Wat Phra That Cho Hae, Phrae
This is the most well-known temple in Phrae province, it hosts a fragment of an elbow-bone of the Buddha and is a popular worship destination for Thais and other Buddhists.
Although it was a steep 120 steps climb on a hot afternoon, I was grateful for the opportunity to escape and spend a couple of hours with the lovely Thai-wives of the esteemed TD members who were in Phrae at the same time.
This Temple is also famous for the shrine of Phra Chao Than Chai Buddha, and has a gold plated 33 meters high chedi which is of the Chiang Saen style, there is also a fair celebrating the Chedi in March every year.

More info and pictures can be found here

The Temples of Sukhothai

Wat Sapphan Hin, Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Traphang Ngoen, Wat Sai Si, King Ramkamhaeng,Wat Chanasongkham, Wat Sorasak, Wat Mae Chon, Wat Phra Phai Luang, Wat Si Chum, Wat Chetuphon, Wat Ton Chan, Wat Chang Lom, Si Satchanalai Historical Park, Wat Sa Kaeo, Wat Khao Yai, Wat Chedi Jet Thaew, Wat Kuti Rai, Wat Chao Chan, Wat Chom Chuen, Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat, Phra Mae Ya Shrine, Wat Phra Si, Wat Nang Phaya, Wat Ratchaburana,

Temples and Wats of Sukhothai can be found here

Sattahip - Wat Wihan LuangPoreah Temple
Sattahip - Wat Wihan LuangPor Temple is the main Temple in Sattahips fishing village, this was first built in 1899, as fisherman all make good money and the surrounding areas are Thai Navy land, (the Thai military don't want to die) the Temple gets a lot of donations and looks brand new.

Just look at all the gold on this Pagoda....

(Sattahip - Wat Wihan LuangPoreah Temple)More info and pictures can be found here

Kanchanaburi - Wat Tum Seu Temple
Kanchanaburi - Wat Tum Seu Temple, well that's how the sign there spells it but I reckon it is actually Wat Tham Sua if it was transliterated correctly, anyway this is four kilometers from the Wachiralongkorn Dam on the Mekhong River, and consist of 2 compounds, a Chinese Temple and a Thai one.

Now this place does make money, this picture they sell you roof tiles which you can sign for good luck, not sure how long the good luck lasts for as I am not sure how long those roof tiles last for.

(Kanchanaburi - Wat Tum Seu Temple)More info and pictures can be found here

Wat Chalong - Phuket
So, unless one of you residents can tell me otherwise, these are photos of Wat Chalong in Phuket (but I completely forgot to write down the name of the place):

(Wat Chalong - Phuket)More info and pictures can be found here

Rayong, Wat Ta Pong
Interesting old shed located outside of Rayong city, on the way to Ban Phe. Nice countryside setting...Don't know how old it is, but looks fairly ancient, no?
These photos are a coupla months old - on a recent visit I noticed that part of the roof had collapsed.

(Rayong, Wat Ta Pong)More info and pictures can be found here

Bangsaen Chinese Temple
Ok this one is quite nice, the name of it is about 60 letters long in English transliteration but I will have a go at some of it, Wihanthepsatitprakittchalerm, anyway for ease we shall just call it a Chinese Temple that is near bangsaen but actually in "Ang Sila".

I got to admit the Chinese generally build better Temples than the Budhhists do, lots more detail and lots more time spent on them, plus all the dragons and other wild animal statues look pretty good.

I am not sure if they are extending this or whether it is a newly built temple, it is home to the, Nha ja sa tai jue shrine, I didn't bother going to have a look at that though, well I was hungry at the time.

(Bangsaen Chinese Temple)More info and pictures here

Sattahip’s Thep Prasat Temple
Sattahip’s Thep Prasat Temple, alternatively known as Wat Tao Than, built its Crystal Buddha Image Hall to install a Buddha image and an image of the temple’s former abbot, Sompong Acharo, whose body did not decay after death and who consequently has become a figure of adulation amongst the faithful.

(Sattahip’s Thep Prasat Temple)More info and pictures here

Issan / Nong Khai / Wat Khaek - Sala Kaew Ku
These photos are from October 2003 and February 2004. Wat Khaek is a large concrete sculpture garden just east of Nong Khai as you are heading towards Phon Phi Sai. The sculptures are a mix of Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian influences with the naga being a rather large part of many of the sculptures. It's one of the few tourist traps in Nong Khai but still interesting to see. The days I went it wasn't particularly busy. Takes about an hour or so to walk around and explore all the statues. The photos are in no particular order.

