Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ancient City or Muang Boran BKK

My wife in between our german friends who were traveling around South-East Asia for almost 3 months

The Ancient City, also known as Muang Boran, is located at km 33 on the old Sukhumvit Rd. It is both entertaining and historically interesting place. This 320-acre outdoor museum is an architectural reflection  of Thailand's past. The whole area has a shape like the map of Thailand. Nearly a hundred of the country’s most important historical landmarks and monuments, including palaces and temples, have been reconstructed as miniature replicas, but big enough to imagine about the actual size.  it includes palaces, bell towers, pavilions, temples,  halls, floating markets, Buddha images and shrines.  Muang Boran also houses several ethnological displays of artifacts and antiques, including rural arts, ancient tools, and hunting equipment, evidence of the long-term survival of a native culture.  So if you can not tour throughout the country,  you can visit this place to have an overall ida about Thai culture. The visit will last only one day!!!

Getting to the Ancient City, Samut Prakan 

By Car or Taxi : 
Take the Express Way as far as the Samrong-Samut Prakan Exit. Turn to the Samut Prakan Intersection. Turn left along the old Sukhumvit Road (towards Bangpoo) until you get to km. 33. The Ancient City is on the left.

By Bus :
Take air-conditioned bus No. 511 (Pinklao-Paknam) to the end of the line. From here, take the mini-bus No. 36. It passes the entrance to the Ancient City.

Entrance fee
Foreign tourists   TBH 400 (around USD 15.0 )
Thai                   TBH 200

The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Chaiya, Surat Thani
The Phra Maha That is one of the most sacred and important monasteries in the south of Thailand.  The structure of the stupa of Phra Maha That is similar to the Chandi Pawana Chedi in Indonesia.  Ancient Siam has reconstructed the chedi based on the most ancient form of the stupa round in Java.
The main tower standing in the center is a round chedi serving as the upper story of a relic chamber or an image house Kirti Mukha mask motifs can be seen above the chamber similar to those found in Java.

My wife and model starts working!!
To tour along this huge area bicycles is included in the entrance fee.  However, it is possible to rent golf car, around TBH 300 per hour (USD 10).


The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Ratchaburi
the Stupa of Phra Maha That, Ratchaburi rest in Wat Maha That, in a suburb of Ratchaburi.  The monument represents Mahayana Buddhism and was constructed during the Lop Buri period which dates to around the 11th to 13th century A.D. The brck central tower stands on a laterite base.  The structure has been renovated and restored several times.

The Dvaravati House at Ancient Siam is modeled after the Ruan Thap Khwan house located within the Sanam Chan Palace in Nakhon Pathom Province.  The house is a group of eight house units facing onto a common open-air verandah or raised court.  The building is notably a Dvaravati house; the gables and the roof were made similar  to the final of the gables of a Dvaravati palace executed on a carved stone slab found at Muang Fa Daed Sung Yang in Kalasin Province where Dvaravati art had flourished for some time.




It is believed that -in the real temple- this is the real Buddha footprint, many parishioners come to this place to pray and donate some coins. 

The Phra Kaew Pavilion
Ayutthaya, in its prosperous era, had spread power throughout the region and neighboring areas near and far; many cities became dependent states of the Ayutthaya capital.  Consequently, they were responsible for sending tributes to the king of Ayutthaya.  The tribute at tiems included invaluable religious monuments sucha as elaborate sacred Buddha images as well as a s princeless treasures.  Phra Kaew Pavilion is an octagonally-shaped structure constructed by Ancient Siam.  The plan of the building drew on the carvings of the octagonally-shaped pavilion found on a wooden door panel of a scripture cabinet of the Ayutthaya period.

The floating market provides and ideal rural backdrop to the daily life on the people living on the banks of the river.  This type of settlement later developed into a trading center as well as a residential area.  The floating market is an example of social integration.  Though the people are different in race, religious beliefs and culture, they can live in peace.

The floating market at Ancien Siam is a reflection of traditional Thai life along the river.  The rivers and canals formed an important communication system that brought about social integration and prosperity to the community.  The people on both sides of the river are connected by bridges and walkways surrounding the community.





