Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Thailand: River Kwai & Tiger Temple

River Kwai and the Tiger Temple. As we got our Myanmar Visas sorted out without too much delay we had a free day, so we decided to visit the Kwai Bridge and the Tiger Temple.

First stop was at the War memorial at Kanchanburi, see pic below, superbly kept and very moving.

From here it is a short distance to the famous River Kwai and the Bridge which was made with WWII Slave labour, the original construction has been replaced by a Steel bridge, as we walked across the bridge in 40 degree heat it became apparent just how hard it was for those poor souls who were forced to work on the original Bridge, without proper nourishment and sun protection it would have been almost impossible to bear. The Museum opposite gave more insights to the cruelty and mentality behind the regime that saw so many perish.

After the disturbing Kwai Bridge, we went to the Tiger temple, not sure what we expected but in truth it was little more than a circus parade of kept Tigers. Impressive beasts that they are they do not belong in a circus or need to be put on display. So we were a little disappointed with this.

A contrasting day in someways but a certain irony about " caged beings ". At least the Tigers we being fed and exercised.

WWII Memorial near the Kwai Bridge.

The mentality behind it all.

Bounty acquired by the Japanese forces.

How does this fit in ??

Kwai Bridge, distant figure is Linda.

River Kwai.

The new Bridge.

One of the adverts for the local Zoo.. I must get to see these in the wild someday.

Train Journey from Kwai to Tiger Temple.

Station platform trees.

Scenery from a moving train.

Scenery through a window from a moving train..

All aboard !!

More train side scenery.

waterfall ( not a lot of water !! )

Tigers at the Tiger Temple.

Wouldn't he be better off in the wild ??

"Where's the soap" ? " yes it does doesn't it"
End of Blog,
Due to the lack of space left on this blog, our journey continues on a new Blog.
Please go to our new blog at www.himandheragain@blogspot .com.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Thailand: Bangkok

Thailand, Bangkok. Didn't we pick a good time to come to Bangkok ! The first day we were here the Skytrain was attacked with grenades, this effectively put the station involved out of action and the line from it suspended. We accidentally bumped into a Red Shirts blockade at Siam City but was able to backtrack quite quickly! Apart from a few other isolated bombings it's been reasonably quiet, just a few roads and rail links which are either not working or are blockaded by the Army.

One of the reasons for being in Bangkok was to get Visas for Myanmar, hopefully by 3pm today we will have our passports back from the Embassy, The first few days here were mostly "sorting stuff out days" flights to Yangon, Hong Kong etc, Air Asia has had a sale going on so we thought it was best to grab a few good deal while we could.

Because we have been to BKK a few times we didn't want to repeat too much of the sight seeing we have done previous, so we ahve carefully selected a few places which are new to us. A mention must be made to Mal's walking boots which gave up the ghost in Nepal..

Our first sightseeing venture in BKK was to the Golden Mount temple, not easy to get too when the trains are not running ! but hey we got there, eventually. The Temple is really quite small but the steep spiral path to the top gives some nice 360 views of the city. As usual we find ourselves somewhere where it's really hot ! May is about the best time to come here for scorching temperatures, the average daily temp has been about 37 degrees peaking at 41 a few days ago. So climbing any sort of hill is quite a sweaty affair ! After visiting the Golden mount we wandered off to look at some new temples not shown on our map !

The next day we did something quite nerdy, we visited the Bangkok Shell museum, it was really different and really interesting ( we think ) !! The shapes and sizes of some of the shell displays were quite amazing, these shell were different to those we had heard about on the news, the basic difference was they were not the exploding type.

We were staying in a hotel off the Sukumvit road which was really quite nice but a tad touristy, the road outside was one line of hotels and Western bars, so we decided to move to the Silom Road area ( this was a bit closer to the troubles ) but a lot more interesting, that night we went to the Silom Village Seafood restaurant, fab stuff ! With most of our forward planning complete it was back to sight seeing so we decided to pay a visit to Ayuddhaya ( one of the old capitals of Siam ) we had been here previously but as there are some 250 plus temples we were able to see all new stuff ! Our return back to Bangkok was via boat along the Chao Phraya river. Over the next couple of days we are off to see the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Tiger temple, as there will be a ton of pictures from these, they will go on a separate blog !

The Boots.

Bells at the Golden Mount Bangkok
Top Rank or Take Your Pick ! ( only the old gits will get that one ! )

Buddhas at the Golden Mount.

Temple wall designs

Lions Guarding the Golden Mount.

Temples across the road from the Golden Mount

Bangkok skyline a new block underwraps.

The Shell Museum.

The Shell Museum even the wall lights use shells !

Night out on Silom Road. Traditional dance and cracking seafood.

Pa Bang Temple Palace near Ayuddhaya.

Topiary Elephants at the Pa Bang Palace.

Temple wall carvings

Pa Bang Palace

Pa Bang Palace

A slightly scruffy but friendly topiary Elephant !

Pa Bang Palace

Pa Bang Palace

One of the many Temple ruins at Ayuddhaya.


Ayuddhaya Buddha Statue


Siamese style Stoupa at Ayuddhaya

Bridge and tree flowers.
They have one of these in Pisa don't they ??


There is a story to this, apparently the head of a Buddha statue fell off and landed at the foot of this tree. Many years later the head has become encapsulated in the lower roots..


One of the new temples at ayuddhaya.

Cambodian and Siamese temple designs Ayuddhaya.

Golden Buddha Ayuddhaya.

Bronze Buddha Ayuddhaya

This looks almost Nubian to my thinking ?

Multifaced Buddhist icon.

Reclining Buddha Ayuddhaya

Reclining Buddha Ayuddhaya

Fish in the Chao Phraya River.

Chao Phraya river front dwellings

Modern Bridge over the Chao Phraya river just as the storm arrives.

Grand Palace from the Chao Phraya River

Wat Arun from the Chao Phraya River

Boat landing on the Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya River

Modern Buildings along the Chao Phraya River waterfront.

Another Moder construction..

End of Blog, next blog River Kwai & Tiger Temple.