(Issan / Nong Khai / Wat Khaek - Sala Kaew Ku)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya - Hua Raw Chinese Temple and Market
Ayutthaya - Hua Raw Chinese Temple and Market on the North of U Thong Road, this is one of the main areas for cheap food in the evenings and also has a nice curving road leading to the river which sells traditional Chinese herbs and other odds and ends, the curve was probably made for defense against Burmese invaders but now they are all concrete shop houses, (well that is called progress )

Well lets have a look down the curving road and see what delicacies they have to offer.

Nope no idea what that is, probably dried up deers testicles skins or something like that.

(Ayutthaya - Hua Raw Chinese Temple and Market)More info and pictures here

Wat Prang, Korat
Every once in a while I like to ride my bike out to Wat Prang. This wat has a 13th Century Khmer prang in it. It's located in Baan Putcha, about 20K northwest of Korat.

Most of the rural wats around here keep the main bot locked up. I don't know if they're afraid of vandalism, or what. Anyway, I saw that the bot in this temple was open, so I stopped to look inside. It's being renovated and just outside the main gate I saw this interesting feature:

(Wat Prang, Korat)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya/Wat Phutthaisawan Temple
Ayutthaya/Wat Phutthaisawan Temple;

Wat Phutthaisawan is the monastery situated on the river bank opposite Ko Muang to the south. Travel by car along the route Ayutthaya - Sena to the west of Ko Muang. After passing the bridge in front of Wat Kasattrathirat, turn left to Wat Chaiwattanaram. Follow the direction signs, you will find a left turn to Wat Phutthaisawan. This monastery was built in the area where King U-thong moved to establish his city. The area was first known as Wiang Lek, named after the royal palace of King U-thong. The most interesting part of wat Phutthaisawan is the great principal Buddha image ; its style is of the early Ayutthaya Period.
Above from the TAT website.

So what did I think of it? Well it is a mixture of old and new stuff, got to admit I find the new stuff a bit boring, also seems to be quite a mixture of beliefs, they got Khymer stuff and Chinese stuff plus the normal stuff, maybe they are aiming for a bigger market share of Bhudists.

Anyway lets start with the main Monks room, this is normally locked so you cannot view it normally, now this has scenes painted like a tapestry and was done hundreds of years ago, they must have used better paint than I did on my place as it is in better condition.

(Ayutthaya/Wat Phutthaisawan Temple)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya/Wat Ratchbaruna Temple
Ayutthaya/Wat Ratchbaruna Temple was built by King Borom Rachchathirat the second during the years 1424 to 1448, this was because both his brothers, Chao Yi and Chao Ai died during single handed combat on elephant back.

Initially it was just 2 Pagodas but then he established a Wihan and turned it into a monastery.

The Grand Hall is 63 by 20 meters so this place is pretty big, they charge a 30baht entrance fee to whiteys.

This is close to the Pa Tan Bridge and opposite Wat Mahathat Temple.

This page is not for you if your on a dial up as there are loads of piccies and it will take a long time to load.

(Ayutthaya/Wat Ratchbaruna Temple)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya Wat Yannasen Temple
Ayutthaya Wat Yannasen Temple is on U Thong Road and is a mixture of old and new stuff, not really worth the effort of going there unless you happen to be passing it in your travels to somewhere more interesting.
It has a couple of Prangs and a big Chedi.

(Ayuthaya Wat Yannasen Temple)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya - another small Temple or Wat
Ayutthaya - another small Temple or Wat;
Seeing as this Temple section is hardly getting any hits from you foking heathens I might aswell post what I like in here, so now the game is find the pictures of the naked women I have posted in this section.

Anyway here is another Ayutthaya Temple that is about to flood.

More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya - Wat Mahathat Temple
Wat Mahathat was built around the 1300's and is one of Ayutthaya's oldest shrines, it was also the home of the Supreme Patriach.

In 1767 the Burmese attacked and looted and burnt down whatever they could, as per usual with the Burmese they smashed all the heads off of the Bhudha statues.

Wat Mahathat was ordered to be built by King Borom Rachathirat I.

Its current name was given during the reign of King Ramesuan (1388-1395).

