Monday, November 10, 2014

Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Since the army took over power in Thailand, Phuket's beaches have been "cleaned up". That is to say that the previous forest of parasols and beach chairs are no longer allowed on the beach. All illegal buildings such as, in Surin's case, beach clubs have been removed. While some people may rue the loss of  the beach chairs, the result is a far more beautiful beach.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Phaya Thai Royal Palace, Bangkok

Phaya Thai Palace

Thewarat Sapharom Hall

Statue of King Rama V

The Phaya Thai Palace was built in 1909 by King Rama V who also influenced the design. At the time the area was open countryside and the palace used to used as the venue for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. The King died not long after taking up residence. During the reign of King Rama VI, Queen Saovabha, then Queen Mother lived there until her death in 1920. King Rama VI also lived there until he moved to the Grand Place in the later years of his reign.

 The Palace is located on the banks of the Samsen Canal on Rajavithee Road in the Ratchathewi district of Bangkok. It is a short walk from the Victory Monument.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Unseen Thailand - Koh Lao Liang, Trang Province

Koh Lao Liang is a small island of the coast of Trang which is uninhabited and only seldom visited by tourists mainly because it takes a couple of hours by long tail boat to get there. The beach is everything one has come to expect about the best of Thailand beaches - white sand and beautiful turquoise water. It is true paradise that we had to ourselves (plus boatman) for a day.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unseen Thailand - Sananwan Beach, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province

Thailand has a long coastline both on the Andaman sea side (west) and on the Gulf of Thailand side (east). Many beaches such as those in Krabi and Phuket on the west coast and Hua Hin and Pattaya on the east coast are well known and often frequented by tourists from all over the globe. There are however many areas of coastline that are far seldom visited by foreign tourists. Some are well known to the Thais while others are pretty much bereft of any visitors Thai or otherwise. Sananwan beach is just such a beach. It is tucked away in the bottom corner of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province some 200 kilometers south of its famous big brother Hua Hin. There is nothing there of course, except a solitary bed and breakfast place but the beach provides a wonderful early morning, peaceful walk. I saw just one person - a solitary young fisherman heading out for a days fishing. Here are the photos:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kuan En Keng Shrine, Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand

Originaly there were two shrines attached to each other - Cho Sue Kong shrine and Kuan U shrines. The two shrines were built by a group of chinese who followed King Taksin the Great from Ayutthaya to Thonburi to found a new capital. Later in the Rattanakosin period during the reign of King Rama III Hokkien chinese demolished the two shrines and replaced them with a new shrine which became Kuan En Keng. An image of Chao Mae Kuan-in was enshrined inside. The shrine, next to Wat Kanlayanamit, is in the care of the Simasathian family, who have resided in the area for decades.