Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cycling trip Amphawa-Ratchburi-Amphawa

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This is the second time I joined a biking trip arranged by Bangkok Excursion. The first time was in September last year when we biked along Khao Yai, National Park, (see photos here).   Well about this trip, as you will see on pictures, it's really a breathtaking experience.   Thus, if you are having a plan to spend some days in Bangkok I recomend you to experience this kind of activity. Well, we left Bangkok around 7.00 am and after around an hour and a half traveling by mini van we got Amphawa, located in Samut Songkran province.
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Along the day, Bangkok Excursion provided us fruits and drinks.  The trip is quite well managed so that bikers can enjoy the day!!  Amphawa is an afternoon market quite popular among Thais. There is undoubtedly a touristic element to Amphawa but unlike Damnoen Saduak here the tourists are almost exclusively local and the occasional foreign face is noteworthy.
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Unloading bikes, it took around 45 minutes to  assemble them. All these bikes are news and consequently working perfectly.  To this trip I rented a bike and a helmet.
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The Mae Khlong river; so far I know this area was not affected by the last flood occurred in Thailand last year.
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Before starting the biking trip, I took some snapshots at the river bank.
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Now, the leader of the peloton is asking us about the bike systems... breaks, chains, tires, shifters, etc... Everything is in perfect condition before starting.
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‎"Starting Point" Amphawa Municipality City Hall, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram.
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‎The youngest of the peloton was a boy 11 years old.  He biked with us for more than 50Km without any problem!!!!
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The first stop after riding for 10 Km.  ‎"Bang Nok Kwaek Market" is located alongside the Mae Klong River north of Amphawa. The buildings and market here are actually over one hundred years old, but after the roads were built and less people travelled by boat, the market was practically abandoned. Then a few years back, the local community decided to revive the old market. Although it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of its younger cousin at Amphawa, it certainly makes up for it with its old time charm and friendly shopkeepers.
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If you want to experience an old Thai riverside market without the crowds of tourists then it's worth spending an hour or so at Bang Nok Kwaek Market.
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After biking for at least 20 km, we had our lunch SukhoThai Noodle in Rajaburi. 
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Rajaburi down-town on the MaeKlong River's bank. (Teeraporn) What called my attention was the large number of antennas on the roof of each house!!! 
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 Take a trip to Ratchaburi and enjoy some creative pottery, photographs and chilling out at the town's contemporary art centre. Enjoy "coffee, cake, and ceramics".
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The National Museum in Rajaburi. The building used to be the city hall.. (Teeraporn)
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Biking by the main sacred Pagoda built approx 600 years ago.(Teeraporn)
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ummmm  Yes my love, your smile is much more beautiful ; )
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Tao Hong Tai is located in Ratchaburi, Thailand. It is family owned and operated for over 60 years and it is one of the oldest ceramic factories in Ratchaburi.
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So far I know, Ratchaburi boasts 59 ceramic factories, where craftsmen still fashion traditional water jars. However, local potters have branched out these days, producing ceramics of startling beauty, and many international ceramic companies have their factories in Ratchaburi.
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A sight which is also in the list of the "official" unseen Thailand sight is the temple Wat Bang Kung in Amphawa district, Samut Songkhram. The main attraction of the temple is the chapel overgrown by a Banyan tree. Except at the behind, the roots almost completely cover the building so it is hardly recognizable as such.A sight which is also in the list of the "official" unseen Thailand sight is the temple Wat Bang Kung in Amphawa district, Samut Songkhram. The main attraction of the temple is the chapel overgrown by a Banyan tree. Except at the behind, the roots almost completely cover the building so it is hardly recognizable as such.
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There are many temples of sublime beauty & historical significance in the Ampawa area, but one of the most interesting is Wat Bang Kung, which dates back to the Ayutthaya Period.
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Inside the old Buddhist temple is a large statue of "Nin Mani Buddha", or the villagers called "Luang Phor Dum" (late Ayutthaya kingdom). It is the worship of the local people.
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One way for Thai Buddhists to show their respect for a person or concept is to make merit by affixing small squares of gold leaf onto images of Buddha or other sacred objects.
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 There are also murals of late Ayutthaya period depicting the story of Lord Buddha's life.
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This chapel isn't the only important place of the compound. In fact, this temple is an historical significant place, as it was the camp of king Taksin during an attack by the Burmese army in 1768. However after the successful campaign the site was abandoned for almost 200 years, until in 1967 it was redeveloped by the Ministry of Education.
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Thai Boxing Techniques.  The temple is an historical significant place, as it was the camp of king Taksin during an attack by the Burmese army in 1768. The most easy thing to notice are the two rows of "Muay Thai" (Thai kick boxing) statues.
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Human figures posed in the actions of Muay Thai.
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The typical Thai fast food.
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At the end of this awesome biking-trip day we had a delicious Thai food for our dinner, at the floating Market. It was ummmm 'aroi' (yummy)!!!
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 Local people are collecting the donated money for "offering robes to Buddhist priests" at monastery.
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The Evening Floating Market at Amphawa, Samutsongkarm.  It was a really nice experience, the environment is fantastic!!!
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Thai traditional music is played along the floating market; besides the music, the crowd buying food, and sellers depict rightly the evolution of this old Thai tradition!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese New Year at China Town, BKK


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A Monk pours a parishioner  holy water while she's giving a gift, on Monday 23, at China Town, Bangkok

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Most of parishioners light a branch of incense before praying and making their wishes, China Town, Bangkok.

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The Dragon is about to dance!!! People strive for being the closest to the dragon to touch him and deposit into dragon mouth money.
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Last year by this time, China town was really crowded, it was impossible to walk freely due to crowd.  It was easy to realize the negative impact of flood on Thai economy occurred last year.  
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