Today, the central prang of the temple is pretty much a pile of bricks. It first collapsed during the reign of King Song Tham (1610-1628) and was repaired during the reign of the following ruler, King Prasat Thong (1629-1656). The reconstruction raised the prang to 44 meters and then to 51 meters which made it the tallest prang in Ayutthaya.

In 1956 they started excavating the grounds and found a buried treasure chest containing gold Buddha images and precious stones.

Admission is 30baht, the Temple is on the corner of Naresuan Road and Chi Kun Road, also has parking.

This is probably one of the most interesting bits of the Temple, one of the smashed off sandstone heads being lifted off the ground by a Bodhi tree.

(Ayutthaya - Wat Mahathat Temple)More info and pictures here

Hidayatussaligeen Mosque Pattaya
Hidayatussaligeen Mosque is in Pattaya on Sukhumvit Road and has just been rebuilt, actually all the Mosques in Pattaya are being redone out at the moment so they must have got some dosh in.

(Hidayatussaligeen Mosque Pattaya)More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya Chedi of Queen Suriyothai
Queen Suriyothai was a wife of King Chakrapat. King Chakrapat ascended to the throne when he was 36 years old.

Just seven months after his coronation, in 1548, King Tabengshweti of Burma attacked Ayuthaya. King Tabengshweti was resentful that his earlier attempt to take over the Siamese city of Chiang Kraan during King Chainarachathiraja's reign had failed.

In the first battle, which was intended to test the strength of the Burmese army, King Chakrapat led the army himself, followed by his sons, Prince Ramesuan and Prince Mahintarathiraj. Worried about her husband, Queen Suriyothai secretly dressed as a soldier and rode out to battle on an elephant with the rest of the army.

When the Ayuthaya army clashed with the Burmese army from Hongsawadee, led by General Brae, King Chakrapat immediately rode towards General Brae to engage him in battle. However, King Chakrapat's elephant stumbled, giving General Brae the advantage. Just as General Brae raided his halberd to stab King Chakrapat, Queen Suriyothai, who was watching from nearby, suddenly decided to intervene to try to save the king. Her elephant also lost its balance, and she was fatally stabbed by General Brae's halberd. She died while still on the elephant's neck. Prince Ramesuan and Prince Mahintarathiraj took her body back to the capitol.

More info and pictures here

Ayutthaya Wat Worachetha Ram Temple
Ayutthaya Wat Worachetha Ram Temple is quite nice to waste half an hour on, I think with all the Thai Temples I have been to today I should be blessed, yep got to admit I am a bit Templed out at present, anyway this is another 500 odd year old beast with very little preservation or restoration.

(Ayutthaya Wat Worachetha Ram Temple)More info and pictures here

Wat Sawangpha/Naklua Temple
The only reason we went to Wat Sawangfa today is that they have a Sunday market here that sells plants and orchids, yep the galfriend has decided to turn part of the land into a plant farm.

There are 2 temples here next to each other, one is the traditional garish red type and then there is this one.

More info and pictures here (Wat Sawangpha/Naklua Temple)

Ayutthaya Wat Maenangpleum Temple
Ayutthaya Wat Maenangpleum Temple is just off of the Island of Ayutthaya, it is under extreme slow renovation so may take a few hundred more years to finish.

More info and pictures here (Ayutthaya Wat Maenangpleum Temple)

Ayutthaya/Wat Thammikarat Temple

Ayutthaya/Wat Thammikarat Temple Is located in front of the Royal Palace in Ayutthaya, it was commisioned to be built by Phraya Thammikarat, one of the son's of King Sainam.

As you can see it does need a bit of restoration work done on it.

More info and pictures here (Ayutthaya/Wat Thammikarat Temple)

Ayutthaya/Wat Phraditsathan Temple

Ayutthaya/Wat Phraditsathan Temple is off of Thanon Pa Maphrao Road, quite nice grounds but a modern Temple built after the original Temple was laid to waste.

More info and pictures here (Ayutthaya/Wat Phraditsathan Temple)

Ayutthaya/Wat Khunsan Temple
Ayutthaya/Wat Khunsan Temple was first mentioned in 1584 by Prince Naresuan, and he and the Mon people lived in the surrounding area.

Worth a look if your driving on the U Thong Road and there is a parking space right there and you have 2 minutes to spare.

