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Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

Satisfying Your Appetite in Thailand

June 16th, 2010 by

So here’s the deal. Every country has its own special style when it comes to decadent cuisine. It just so happens, however, that the flavors you’ll find in Thailand are extra special. The food in Thailand is delicious, relatively healthy, and incredibly inexpensive. There’s no reason to visit Thailand without at least attempting to try some of the local cuisine. So here’s what you should expect.

The Tantalizing Thai Pepper

Drying peppers Read the rest of this entry »

7 Unusual Sites in Bangkok

May 19th, 2010 by

The city of Bangkok is full of history, culture, and tradition. Occasionally, though, we need to step out of the box and have a little fun, taking a closer look at some of the area’s lesser known attractions – some of which happen to be incredibly strange. The next time you’re in Bangkok, keep your eyes peeled for these oddities as well as others. You might just be surprised at how interesting and entertaining these experiences can be, even if they are just a little bit off the wall.

7. The Shrine of Goddess Tubtim

The Shrine of Goddess Tubtim, otherwise known as the Phallic Shrine, is certainly a sight to behold. The shrine is, as the name implies, made out of hundreds of penises carved out of wood and stone. Some stand as tall as ten feet, while others are somewhat smaller. Some are decorated with ribbons and feathers, while others are painted.

Why such a strange monument? It was developed in order to honor Chao Mae Tubtim, the female fertility goddess. Women who want to conceive believe that by leaving an offering at the shrine, usually of jasmine or lotus, they will have success. If they are successful in their endeavors, most will return after the baby is born and add a new phallus to the shrine as an act of thanks.

6. Spirit Houses

Houses and spirit houses along canal

Spirit Houses aren’t places you can visit, per say. Scattered not only throughout Bangkok, but throughout all of Thailand, spit houses are very tiny – the size of doll houses. These tiny homes are usually placed on pedestals in places that are pretty easy to locate and see.

Bangkok Spirit House

The houses are left behind so that the spirits have a place to stop and rest as they go about their days. The houses, which are believed to date back to pre-Buddhist and pre-Hindu times, usually have doll-sized figures or Buddha statues inside as well. People tend to stop and leave offerings in the houses as they pass, hoping to appease the spirits.

5. Bangkok’s Great Swing

Group pic at Wat Sutat ( Great Swing Temple )

At the Bangkok Wat Sutat Temple you’ll find what is known as the Bangkok Great Swing. In ancient times, men would use the 80-foot swing to rise into the air, all the while attempting to grab a bag of silver coins with their teeth.

What remains of the swing today is the huge teak arch, located directly in front of the temple itself. Fortunately, the practice of swinging for ceremony ended back in 1932, after several deaths and injuries brought the safety of the tradition into question.

4. Corrections Museum

The Corrections Museum

Take a trip down Mahachai Road and you’ll run into a museum unlike most others. The Corrections Museum is dedicated to educating its visitors about the cruel, unusual, and gruesome punishments doled out to offenders throughout Thailand. Some of the punishments aren’t exactly ancient, either.

The museum exists in what was once the Bangkok Remand Prison. The prison was turned into a museum in 1990, after the government turned the site into a park and moved the prisoners elsewhere. Inside, you’ll see examples of corporal punishments, some complete with wax figures. Imagine being placed inside of a rattan ball with nails on the inside. Offenders would be placed in the ball and left inside while an elephant was allowed to kick it around. Ouch!

3. Wat Mahathat Market

Tower and chedi, Wat Mahathat

While there are dozens of incredible shops, vendors, and markets throughout Bangkok, one of the best for purchasing gorgeous amulets is the market inside the Wat Mahathat every Sunday. The Wat mahathat temple has quickly become one of the most popular centers for studies on Buddhism and meditation.

Inside the market, which appears each Sunday, are amulets, talismans, charms, and even traditional medicines. If you believe you need something to help with your meditation or religious studies, you’re likely to find it here. Make sure you know the meaning of anything you buy.

2. Mae Nak Shrine

[Youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIo4wgl7wsk]

According to legend, there once lived a young woman named Nak who married a man by the name of Maak. Maak was drafted to fight during the war, leaving Mae Nak at home. She went into labor while he was gone and died while giving birth. Her spirit constantly called for her husband to return, and stayed in the house until he came back from war. It is believed that the two lived together as if she were not dead for many years.

Years later, Maak realized he was living with a ghost and fled the house to live in the temple. Mae Nak was furious, and began terrorizing the people. She did so until a ghost doctor came and trapped her in a bottle. A shrine dedicated to Mae Nak was later constructed, with a television that runs all day long. Many visit Mae Nak when they feel they are in need of guidance. Her story has since been made into a movie as well.

1. Ko Kret

River boat to Ko Kret Island

Ko Kret is a man-made island that was created 20 km north of Bangkok, in Nonthaburi, during the 18th century. Its inhabitants, the Mon people, have lived there ever since, having sought refuge there, on the island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River. Most spend their days making pottery.

2005 11 22 Ko Kret potteries and bargains

Don’t spend all of your time in Bangkok in traditional museums, on tours, or in your hotel room. Make sure you spend a little bit of time getting to know the city on a deeper, somewhat unusual level. You’ll enjoy the experience.

