Monday, November 30, 2009

Don Wai market

A daytrip from Bangkok I have done three times already is the market at Don Wai, close to Phutthamonthon in Nakhon Pathom province. It is a huge market where almost everything is sold - from fresh fruits, herbs, dried and fresh fish, up to all the different kinds of sweet snacks. But also toys, Buddha statues, even plants are on sale there. And of course there are several restaurants. Especially for Thais this market is already the prime attraction, yet what I enjoy most there are the boat trips on Tha Chin river.

Since on our latest visit there I had my GPS tracker with me, I could make a map showing the exact way the boat took - from the pier at Don Wai till the bridge at Wat Rai Khing in Tha Talat, and back. At the turning point it had the standard activity of Thai at water bodies - feeding the fish with bread. Also a small boat with a ice-cream dealer docked to sell a snack.

View Larger Map

From the river one can see all different types of housing, from very plain houses up to villas, mostly on the western shore. On the east shore it has two temples, Wat Rai Khing at the turning point and Wat Tha Phut a bit upriver. But what makes the trip most enjoyable is that we always bought many things to eat before and brought them on the boat - in the first trip, which was at my first trip to Thailand, I even had a complete lunch on the boat.

Though it is mostly used as the parking lot of the market, the temple Wat Don Wai is also worth a short visit. I don't know why, but the photos of that temple looked almost artificial in their colors, and I did nothing like HDR with them.

For the full set of photos see the Don Wai set at flickr.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wat Phonimit, Surat Thani

BotThe temples within the city Surat Thani did not impress me that much, there are neither really historical ones - maybe except the one building of Wat Pattanaram - nor as lavishly decorated. Slighly outside the city center however is one temple which is worth a short visit just to admire the architecture and handicraft necessary to create it. Of course compared with the temples in Bangkok it is just a normal one, yet for Surat Thani city it is apparently the most interesting one.

Named Wat Phonimit (วัดโพธิ์นิมิต), the temple is located on the road towards Kanchanadit, about 4 kilometer from the city center. I went there together with family, and while they attended a ceremony in the Sala I was free to stroll around in the temple complex and took lots of photos.

Lions in front of BotThe main building is of course the Ubosot, most lavishly decorated and with a small fence around it. The gate inside as well as lion statues, and of course the gable of the building made great photo locations. Note the wasp nest glued on the gable in one side. Sadly the building was locked, so I could not get a view on the Buddha statue inside, or see if it has any interesting murals on the walls inside.

StatuesInteresting were also several statues located around a tree, the hermits in behind I could recognize, yet I don't know about the symbolism of the other figures. Also, several smaller chapels and Salas are spread over the compound, for example the one housing three monk statues.

GraveyardSeparated from the main compound by the street towards Rama IX park is the crematorium and the graveyard - the small chedis house urns of the deceased.

Since I could not add all the photos here I have created a set on Flickr, and when I have the chance to add more photos of the place I will put them there as well.