More info and pictures can be found here (Ayutthaya/Wat Khunsan Temple)

Ayutthaya/ Wat Suwandawas Temple

Ayutthaya/ Wat Suwandawas Temple on U Thong Road aint a bad one, pretty damn old and decrepid, got to park before you get there though and walk a few meters, not worth going out of your way for though

Got a few Chedis and the old bell tower and thats about it. Yep another Temple destroyed by the Burmese.

More info and pictures here (Ayutthaya/ Wat Suwandawas Temple)

Wat Wang Chai Temple/Ayutthaya
Wat Wang Chai Temple/Ayutthaya;
Not really a lot left of this Temple but it is in the middle of Ayutthaya town so the odds are you will go past it.

More info and pictures here (Wat Wang Chai Temple/Ayutthaya)

Wat Koomanjai Temple/Ayutthaya
Wat Koomanjai Temple is next door to the Morradok in Ayutthaya, this one is pretty old and if your passing it it's worth 10 minutes of your time.

More info and pictures here (Wat Koomanjai Temple/Ayutthaya)

Wat Samwihan Temple/Ayutthaya

The Wat Samwihan in Ayutthaya is famous for its 600 year old Budha image which is 21 meters long.

Samwihan means 3 pagodas.

More info and pictures can be found here (Wat Samwihan Temple/Ayutthaya)

Wat Racharpradidtan Temple/Ayutthaya
Wat Racharpradidtan temple in Ayutthaya is another Thai temple that really isn't worth the time to bother looking at, I mean if your driving past it it could be worth sticking your camera out of the window but that will be more than enough time wasted on this Temple.

More info and pictures here (Wat Racharpradidtan Temple/Ayutthaya)

Wat Intraram Temple/Ayutthaya

Wat Intraram is probably one of the most boring temples in Ayutthaya and is most defineatly not worth going out of your way to see, so I have saved you the trouble.

More info and pictures here (Wat Intraram Temple/Ayutthaya)

Prasat and Prang in Isaan
Isaan is chock full of ancient structures, some well known, some not; some in great repair, others completely ignored. Let's have a look at a few:
This is an old Khmer Prang located a few miles northwest of Korat. No one ever visits because all of the English language maps have it in the wrong spot by about 10K. It took me several days to find it on my bicycle; none of the locals know where it is, either. Anyway, it's at Wat Prang and it's about to fall over.

More info and pictures here

Wat Maikatingtong Temple/Jomtien

Wat Maikatingtong Temple is on Jomtien Beach road next door to the Jomtien Grand Palace Hotel, absolutely nothing of interest there at all, but as I went passed it today I decided I might aswell take some pictures of it.

More info and pictures here (Wat Maikatingtong Temple/Jomtien)

Wat Phra Narai Maharat, Korat
I rode into Korat today to check out the ancient city wall that was uncovered during some renovation work near the Tao Suranaree Monument. Not to easy to photo from behind the fend, but here's a shot of it:
Wat Phra Narai Maharat is within the old city walls of Korat and is surrounded by a big pond, full of water hyacinth:

More info and pictures here (Wat Phra Narai Maharat, Korat)

Wat Bha Rak Roi - Nakorn Ratchasima (Korat)
I probably have the spelling of this one wrong as well.

Anyway, this is truly the strangest wat I've ever visited in Thailand. It's more like an amusement park of horrors than a wat. I'll limit the post to a few truly bizarre photos of some of the "sculpture" that is on display:

More info and pictures here (Wat Bha Rak Roi - Nakorn Ratchasima (Korat))

Weird Wat in Korat
For some months now we've seen very slow construction going on at what looks like a chedi or wat just poking up over the trees off Mittrapap Highway.

I decided I'd try to find the place to see what it was. But, it seemed impossible to find. Any roads leading in the correct direction were either dead end or ended up heading the wrong way.

Well, yesterday I finally got to the place by turning in to the Queen Sirikit Sericulture center and following a car as it wound it's way through the grounds.

The place is strange. There is no proper road leading into it anywhere; no gate, no signs, nothing. I asked a woman on the grounds what the name of the wat was and she had to think a while and then said it was "Wat Pha" or maybe "Wat Pha Sa Lo". Much later I located a sign just off a secondary road which says that the wat is named:

More info and pictures here

Large temple between Korat and Saraburi...

