Feb 222017
 

Strolling down the back streets of Bangkok’s Chinatown we saw monks were decorating temple compound trees with fairy lights, in preparation for an important service to mark New Year’s Eve. There was a small group of schoolboys assisting the monks, so I went over to chat with them. After chatting for a while, they asked me to take their photograph; I took lots of photos … but this is the pose that they loved the most. A gun and a double middle finger!

Turning the corner, we were presented with a coffin entering a furnace and being engulfed in flames. Just at that moment a Thai monk was passing by on his bicycle, he stopped when he saw us watching the funeral. “We burn bodies!” he said with a chuckle, and rode off.
Further into the compound we noticed a low wall surrounding a small pit with a water pool. Looking over the wall we saw a HUGE crocodile.

Having a gun aimed at you, being given a double “middle finger” by a school kid, meeting a monk laughing about burning bodies. And coming across a giant pet crocodile…………….. Is that unusual?
NOPE……….. It’s just a regular afternoon stroll in the back streets of Bangkok.

Feb 162017
 

Bangkok River Express

Bangkok River Express

The Chao Phraya Express Boat (Thai: เรือด่วนเจ้าพระยา) operates on the Chao Phraya River in Thailand (Thai: แม่น้ำเจ้าพระยา). It provides transportation between stops in the capital city of Bangkok and Nonthaburi, the province immediately to the north. Established in 1971, the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company is among the world’s great commuter boats. Not only for its success in moving large numbers of passengers in a city whose roads are notorious for traffic jams, but also for the beauty of the fleet of graceful wooden boats, which is rarely found in today’s world of water transportation.

Feb 162017
 

Wat Phitchaya Yatikaram Worawiharn

Wat Phitchaya Yatikaram Worawiharn

There is no record of when Wat Phitchaya Yatikaram Worawiharn (วัดพิชยญาติการามวรวิหาร) (also called Wat Pichai Yathikaram) was originally built. It was almost certainly during the time when Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam and the area around the temple was the main port for goods destined for the capital.   The temple was deserted by the time Bangkok became the capital in the late 18th century. During the reign of King Rama III  a high ranking official in the king’s court discovered the temple and decided to restore it as a favour to the king.  The king had many junks that were used in trade with other countries.  Therefore, most of the materials used in the construction of the temple were actually brought from China.

Wat Phitchaya Yatikaram Worawiharn is on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, not far from Saphan Phut (Memorial Bridge)