Fruit Tripping In Thailand

February 26th, 2010 by

One of the things that I look forward to when visiting far off lands is the glorious food. Somehow the combination of exhilarating adventures and treating your palate to a rollercoaster of flavors makes traveling all the more pleasurable and something that you would really want to look forward to.  I believe that flavors can also heighten one’s impression of a particular place and it could leave a definitive mark in ones memory.  Sometimes, a whiff of something spicy that is being sautéed in your own kitchen can easily bring back memories of a particular trip to Indonesia or a bite into a juicy mango can make you recall your trip to a mango farm in a province in the Philippines.

Thailand Tamarind

It was definitely no different when I visited Thailand.  There were just so many dishes and tasty delicacies to try.  Some of the food varieties were even exotic – surely not the type that you will encounter on your dining table.   But what I truly enjoyed while in Thailand were the succulent fruits that were always delicious, fresh and juicy.

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10 Incredible Attractions in Bangkok

February 3rd, 2010 by

Bangkok is one of the busiest and most popular cities in all of Thailand. Bustling with old world culture and modern technology, the blend of incredible people and spectacular landmarks is truly amazing.

340 - THAILAND - BANGKOK - TEMPLES

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Looking Back

January 1st, 2010 by

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As I start the new year 2010, I cannot help but reminisce and look back at all the travel adventures that I had in 2009.

Of course, my year was filled with several trips to some of my country’s domestic destinations.  One of my favorites would have to be my trip to Coron, Palawan during the first half of the year.  After a few months, my partner and I embarked on our biggest adventure yet.  We pulled off our Three Countries in Ten Days escapade!

Arrival in Bangkok

From the Philippines, we booked our US$100 tickets with one low cost carrier.  Our first stop was Bangkok.  But we were just transit passengers in Bangkok.  We waited for about seven hours at the Bangkok airport for our connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Per our itinerary, we were only to stay in Kuala Lumpur for one night.

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Glistening Wat Traimit Of Bangkok

December 25th, 2009 by

There are certainly tons of things to see and do in Bangkok.  A lot of tourists find themselves in this bustling capital city because a number of things.  Some people head to Bangkok to catch up with their history and enrich themselves with the potency of Thailand’s innate culture.  There are also others who are shopaholics and just go to this favorite tourist destination simply to fill their bags with exciting shopping finds.

Wat Traimit of Thailand

In our case, my partner and I went to Bangkok to do a bit of everything.  It is certainly nice to buy some neat stuff for ourselves but we always feel that we should never let go of the chance to visit favorite tourist destinations so that we can learn more about the cultures of the places that we visit.

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Three Countries In Ten Days: More Bargains At MBK

December 11th, 2009 by

The trip to the Chatuchak Weekend Market, as usual, was both tiring but fun.  Since we were not yet done with our shopping list, we decided to refer to our Bangkok map to check where we could head next.  We realized that it was high time for us to pay a visit to MBK.

Welcome to MBK

I also got to visit the famous MBK or Mahboonkrong during my first visit to Bangkok.  This place would have to be one of the favorite shopping destinations of Bangkok tourists.  It would surely be a shame if we would not be able to do another trip to MBK during our trip to Thailand.  So we took the Bangkok Skytrain again to National Stadium (take note that MBK is also within walking distance of the Bangkok Skytrain Siam Station).  Alternatively, one can take a cab and get off at the taxi unloading area in front of MBK.

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Re-visiting Extraordinary Weekends at Chatuchak

December 4th, 2009 by

I have very exciting memories of my first visit to the Chatuchak Weekend Market.  I got to visit this weekend affair during one of my earlier trips to Thailand and I promised myself then that I will go back again one day to burn more money and for the chance of coming across numerous thrilling and unique finds.

Welcome to the Chatuchak Weekend Market

In this long leg of traveling in three countries in ten days, I made sure that I visit the Chatuchak Weekend Market once again together with my partner – who has never been to the bizarre bazaar of sorts.  I was looking forward to the shopping experience and also to seeing my partner go through the crowded aisles plus do the elbow battles with other shoppers who tend to crowd the alleys.

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Historic Attractions in the Thai City of Sukhothai

December 2nd, 2009 by

The city of Sukhothai holds a tremendous amount of historic significance in Thailand. Founded in 1238, the city once served as Thailand’s capital. Today the city is filled with a stunning collection of historic ruins, preserving what is left of this religious epicenter in an engaging and captivating atmosphere. So what should you focus on when you arrive?

7. Wat Sri Chum

Wat Sri Chum

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Three Countries In Ten Days: Dawn At Wat Arun

November 27th, 2009 by

It was a magnificent experience exploring Wat Po or what is more popularly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.  To the people of Thailand, it is known by its complete name which is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan.  It is accessible from any hotel in Thailand like  All Seasons Bangkok Huamark Hotel.  Of course, we relished every minute that we spent in the temple that housed the famous Reclining Buddha – one of the biggest in Thailand given that it measures a total forty-six meters long and fifteen meters high.  Some parts of its body were even made of intricately designed Mother of Pearl. Now that was really amazing! We even got to drop coins in little pots and made silent wishes to boot.

Wat Arun from Afar

We left the Temple of the Reclining Buddha so that we can still visit the last temple in our itinerary.  Our tour guide brought us back to the Maharaj Pier so that we can catch a boat that would help us cross the river.  This was a different boat and not the Chao Phraya Express Boats that we rode earlier when we first arrived at the Maharaj Pier.

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