I took this picture in March on the way back from Pattaya. I forgot to get my wife to write down the name of the temple but it's located along the main highway from Saraburi to Korat (it's located in the flat area once you pass through the mountains and large lake). Looking at GoogleEarth I believe it's near a village called Sung Noen. This temple is very large and if you happen to pass between Korat and Saraburi you can't miss this.

More info and pictures here

Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple
Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple is actually about 40km from Kanchanaburi and about 6km from Saiyok, so I really don't understand why it is called Kanchanburi Tiger Temple, the original Temple is about a mile down the road and now they got some land to build their dreams, which don't involve a Temple, They got some Yankee gal and some other farang bird in there trying to get the money in.

Entrance to the Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple is 300baht and it closes at 4.30pm, you can get the bus there from Kanchanaburi and then walk the 2km up the road or get a taxi from Kanchanaburi.

So first up you got the walk with the Tigers, basically this comes down to Pra Acharn Phoosit Khantitharo wandering along following a tiger to the canyon, the tiger leads the way, foked if I would teach my Rotties to be the boss and lead the way, this is the time you can stroke the beast if you so wish and they will take your camera and do the photoes of you, and then they come and gouge you, yep, 500baht for a picture of the nasty tigers with their head in your lap or 100baht for stroking the tiger, I mean fok me aint the 300baht entrance fee enough? obviously not.

They got some Yankee girl working there as a tour guide who is basically bored out of her head doing the same shite everyday and thought it would be exciting, and some other English speaking bird who tries to help out.

Anyway as I have loads of pictures of this I shall edit my main post tomorrow.

*Time to edit*

This place is supposedly a sanctuary for all wildlife to live happily together, trouble is Tigers like eating wildlife and killing small animals just for fun, they have 18 tigers there and most are either caged or chained up the majority of the time, at one stage a load of baby wild pigs came within 100 meters of the Tiger in these pictures, so one of the staff started throwing stones at them to scare them off, so anyway onto the walk with the tigers you actually just follow the Monk and the tiger as it makes it's way to the canyon, during this time you can hand your camera to the staff and they will take a picture of you walking next to and touching the Tiger, you are not allowed to get in front of the tiger, so you got 50 dumb farangs following a poxy tiger and some monk hoping for something exciting to happen, the aim of this place is to reintroduce these Tigers into the wilds, I mean fok me it don't take a genius to realise that human interaction with these big cats aint gonna help them adjust to the wild, so anyway you get down into the boiling hot canyon where most of the Tigers are chained up and you get offered the special deal of 500baht to have a picture of you with a Tiger resting it's head in your lap, what suprised me was the amount of people that went for this great deal.

More info and pictures here

Phanom Wan - Korat
Everybody knows about Phimai in Korat, but not many people know about Phanom Wan, another Khmer prasat that is about as old aห Phimai, but much less visited and a lot closer to muang Korat. Sadly, it's not yet reconstructed:
Panom Wan was built during the 10th/11th Century.A.D. to worship Lord Shiva.

In the 11th Century.A.D. the Temple had been in Rattanapura town center, so that meant it had received better preservation from the Locals.

It was in the Ayutthaya period it was changed to be a Buddhist temple until the Ratanakosin (Bangkok) period.

More info and pictures here (Phanom Wan - Korat)

Ancient City of Sema - Nakorn Ratchasima (Korat)
Another historical site in Korat that is rarely visited is the ancient city of Sema, near the modern city of Sung Noen, about 30K west of Korat. According to Wikipedia:

From archeological evidence it has been found that there were 2 ancient towns named Sema and Korakapura which currently are in Sung Noen district, 30 km west of present-day Khorat. In the years around 1656-1688 King Narai moved the city [Korat] to its current location.
The city of Sema was built around the 12th Century:

Prasat Non Ku, Prasat Muang Kao

More info and pictures here (Ancient City of Sema - Nakorn Ratchasima (Korat))

Wat Chaiwatthanaram/Ayutthaya Temple
Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya was ordered to be built by King Prasat Thong in 1630 on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, the reason he built this was to make merit for his mother, entry fee for foriengers is 30baht, although it would be quite easy to sneak in and not bother paying.

In 1767 the Burmese invaded and this Royal Monastry was used as an army camp, unfortuneately Thailand lost this battle and the Burmese looted and damaged many of the artifacts, in the late 1980s early 90s the fine arts dept renovated to the stage it is at now.

