of Thailand. The Damnoen-Saduak canal was ordered built in 1866 by King Rama IV of the Chakri Dynasty to facilitate waterborne travel between Ratchaburi and Samutsakhon Province. It was finished and opened to the public in 1868
Nowadays, apart from providing transportation, Damnoen-Saduak Canal also provides local farmers with adequate water for agricultural purposes. A number of canals were dug to connect with it by local peasants to get water to splatter their land. As the excellent quality of soil along the canal is very fertile, the area has a high potential for producing various kinds of fruits and vegetables. Visitors can find everything from vegetables and fruits to freshly cooked noodle and souvenirs at this lively market.
The floating market is routinely crowded with hundreds of vendors and purchasers floating in their small rowing boats selling and buying agricultural products and local food, which are mostly brought from their own nearby orchards. Therefore, it is a very attractive place for tourists to see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying goods.
After about an hour of going around the market it was time to head back to where we started and the boat started to speed back, after getting off the boat we were shown a photo of us in a small souvenir plate, taken when we boarded the boat.
Then we headed back to Bangkok and passed by the Crocodile Farm but since it was raining had to be back at Bangkok by 1300hrs (1200hrs TT), we did not go in and instead headed to Wat Pho Temple or The 9 Wonders of Wat Pho.
Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimonmangklaraam Rajwaramahaviharn, a first grade royal monastery, which was regarded as being the most important one during the reign of King Rama I of the illustrious Chakri dynasty, is more widely known to visitors as “Wat Pho”.
The 9 Wonders of Wat Pho, a newly-launched mini-light-and-sound multimedia presentation, helps visitors gain a better understanding and deeper appreciation of the centuries-old cultural heritage, traditional Thai values and beliefs, folk knowledge and way of life encapsulated by this historic landmark.
Unlike other mini-light-and-sound shows, the version being presented at Wat Pho from 27 September 2008 through to 6 April 2009 is the first of its kind. The presentation consists of nine separate stage sets; each highlights one of the following nine wonders of Wat Pho.
Phra Buddhasaiyas (Viharn Phranorn)
The Viharn of the Reclining Buddha
The Vihara (pronounced Viharn) of the Reclining Buddha houses the Reclining Buddha of the reign of King Rama III. This is the largest and one of the finest Buddha images to be found in the kingdom. The mother-of-pearl inlay at the feet of the image is of the Thai-Chinese style, as indicated by 108 auspicious signs portraying natural scenes of both Indian and Chinese influences.
Sala Rai or Satellite Pavilions
The North Pavilion is a library of inscriptions on Thai traditional massage.
Thirty-two drawings of massage techniques are depicted on the ceiling of the veranda. There are also inscriptions of the first Thai proverbs known as Supasit Phra Ruang, Thai literary works called Kritsana Sorn Nong, and a portrait of the
Royal Kathin Procession.
Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn
This consists of a group of four huge pagodas surrounded by a white wall with sheltered gates built in the Thai-Chinese style and decorated with colour-glazed tiles and Chinese rockery guardians. The pagodas consist of Phra Maha Chedi Sri Sanpetdayarn, Phra Maha Chedi Dilok Dhammakaroknitarn, Phra Maha Chedi Muni Batborikharn, and Phra Maha Chedi Song Phra Srisuriyothai.
The Legend of Songkran
The Nang Songkran legend involves King Kabilaprom and Prince Thammaban. These characters are depicted on the inner walls of the porticos constructed during the reign of King Rama III.
The World Heritage Inscriptions
Wat Pho and the Fine Arts Department have worked in cooperation to establish a museum of Buddha images in the different art styles. The images are classified into three major categories including Buddhist Art, the Buddha’s Marks and the Buddha’s Attitudes.
Wat Pho has been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World (MOW) Programme for 2009. The temple was recognized for the historic inscriptions and hermit statues teaching traditional Thai yoga housed inside it.
Wat Pho Giants
The outer walls of the Phra Mondob feature a collection of famous Thai proverbs called Kloang Lokaniti and scenes from the legend about the fight between the giants of Wat Pho Giants and Wat Jaeng that resulted in the emergence of Tha Tien pier.
Sala Karn Parien
The Sala Karn Parien pavilion was built in the Ayutthaya period as the main chapel of Wat Phodharam and was later restored during the reign of King Rama III. The principal Buddha image of Wat Phodharam named “Phra Buddha Sassada” was once enshrined here.
Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn
The main chapel was constructed during the reign of King Rama I in the Ayutthaya style. The principal Buddha image is Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn in the gesture of a seated Buddha on a three-tiered pedestal called Phra Pang Smardhi.
