Inside This Kwai-Ayutthaya Log
SUPHANBURI

Don Chedi
A visit to this magnificent monument tells the story of King Naresuan the Great (pictured on the left), the 19th king of Ayutthaya dynasty, whose heroics against the Burmese aggressors is well-documented inside this pagoda, which housed the elephant duel memorial pagoda (in one of the pictures depicted  below) that was unearthed in the early part of the 20th century.

It was here where the famous elephant duel took place in 1591, in which King Naresuan killed the Burmese crown prince Minchit Sra, while riding on the elephant back.

Following that battle, King Naresuan ordered the construction of the memorial pagoda to commemorate this victory.

Unfortunately, when it was rediscovered in 1913, it was in a ruined condition with only the base of the pagoda that remains.

The white pagoda behind the statue of King Naresuan was constructed in 1952 to contain the base of the war memorial pagoda, which was rediscovered in 1913. Till this day, King Naresuan is still highly revered by the Thais, as you can see this lady in this picture offering her prayers to this warrior king. This is the base of the war memorial pagoda constructed by King Naresuan, following his victory over the Burmese crown prince, ironically whom he known since youth.
 
Fish Temple (Wat Mudcha)
For 10 bahts, visitors are allowed to buy a loaf of bread to feed those eagerly-anticipating fishes, which are standby any time be to be fed
Wat Pa Lelai
The 23m tall Buddha statue in the main praying hall is the main attraction of this temple in Suphanburi.

AYUTTHAYA

Sights of ruined stupas greeted us all and welcomed us to Ayutthaya - the ancient capital of Thailand (from 1350 to 1767) 

 

Ruins of the ancient city
The ruins of Ayutthaya is named as an UNESCO historical site.

 

One of the remnants of the past are the three main stupas (which also the symbol of this city - pictured on the left) that housed the remains of the ninth,10th and 11th ruler the Ayutthaya dynasty.

 

It was raided and virtually destroyed by the Burmese invaders in the 18th century. 

 

The main entrance of the palace

Bang Pa-In Palace

This is the summer retreat of the Thai royal family.

 

Due to time constraint, we visited two of the palaces on the ground.

 

As it is still used occasionally by the present monarch, strict dress code and strong security presence are strictly adhered to while inside the palace's premises (i.e.: no cameras are allowed, headgears are to be removed while inside the palace building and ladies must not be in pants while entering the current summer retreat.)

Walkways like this bridge linked up various parts of this summer residence of the Thai royal family.

Instead of walking, visitors may choose to drive around the around palace on golf cart.
Phra Thinang Wehart Chamrun

This Chinese-style palace was built by a group of local Chinese businessmen and presented to King Chulalongkorn in 1889.
Phra Thinang Warophat Phiman

This Neo-Classic style one-storey mansion is the summer retreat of the current monarch.
 

BANGKOK (who need Smile campaign? See the young man who greeted us)

Shopping

Although the main objective of this whole trip is to sight-see, not trip to the capital of Thailand can be completed without S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G.

 

Shoppers from all corners of the globe congregated in places like Silom, Pratanum, Yowarat, Jatuchak weekend market and etc. to "wage battle" (bargaining) against the traders.

 

The interesting part in MBK (in Phathuwan area) is that retail shops "refused to surrender",while those booths & push carts traders are more willing to "negotiate for a peace agreement" . 

The restored four-faced "god" at Erawan Hotel

We were told it's a mistake to address as "Buddha", instead it should be "god"
The skyline of the Thai capital from my hotel room. Bobae Tower

This is the clothing wholesale centre, where traders gathered all their staff in bulk before sell them to the customers.
As early as 5am, the whole Bobae area is crowded with traders and shoppers alike for the best bargaining. There are two metro lines running in Bangkok . The MRT line (or what the local called "UNDERGROUND") and BTS (the SKYTRAIN) Still have that fond memory of this ticket prior the hike?
A ride on the BTS train was just a traveling on time machine back to the early years of our own MRT system, right from the ticket vending machines (above left), the AFC gates (or commonly known as the MRT gates, above right), good thing about the platform is the extra length to cater in events if train did not stop accurately.
I'm not going tell you guys who have not been to MBK how wonderful this place is, even for me a non-shopping freak, it's always kind of fascinating feeling to "stroll" around this mega, mega mega mall.

Good to see that music CD shop that sells the Thai oldies still around, where the staff dressed in traditional costumes
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