More info and pictures here (Wat Chaiwatthanaram/Ayutthaya Temple)

Gurudwara Sahib Sikh Temple/Pattaya
This Gurudwara Sahip Sikh Temple is down Soi 17 in South Pattaya about 400 meters from Walking Street, Now obviously Walking Street has loads of Tailor shops so this is where they go to make merit for their sins, and they do make merit, Soi 17 is the one that runs behind the South Pattaya market and is filled with run down crappy old shophouses that haven't seen a coat of paint in 15 years, but the Sikh Temple does tend to stand out a bit amongst these run down buildings, so obviously they are raking in the dosh from the sinful Tailors, they must be doing some really nasty stuff to hand over this sort of dosh.

Next door to the Temple is Ravi Indian Supermarket, this is the place to get all that hard to get Indian spices and stuff in Pattaya.

The only trouble with this Soi is that it is way too narrow, if 2 cars park on opposite sides of the road then no cars can get through, and obviously this being Thailand this happens quite often.

More info and pictures here (Gurudwara Sahib Sikh Temple/Pattaya)

Wat Chaimongkron Temple/Pattaya
Wat Chaimongkron is on South Pattaya road opposite the market and about 400 meters from the entrance of Walking Street, as you can guess this place is quite popular with Thai sinners to make merit.

It also used to be quite infamous, well disliked anyway by the residents who live at Centre Condo which overlooks the Temple grounds, they would get up in the morning and open their balconeys to view the pattaya sea and let the cooling fresh breezes from the sea blow into their rooms, then the Monks would fire up the incinerator and burn a body, the ashes gently lifting into the air and wafting into the condos, obviously this upset a lot of the farang residents, although you could say that they should have learnt a bit more about Thai culture before investing in a condo in Thailand, or perhaps even asked the sales agent what the big chiminey thing was for, this must have gone on for about 15 years but now I believe they don't incinerate the bodies there anymore.

More info and pictures here (Wat Chaimongkron Temple/Pattaya)

Sattahip Church/Assemblies of God
This Church 5km from Sattahip on the road to Port Thungdong makes one wonder what Christians are doing with all their money, we drive round Thailand and see all the money being spent on Temples and how many there are of them and how nice they are and this is the best the Christians can do for Satahip?

I mean if they stuck St Pauls Cathedral in Sattahip it would be packed out each day and making loads of money, anyway this is the best the Christians could come up with for Sattahip.

More info and pictures here

Church of Jesus Christ/Jomtien
This one you have to drive down Soi Chayapuk 2, take the turn off and head into the jungle, 500 meters up a dirt track and your there.

I think the cross at the top is made from stainless steel, hell at least the place has some nice stained glass, although I did wonder about the chain and padlock on the door, had somebody locked the people in there and were getting ready to burn it down? or had they suffered too many thefts?

More info and pictures here

Wat Boon Temple/Jomtien
This Temple is on the corner of Soi Wat Boon and Sukumvit Road in Jomtien, now this area is extremly built up yet nobody bothers going to this Temple, maybe there is some "Evil" lurking there, I have been going past there everyday for the last few months and today was the first time that I actually saw a Monk there, obviously this place is in need of some donations as it could do with a bit of repainting.

More info and pictures here (Wat Boon Temple/Jomtien)

Wat Yang sangwararm near Pattaya
The Royal temple, now this is a really big temple spread over a really large area, anyway heres some pics.

More info and pictures here

Wan Khao Phansa - Wax Carvings - Korat
Here are some wax carvings made for Khao Phansa here in Korat:
They are for Khao Phansa, the beginning of the Buddhist lent.

Too me it looks like they make the sculptures out of wire and plaster and then coat them with wax and carve in the details. Some are quite well done.

I'm not sure how long they take to make. I was trying to find the wats where they are made, but never had any luck. I started seeing the parts of them being moved around a couple of weeks ago. I think they work on them in sections in many places and then assemble them as huge floats just before the days they are displayed.

I took these photos at The Mall here in Korat. On Khao Phansa they were in a parade and then displayed at City Hall.

