Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Samutprakan Crocodile Farm -Thailand

Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm which is the largest in the world is located to the East of Bangkok, aprox 30 from Bangkok downtown.  To get this place is possible just either by bus or taxi.  Nevertheless if you take the bus you must catch a taxi at the bus terminal.  So for the most convenience it is recommended to take a taxi.

On the way to the Crocodile farm you are going to see part of the spider net of the Rama 9 bridge linking between Bangkok and Samutprakarn.  Although the traffic jam in Bagkok, I am surprised at how modern the Bangkok's spider net is.

The entrance fee for adult is Baht 60 per person for Thai and Baht 300 per person for expat (USD 10).

After you come in the entrance gate, firstly you will see a Dinosuar Museum with life-size exhibits and skeletons. Not only you will see the crocodile farm but also you will enjoy the zoo.  You can take photos whatsover as many as you want. However, taking the photos with the animals (tiger, monkey, exotic bird) will cost Baht 200.  Well, I think, it is a good way to raise money in order to support the animals of the zoo.  You can also feed them with the food provided by the zoo, which costs about Baht 20 (less than USD 1).

This farm is open every day and one of the most attrative show is the Crocodile show.  This show is organized almost every hour and lastes almost 30 minutes.  During the performance my wife was totally scared and still when  the guy was putting his hand and his head into Crocodile's mouth.  Any way, some people like this show and even they not only have fun but also throw the money to reward the performers.

The last show we saw that day was The elephant show. This was totally amazing. How huge animales like elephants can perform such as tender acrobat!!!!!! It was astonishing when they play mouthorgan, or when they walk on the string like skillful human acrobat!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Phra Sukhothai Trimitr (Golden buddha)

 Phra Maha Suwanpatimagorn or Sukhothai Trimitr is the largest Golden buddha Image in the world. It is made of pure gold, it weighs approximately 5 tons and it is 3.4 meters in hight. It is a Buddha image in the mara conquering pose, the typical artistic style of the days when Sukhothai (13th century) was the capital of Thailand though it could have been made after that time. The statue was housed in a wat in Ayutthaya until mid 19th century, and its provenance from Ayutthaya excludes the possibility of it having been made after about 1750. (Wikipedia)

Originally, this golden Buddha image was completely covered with plaster to conceal it from the enemy then invading Thailand and was installed as the principal Buddha image in the main temple building of Choti-naram Temple or Wat Phrayakrai, Yannawa District, Bangkok in the third reign of the Chakkri Dynasty in the Ratanakosin era. Later, Phraya Chodeukrajasetthi, King Rama III’s trade commissioner, had this temple renovated in honor or the King. The temple thus came under the royal sponsorship and was made a royal monastery under new little of Wat Chotanaram. During the reigns of King Rama IV and V, this temple was left uncared for, causing all the buildings on the temple ground including the ordination hall to fall into a ruinous state.

During this time, the East Asiatic co.,Ltd. applied of permission from the authority to rent the monastery estate for business purposes. Once the permission was granted, the company directed the demolition of all ruinous buildings, except for the ordination hall where a plastered buddha image and a bronze one, of the same size, were located.  The plastered Buddha image had been kept there for twenty years before the plaster coating chipped off, revealing the gold surface underneath on May 25, 1955 the time very close to the commemoration of the twenty-fifth Buddhist Era.

It is one of major Buddha images in Thailand and also the first golden Buddha statue to be recorded in the Guiness book of World Records as an invaluable object of worship seated at Wat Trimitrwittayaram, Bangkok, Thailand, and it was assessed approximately at USD 45.5 millions.

Wat (temple) Trimitrwittayaram is open from 8.00 am. to 5.00 pm. daily to those who are interested in seeing this gold Buddha image!
The ticket price is Baht 100 for expat included Old China Town museum located on the second floor of the temple. The Golden Buddha is located on the third floor!

Hundreds of people between turists and locals visit this temple daily.  This video was recorded with a camera Nikon D90

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Koh Kret

Panoramic kokret Island

Koh Kret is located in Pak Kret district, Nonthaburi province, 20 km northwest of Bangkok.  It is a small islet beside the Chao Phraya River. To get the islet you can ride a boat from Bangkok (at any pier at King river) to Pak Kret district; the fare is about 15 Bath (USD 0.50). We took a bus from Thomburi, Bangkok to Nonthaburi Tower Pier. The fare was Baht 8 (USD O.30) per person and the trip took a little more than one hour. From Nonthaburi Tower Pier we hired a little boat to the Islet. It costed Baht 400 (almost USD 12) and it took around 15 minutes. I have heard that if you buy this tour on a travel agency the cost is not less than Baht 300 per person.
Well, Koh Kret actually it is mostly the communities of Thailand’s Mon people, immigrated from their homeland in Burma (Myanmar), have been living there for few centuries now, still preserving their lifestyle as good as before. When you get in Ko Kret, you can make a leisure walk along the elevated walkway which rings the islet, wander through the villages to see lifestyle of locals, many locals set there home as a shop present their culture, local product, little nice restaurants with local Mon food, food stall, souvenir shops.... etc There're many ceramic houses, Mon-style pottery, handicraft houses, and a village in one canal where they demonstrate how to make thai sweet desert etc. It is a great place to get away for a day from busy Bangkok, spend a day exploring by foot or even ride a bike around. Another major attraction of Ko Kret is its ancient temples of the Ayutthaya period.