Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Wat Thepkasattri

Wat Thepkasattri is not a Wat which I have not visited often. In fact we were not aware that it was there and we drove past it - happy that there are more secrets of Phuket.

Whilst we were there it was clear that it was a Wat which was used by the local people and there were a number of monks on the premises.

There was a traditional bell tower.

The traditional Merit Pavilion.

There is a monument to the women who saved Phuket - the Heroines of Phuket.

Then the traditional protectors of a Buddhist Wat - Yuks.

Then I found these 'monsters' sitting around a temple - I have forgotten the name of them as I write this...

Then the traditional sacred stone balls of concrete surround the temple - I did think that they were buried around the Wat though?

The traditional police are there to protect them

and I was a little confused to what these were, but I have my ideas... Then when I had visited I was actually not surprised when there was almost nothing to be found on the Internet. So what did I find? That it is one of Phuket's oldest temples and a website of a photographer - Gerry Gantt.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Shrine of the Serene (Sang Tham Shrine)

The Sang Tham Shrine is also know as the Shrine of the Serene and it was initially named as 'Sin Jia Geng' and was founded by the Hokkien Chinese descendants of the Tan Lian Je family in 2434 B.E. (A.D. 1891).

'The architectural designs applied to the shrine derived from the traditional Hokkien Chinese influence as evidenced in the terracotta-tiled roof on the single-storey construction with various aesthetic melded figures of the propitious symbols elegantly decorated with traditional tiles. In the hall, the access floor was raised and paved with terracotta tiles and on both interior walls and series of murals called 'Si Yin Gui' was exhibited. The significant renovation was conducted in 2542 B.E. (A.D. 1999).

One year later, in 2543 B.E (A.D.2000), it was an auspicious occasion in celebration of the 109th Anniversary of the shrine by the administrative committee of the shrine and is now widely open to the public"

At the front (on the right) isn enclosed temple piece of the original temple enclosed in glass.

The open is very small but look out for the two grey stone dragons surrounded by a steel fence. 

The walkway is quite thin and then it opens out into a much larger area - the remains of the initial shrine are enclosed in a glass display on the right.

At the back is a small shrine and on the side are smaller shrines - this has recently been decorated in the same style as Phuket Old Town.

Please remember to remove your shoes as you enter into the shrine. The shrine has a small incline so that people with difficulty walking are able to enter easily.

To each side (before you enter) are two paintings of the creatures protecting the shrine. 

The doors may be small but they are also decorated with the protectors of the Shrine. Wait as you enter - remembering not to step on the entrance to the shrine but over it.

Light a candle if you wish - leaving a tip in the box adjacent to the first shrine.

Then it is time to go behind - this is clothing that was used for the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

Cai Shen - God of Wealth (I think)

These two are the same deity but in different places
There are the usual Chinese figurines set up (i am trying to name them all).

I have to say that I have never met the one with a frog head!

Previous visits
 2) February 2013 - reopening
 3) February 2014 - Chinese Shrine Tour
 4) October 2014 - Phuket Vegetarian Festival Final night


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok

Chatuchak  Market is somewhere that if you are in Bangkok you must visit because it is so much fun. There is their website - 

"Chatuchak Weekend Market (or Jatujak Market; Thai: ตลาดจตุจักร) is one of the world's largest weekend markets covers area of 70 rai (27 Acres) altogether divided into 27 Sections, contains more than 15,000 booths selling goods from every part of Thailand." 

"Chatuchak Weekend Market, is very popular shopping centre to Thais and has become a popular place to tourists and foreigners who stay in Bangkok, has over 200,000 visitors each day (SAT-SUN) 30% is foreign. 

Almost everything can be found here at a bargaining local price (not a tourist price), and most vendors actually come from local factories, like antique wood carving, clay handicrafts, local souvenirs from every parts of Thailand, Buddhist amulets, wooden funitures, hand made decorated flowers, plant, ceramic wares, dools, Thai Bejarong, Chinese wares, graden decorated plants, stones, trendy fashions, silk, hill-tribe outfits, fluffy dogs and more miscellaneous, etc."

Then they are also on FacebookWikipedia has some pretty good available information. There is a good meeting place in the middle of the market - the Clocktower. 

"The clock tower is the famous meeting point in Chatuchak Market. Clock tower was built in 2530 on the occasion of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60 th Birthday Anniversary on the 5 th of December 2530, in the cooperation of the Market Administration and Thai-Chinese Merchant Association"

Yes there is almost everything here - there is an App to guide you round the market (which is reviewed here) but it's not always easy - I think you should relax, wander and enjoy yourself. However if you are on a 'mission' shopping then you must remember to write a list.

I am not sure about the animals that there are here for sale though?

Something for everyone - there's simply too much to make a record of.

27 section of Chatuchak Market

  • Clothing & Accessories (sections 2-6, 10-26)
  • Handicrafts (sections 8-11)
  • Ceramics (sections 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25)
  • Furniture and Home Decoration (sections 1,3,4,7,8)
  • Food and Beverage (sections 2, 3, 4, 23, 24, 26, 27)
  • Plants and Gardening tools (sections 3, 4)
  • Art and Gallery (section 7)
  • Pets and Pet Accessories (sections 8, 9, 11, 13)
  • Books (sections 1, 27)
  • Antiques and Collectibles (sections 1, 26)
  • Miscellaneous and Used Clothing (sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 22, 25, 26)

Like any market in Thailand - there is food everywhere.

If you need dog clothing it is here...
 So how do you get there?

"Chatuchak Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 09:00 – 18:00, and Fridays 18:00 – 24:00. You can get to Chatuchak Market by the sky train (BTS) to Mo Chit Station and taking exit no.1 and follow the crowd until you see a small entrance to the market. Another way to get to the market is by taking the subway (MRT) to Chatuchak Park Station take exit no.1 and then following the crowd until you see a small entrance to the market. Moreover, you can take taxis, buses and vans to get to Chatuchak Market or if you are driving to the market, you can park your cars at Chatuchak Park Ride and they have convenient shuttle buses between the parking lots and Chatuchak Market."

Friday, 5 February 2016

Rang Hill (at night)

I have visited Rang Hill a number of times during my time living here - there is a lot there than I first thought.

At night time we were able to watch the stars but I cannot remember what the App was that I was using here...

The lighting in the building adjacent to the viewpoint was lovely.

We were not the only couple taking photographs...

This was at night time and it was lovely - we walked along to the end of the Viewpoint.

Wat Khao Rang was lovely at night time but we were too late to get closer

Previous visits
 1) May 2015 - Wat Khao Rang
 2) July 2014
 3) October 2014 - Rang Hill viewpoint
 4) February 2013 - cemeteries 
 5) September 2013 - a statue
 6) November 2012 - Wat Khao Rang part 1
 7) November 2012 - Wat Khao Rang part 2