More info and pictures here (Wan Khao Phansa - Wax Carvings - Korat)

Wat Parknam Khaem Noo Temple/Chantaburi
Well this is the place my galfriends Nephew was BBQued yesterday, as you can see it is all just being rebuilt and should look quite nice when it is done, the grounds border an inlet from the sea where all the fisherman park their boats, one of them offered to let me go with them out to sea, but looking at the tine little boat and the rain clouds and strong winds I declined.
This next room I assume is for the praying to make babies room, had loads of wooden penis shaped things outside, although some of them appeared rather large.

More info and pictures here (Wat Parknam Khaem Noo Temple/Chantaburi)

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - Chiang Mai
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of Thailand's most sacred and well known temples. It was established over 700 years ago and features a copper plated stupa topped by a five tiered gold umbrella. It costs infidels 30B to enter, but Buddhists or people touring within a religious group get in for free.
The temple has either 290, 300 or 309 steps, but as I got the 'tram' to the top (20B for the return only) I didn't care how many there were.
The temple is very busy everyday, and many people were praying; either by walking around the stupa holding a lotus flower and a couple of candles, of by kneeling in front of one of the many holy statues dotted around the place.
The views out over Chiang Mai are aparently spectacular on a clear day, but it was a bit smoggy down in the valley when we went, so I'll leave you with a few other pics.

More info and pictures here (Wat Phra That Doi Suthep - Chiang Mai)

visiting a monk - Ubon Ratchathani
Last month went with my gf to Ubon Ratchathani. While we were there we had to go and see the local monk so he could give an opinion of me to her family. Apparently he lives in this makeshift hut in the woods for a month or two.

GF's mother and father also came along, as did their puppy. He disgraced himself by urinating on the monks floor mat (the dog - not my gf's father)

Anyway the result of the monks assesment is that I am a good man and have a cold heart (dont lose my temper easily). My gf has a hot heart and loses her temper at the drop of a hat. Actually I didnt need a monk to tell me that.

More info and pictures here

Bangkok - A visit to some Thai temples...
Recently, I decided to visit some well-known Thai temples here in Bangkok. It had several years since my first visit and wanted to see what had changed. The first temple I visited is called Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn.

Wat Arun, commonly known as Wat Jaeng or the Temple of Dawn was formerly Wat Makok in the Ayutthaya period. When King Tak Sin made Thomburi his capital and decided to build his palace on the West bank of Chao Phraya River, Wat Makok was made the palace temple and renamed Wat Jaeng. King Rama lV later changed the name to Wat Arun Ratchavararam as it is called today.

More info and pictures here

Casting a Buddha Statue
When a prominent monk passes on, as happened recently in our community, sometimes a Buddha statue is cast with an accompanying chanting ritual, to transfer some of the essence of his teaching and wisdom to the statue, so future generations may profit from it. (If I understood it correctly)

There is a flexible mould of a statue, usually reinforced silicon or vinyl, from which a hollow wax model is created. This is then embedded into a heat-resistant plaster-based material and the wax burned out.
The casting of the bronze into the resulting cavity mould is done in public with monks placed in 4 corners of a square chanting and reciting.

More info and pictures here

Monk Ceremony - Phitsanulok
Last month I went to Phitsanulok to join my friend's monk ceremony. Nothing's interesting but I still want to show you some pictures.

His monk ceremony was a short one, normally it will take 2 days in my home town but I think this one is not bad, it took only 1 day.

Early morning, the parents, relatives and friends cut their (he and his brother) hair.

More info and pictures here (Monk Ceremony - Phitsanulok)

Flower Dragon Temple, Chantaburi
On my way back from Oasis Sea world yesterday I found this place, I got to admit it is one of the nicest temples I have ever seen, unfortuneately it was all locked up and I don't think anybody was at home, they normally lock up most temples at night now due to thieving problems.

This place is about 10km past chantaburi going towards Trat.

More info and pictures here (Flower Dragon Temple, Chantaburi)

Koh Loy Temple/Sri Racha
Well as I had to goto Sri Racha to sort out my poxy phone and get my monthly account back with AIS I decided to hit the Island off there to have a quick look to see if the chinky style temple was finished, anyway to get there goto Sri Racha and then follow the signs to Koh Sri Chang, go across the bridge and your there, although why they spent so much on a bridge to get there is beyond me and the car parks seem to take up most of the Temples grounds, anyway here is a picture halfway across the bridge looking towards Sri Racha, which I might add is probably somewhere you wouldn't actually want to spend your holidays.