Nan USA'-s Look-Out Tower, Udon Thani
The tower is not a man-made monument but presumably a prehistoric rock shelter.  The original tower is at Muang Phan, Ban Phue District in Udon Thani.
It is 3-4 kilometers west of Phra Buddha Bat Bua Bok, the site of another Buddha footprint.
It is believed that the rock shelter was a religious site, and earlier still, a settlement site frequented by humans.
The many different rock shelters found in the vecinity were given names after the local folk tales told among people for generations.




Monday, December 19, 2011

You great star!


'One morning the wanderer arose with the dawn, stepped before the sun and spoke thus to it:
"You great star! What would your happiness be if you had not those for whom you shine?
... you would have tired of your light and of this route without me, my eagle and my snake.
But we awaited you every morning, took your overflow from you and blessed you for it.
Behold! I am weary of my wisdom, like a bee that has gathered too much honey. I need hands that reach out!
I want to bestow and distribute until the wise among human beings have once again enjoyed their folly, and the poor once again their wealth.
For this I must descend into the depths, as you do evenings when you go behind the sea and bring lingt even to the underworld, you super-rich star!'

Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The photo was taken today early morning.  The city was shrouded in mist and accordingly there could just see the outline of buildings and houses through it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lunar Eclipse

Yesterday at night December 10th, we had good view of a perfect Lunar eclipse here in Bangkok, Thailand, it was also visible from any part of Asia and different points of the world.
Yesterday night the moon rose in Thailand at 5.40pm, about 10 minutes before the sun sets. About an hour later, from 6.33pm, the moon's trailing (western) edge started to change color to yellow and red, as the full moon falls out of the sun's direct light and deeper into the shadow of the earth. The entire surface of the moon turned dark red for 51 minutes during the peak of the eclipse, between 9.06pm and 9:57pm Thailand time.
The moon started to move out from the Earth’s shadow at 9.57 pm, and emerged completely from the earth's shadow half an hour after midnight, Sunday morning 0:31am.
I was taking picture until 11.50pm I could not go on owing to the memory card (8 Gb) got full. Yes, of course, the night was so chilly and so windy; wind had my camera shake constantly thus I lost many shots : (
Anyway, I enjoyed a lot taking pictures of this amazing natural phenomenon. Ah, by the way, while taking pictures I heard the explosion of many fireworks, my wife with a mischievous smile told me that it was to scare Rahu who was biting the moon. According to Hindu believe Lunar eclipse occurs when Rahu tries to eat the Moon.
The below pictures were taken while the moon was moving out from the Earth's shadow.

There's a Nasa video about this lunar eclipse, click here and here

The moon is thoroughly immerse in the Earth's umbra.

























Friday, December 2, 2011

Special day in Thailand,

Outward view of Grand Palace in Bangkok. The palace is actually an architectural master piece built during many centuries. Inside the palace there are buildings built under both Eastern and Western Style. To see more pictures of these buildings click here.

Ratchadamnern Road. In December, many streets and avenues along the city are decorated nicely. Western people might understand that this decoration is owing to Christmas, but in fact it isn't. It is to commemorate and hold the Thailand King's Birthday, he was born on 5th December 1927.

We took a walk from Kausan Road to the Grand Palacce; on our way we saw many old and tall trees decorated with not only holding lights but orchids. As you can suppose this place by this time is a wonderful place for photographers!!!

Many times I walked along this bridge, but I have ever seen it beautifully decorated with lights and white and yellow fabrics. At night along Ratchadamern Road you can find many street vendors and ladies offering cheap massage which takes place on carpets laid along the sidewalk of the street.


A nice contrast, projecting a video at outward walls of the old Grand Palace. Many dozens of projectors were used to this show.

It was quite tough to take a picture of the Grand Palace roof. To take this picture I used a Tripod, and a Nikon lens 55-200 mm. Camera settings: manual function, f13 / sutter speed 4s.

Interesting light effects!! Camera settings: manual function, f13 / sutter speed 4s. ISO 200.