Thailand – Bangkok; Ride down River Chao Phraya (1)

Hello!! Welcome back to my blog. If you have followed me from my previous series, I am still covering on my trip to Bangkok, Thailand back in 2008 (yes… way back then! A delayed posting. =P )

This was my 3rd day in Thailand and I have covered earlier posting on; Damnoen Saduak Ratchaburi Floating Market, Fruit Orchard in Ratchaburi Province, Wat Nong Hoi Temple in Ratchaburi Province , Tree Temple at Samut Songkhram Province, King Rama II Memorial Park at Amphawa, and my last series was on Amphawa Floating Market

Today I will cover on my trip along Chao Phraya River which passes through Bangkok city.

A brief intro before I start my journey. Chao Phraya is one of the major rivers in Thailand with its low alluvial plains. Along the river, there a lots of settlements such as Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chainat, Singburi, Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Bangkok and Samut.  These cities are among the most historically significant and densely populated settlements of Thailand because of their access to the waterway.

In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya is a major transportation gateway for a vast network of river buses, cross-river ferries and water taxis, also known as longtails. There are more than 15 boat lines operate on the rivers and canals of the city, including commuter lines which you can choose from which I will be taking as one of the transport around the river. =)

Ok… let’s get going. Starting off, I hopped on to the Bangkok Skytrain to the Saphan Taksin station (on Shilon Line) in Sathorn District to catch the river bus on Chao Phraya river.

20140501-013920 pm.jpg

From the Saphan Taksin station, it was a few minutes walk to the Sathorn Pier. Easy walk. =)

A view from the pier to catch the Sathorn Pier or the Central Pier of the 21km Chao Phraya River Express Boat route.

20140501-013932 pm.jpg

The pier is right under the bridge of Sathon Road.

20140501-013941 pm.jpg

One of the River buses… shape with roof like an  old Thailand building architecture.

20140501-013951 pm.jpg

Hotel Shangrila Palace which is next to Chao Phraya  River.

20140501-014004 pm.jpg

One of the many piers along Chao Phraya river.

20140501-014014 pm.jpg

Holy Rosary Church built by the Portuguese in Samphanthawong on the bank of Chao Phraya; south of Yaowarat, Chinatown.

20140501-014023 pm.jpg

Interesting ride. Wanna see more? Come and follow me on my next posting on this series of ride down River Chao Phraya. =)

Thailand; Bangkok – King Rama II Memorial Park @ Amphawa (3)

Hi!! Still with me? Great! Let keep on walking. As promised in my earlier posting, you will see more on the architectural of traditional building during King Rama II period.

Walking in the park…. I could help taking this photo. Look at those bananas hanging its’ stem. That’s a whole lot!!

20140413-074844 am.jpg

There are lots of buildings built in the traditional Thai architectural style which you can enter and admirer in the interior and exterior…..

20140413-074853 am.jpg

.. here’s another one.

20140413-074904 am.jpg

20140413-074918 am.jpg

and here”s another.

20140413-074929 am.jpg

The pond where housed the statue of the legendary crocodile hunter from the King’s poem “Krai Thong”.

20140413-074941 am.jpg

The park also housed  the ship used by a later King

20140413-074957 am.jpg

Now.. let head to the other attraction in Amphawa. What’s that you may ask? It’s the floating market in Amphawa. Let’s go!!!

Thailand; Bangkok – King Rama II Memorial Park @ Amphawa (2)

Come on…. let get’s walking!!! =)

Let’s move on the the King Rama II Memorial Park. This park was established on 4.4 acres of land to commemorate King Rama II’s great patronage of Thai arts and culture as it is also the birthplace of King Rama II. Located in the Samut Songkhram province; one of the central provinces of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi and Samut Sakhon. It is quite a big park where it is divided into 6 sections. So you can spent quite a while in there walking and enjoying the architectural buildings, gardens, riverside, and other decorations.

Inside the park are various place to see such as King Rama II Museum and buildings built in the traditional Thai architectural style which you will enjoy the ‘walk’ with me which you will see in the next posting.

In this part, I will just share more on the flowers that caught my eyes during the walk in the park. I will let the pictures tell the story. (saving my ‘breath’ for the next part. =P )

20140413-074618 am.jpg

20140413-074632 am.jpg

20140413-074647 am.jpg

20140413-074700 am.jpg

20140413-074711 am.jpg

20140413-074731 am.jpg

20140413-074743 am.jpg

Enjoy them? Want to see a bit more of the part? Then… let’s go!

Thailand; Bangkok – King Rama II Memorial Park @ Amphawa (1)

Back with me? That’s good. We still have more to go and more places to see (and  eat too!) Where are we heading to if you may ask?

Well, we will continue to Amphawa which is a village West of Bangkok, close to Samut Songkhram. Canal-side way in Amphawa is a way of life and takes place along the waterfront walkways of Amphawa Canal, a small tributary of the Mae Khlong River. During weekend, locals and also tourist will flock here for the evening floating market. Big queues emerge along the canal’s bridges and walkways market. More on this in my next series (now you know my next series, right? hint! hint!)

A bit of summary of this series. In the Ayutthaya Period, Amphawa was called Khwaeng Bang Chang and it was a small community that flourished in agriculture and trade. King Rama II was born in Amphawa, his mother’s hometown, as his father was ruling the town of Ratchaburi. At his probable birthplace is now the King Rama II Memorial Park which we will be heading too.

On the way to Amphawa, we stopped at the handicraft center. They specialized in (cute) miniature figurines from…

Cute little Muay Thai boxers ….

20140413-074334 am.jpg

to cute little small and colourful food

20140413-074351 am.jpg

Aren’t they adorable?

20140413-074404 am.jpg

Outside the Handicraft center, they have lots of flowers and orchids. So, if you are a flower lover, you will definitely enjoy the view.

20140413-074427 am.jpg

20140413-074442 am.jpg

20140413-074455 am.jpg

20140413-074506 am.jpg

Lovely right? Well… if you like what you see .. then keep following me. =)

Thailand; Bangkok – Visit the Tree Temple, Samut Songkhram Province

My journey in Thailand continues. Leaving Wat Nong Hoi Temple, we headed to another temple in the Samut Songkram district in the Amphawa province. This temple is not in a building but within a tree or I can say covered with large trees. It is the Tree Temple or famously known as Wat Bang Kong Temple.

The main attraction is the chapel overgrown by Banyan trees including the sacred Bodhi tree where the roots are so thick that almost completely cover the building. So it is hardly recognizable any building there except except from the behind.

20140402-103922 pm.jpg

20140402-103927 pm.jpg

The chapel is normally know as Bot Prok Pho, ordination hall covered by Bodhi tree, even though the actual name of it is Bot Luangpho Dam. There is a large Buddha statue, where mostly every visitor will come to pray and place incense sticks and rubbing gold leaves.

20140402-103933 pm.jpg

Another view from the outside with large Banyan tree roots engulfing the temple.

20140402-103937 pm.jpg

20140402-103942 pm.jpg

Aside from the temple, next to it was the camp of king Taksin during an attack by the Burmese army in 1768 know as Bang Kung Camp.

20140402-103947 pm.jpg

The camp is still considered a symbolic bastion of Thai warrior strength. This is evidenced today by a statue of King Taksin flanked by life-size statues of Chinese warriors.

Dozens of life-size statues of Thai kick-boxers can been seen on the grounds in different Muay Thai moves.

20140402-103951 pm.jpg

20140402-103956 pm.jpg

Enjoying is so far? Well.. no time for rest. Now heading to the next destination……..