More info and pictures here (Koh Loy Temple/Sri Racha)

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Bangkok
The last few days I was lucky enough visit some Indian temples located in the midst of BKK. The first one followed the Sikh philosophy.

First, the shoes had to come off. As luck would have it, I was on the wrong side. But, they allowed me to place my shoes on the floor anyway.

More info and pictures here (Sri Guru Singh Sabha Bangkok)

Pattaya, Buddha Mountain
Yep this place overlooks all the sin in Pattaya, even bargals need somewhere to go and pray for a Mr ATM to whisk them away from their life of sexual deabuachry, luckily it doesn't seem to be working to well

The last time I went there apart from today was about 10 years or so ago, this was cos my monkey used to live there, and she missed me, used to let her out of her cage to play around in the trees, but alas she was moved to another temple, as were all the other animals that had kept in tiny little cages.

Anyway here is the long climb up to the big Buddha.

More info and pictures here

Wat Viharrsien Pattaya
Anyway here's some pics of Wat Viharrsien, this is a Chinese Thai temple about 15km South of Pattaya, they do charge an entrance fee here though.

More info and pictures here (Wat Viharrsien near Pattaya)

Khao Chee Chan - Pattaya
Actually Khao Chee Chan is about 20 km from Pattaya and is part of the Wat YangSangwaram Temple Complex supposedly, although it is a couple of kilometers away from it, near here is Nong Noch Gardens (7 Kilometers away)

This image is the largest sculptured image of Buddha in the world, it was done in 1995 by some American bloke who lives in Naklua for the Kings Birthday and named after this guy, Phra-Phutha-MahaChira-Utta-MoPhas-Sasada, he etched it out using a laser.

The Buddha image is 130 meters tall and 70 meters wide, not sure how long it took them to carve this into the mountain and outline it in Gold.

Next to here are the Silver Lakes Vineyards and loads of fields full of Grapevines, They have an area where you can buy wines and jams but I didn't bother, also they have an elephant Krall across the road, this is behind the beverage, fruit and food stalls that seem to be a permanent fixture now, there is a Chinese Temple, Wat Viharasien, about 2 kilometers down the road and turn left, worth a visit.

If you actually wanted to stay in this area, although for the life of me I cannot think of a reason to stay in this area there is the Mangoes Guest House, aircon bungalows and apartments for rent, also has a restaurant and bar.

Khao Chee Chan Near Pattaya (Khao Chee Chan - Pattaya)

Hua Yai Temple fund raising

Yet another Temple thread that probably nobody will read apart from a few bots, but believe me this one is good Ok at the moment I can't remember the name of the Temple but will edit that in later, it is in Hua Yai on the way to Phoniex Golf Course.

This was week the Wat done a fund raising week to raise some dosh to build more of the Temple, so it's a bit like a carnival type thing but Thailand style, but we shall go into more depths of the games in another post, first up lets talk about the dosh, it was absolutely everywhere, they are bringing in like half a million baht perday, there were soldiers every where to help with the parking and I assume to protect the dosh, today was the last day and it was packed out and bloody noisey, everywhere they had announcers on mikes connected to amps and speakers trying to entice the punters out of their money, one of them reckoned for 100baht you would get good luck with your small wife, I bet the husbands were a bit careful of that one and were a bit sneaky in their way of donating, another for 100baht would give you a Buddha thing that would protect you from bullets and knives, probably need that one if your wife caught you going to the small wife one, I got to admit I gave my girlfriend 500baht to give to the small wife Buddha guy, luckily she realised I was joking and didn't waste my money on that.

More info and pictures here (Hua Yai Temple fund raising)

Amulet casting at Wat ChaiMonkon, Sukhothai

We went upcountry during Songkran and, on our last day up there, visited a Wat up on top of a small mountain. This part of Sukhothai is right on the edge of the northern mountains and some of the people there speak Pasa Nua rather than standard Thai.

More info and Pictures here

Chedi Doi - Thung Siliam, Sukhothai

You can see an old fashioned brick Chedi on a nearby hill from my wife's cousin's house near Thung Siliam in Sukhothai. I've always wanted to take a closer look at it but, although it looks quite close, I've never been able to find my way up to it.

Of course, it doesn't help that the locals have a hard time understanding the concept of taking a walk for pleasure and often 'rescue' the lost Farang and take me back home if I wander too far!

More info and Pictures can be found here (Chedi Doi - Thung Siliam, Sukhothai)