Contorted Hermit Mount
The Contorted Hermit Mount was built during the reign of King Rama I. It was the centre of medical science and knowledge from the Ayutthaya period, reflected by statues of hermits or Rishi practicing physical exercises.
Heading back to our hotel, we picked up our bags and checked-out, then we were brought by our driver to Victory Monument for our trip to the City of Pattaya. Here we rode a mini-van and saw that we were travelling along an elevated roadway with which was longer and better than our skyway here in the Philippines (most of their elevated road ways have no toll). We were dropped off at Pattaya Bus Terminal at around 1530hrs (1430hrs TT) where we were picked-up by our friends then headed to one of the hotels in Pattaya
Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort is a striking 18-story property features 555 rooms and suites, all facing the ocean. All 555 stylishly appointed guest rooms and suites offer a distinctive “Lost World” theme. The Lost World themed hotel is a true destination in its own right, style decor with a king-sized bed or 2 double beds complete with wide private furnished balcony or terrace, all overlooking the breathtaking resort gardens and ocean, featuring a minimum size of 42 square meters.
The new Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya is located on Wong Amat Beach and Naklua Beach, North Pattaya, and is actually built on the original beach front land of the former Central Wong Amat Beach Resort.
Next stop was the World Gems Co. Ltd., where we were given a Visitors VIP pass to enter the premises.
World Gems Co., Ltd. is the most reputable, largest, and longest running family jewellery store since 1973 from Pattaya City. World Gems was founded by Mr. Suthee and Mrs. Naengnoi Suwichakornpong from their little shop in South Pattaya Beach. After some 30 years, World Gems is a truly renowned destination among regular visitors to Pattaya, expatriates living in Thailand and the US Navy ships on their visits to Pattaya, for quality jewellery, reasonable price and dedication to customer satisfaction.
As a result of many years of good practice, World Gems was granted a Crest as a special recommendation by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in 1985. Pattaya World Gems can be found adjacent to South Pattaya Beach Walking Street.
In 1994, World Gems became the largest jewellery establishment in Phuket with the opening of the second flagship store on Patong Beach. Again, the store became very received by customers all over the world with continued philosophies, ethics, and commitment. Phuket World Gems can be found on Thaweewong Road (also known as Patong Beach Road).
Here is where they have framed artworks (which looks like paintings) made out of discarded gems and diamond dusts, an exhibit piece (which they say is for a hotel or bank) in a form of a peacock full of gems worth 3,800,000 BHT. We were shown raw rubies and if it were given to you, you would just throw it away because it looks like red poprocks. Here is where I got also a small earring made of Zirconium for my love on her birthday and in return I got two small glasses of cold coke from World Gems.
Next stop was at the Monument Park and View Point. The monument in question pays honour to Admiral Krom Luang Jumborn Khet Udomsakdi (or the Prince of Jumborn).
He is famous for the contributions he made in developing the Thai Navy. Aged 13 he was sent to England to study and then joined the Royal Navy. He returned to Thailand and began bringing Western standards to the Thai navy, and introduced new tactics and strategies. Due to his help, the Thai Royal Navy became less reliant on having to recruit foreign officers. The Prince also founded the Royal Thai Naval Academy and the Marine Engineering School. Today he is known as the ‘Father of the Thai Navy.
Incense sticks burn slowly around the statue’s base, while on one side hundreds of miniature figures line up to salute the prince. In front of the Prince is a viewing area, surrounded by bushes and trees and cleverly walled off in the shape of a ship’s bow.
The views on offer are stunning. On one side is Pattaya, with its curving coastline. Behind the sliver of sand is evidence of just how enormous the city has become with condos and housing estates stretching back as far as the eye can see. On the other side are the Royal Cliff and its landing pad.
Beside the Monument Park is the Wat Khao Phra Bat or Wat Khao Phratamnak, which is located on Khao Phratamnak. It lies opposite to the viewpoint on the hill. There is an imitation of the Buddha’s footprint, Buddha images of the Day and beautiful mondop. The Monument of the Father of modern Thai Navy, Krom Luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak is within a short walk.
After visiting Khao Phratamnak, we headed home to leave our bags from the trip then headed for The Fish, where we ate buffet of seafood. They not only serve seafood but also different kinds of meat and vegetables plus fruits, where they grill or cook it for you or you could cook it yourself (shabu-shabu style). After the heavy dinner and loads of ice cream we headed for Foodland to buy some groceries and food for our breakfast the next day. Heading home and freshening up, we rested for night, which was almost 0100hrs (2400hrsTT).
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