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Archive for March, 2012

Always in pairs, huge Chinese dolls guard the gateways of many of Bangkok’s temples.  However, none are as impressive as the examples found in the famous Wat Pho – home to the country’s largest reclining Buddha.

The statues are known as “Up Chao” in Thai, meaning ballast, and actually many were brought from China for this purpose.  The main trade from Thailand to China was in heavy resources such as tin, lead, wood and rice, on the return however the lighter Chinese products weren’t enough to weigh the ship down in the water, so these cheap concrete statues were perfect for the job.  However, many of the statues in Wat pho were believed to have been specially made by Chinese artisans in Bangkok as a  thank you to the royal family of the time.

 

 

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A great place to see real Thai people getting to grips with on of the country’s most popular hobbies.  Men come to spend hours studying the amulets looking for unique and rare examples to add to their collection.  The most expensive will contain hairs from auspicious Monks, and will have been blessed over an extended time.  Strangely, the trade in Buddha images is illegal in Thailand – To get by this the representations are “Rented” to the collectors.

Here are a few of my photos:

A selection of Amulets

amulet 1

Buyers pore over amulets

amulet 7

amulet 3

Pictures of a young Prince as a Monk

amulet 4

A collection of statues, and an Artisan creating a large example

amulet 5

amulet 6amulet 10

Lucky catfish

amulet 8

A cat naps on top of the Amulets

amulet 9

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Duck noodle soup – At my favourite place to eat noodle soup in Bangkok.  A rich, dark broth, chopped Chinese celery, crisp shallots and garlic – and slices of tender roast duck.  My mouth is watering thinking about it.

It doesn’t even need the condiments that come, but adding them makes an amazing taste explosion of sour, salty, spicy and sweet.  Like the BKKRS I add a good spoon of sugar – at a no name restaurant on the corner of Samsen soi 5, Bangkok, Thailand.

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Keeps your eyes open in Bangkok and you’ll see some pretty crazy stuff.  Here’s a few of the random things that I found.

My favourite brand of whisky….

black cock

What an awesome statement.

tuk tuk

No hand grenades, no S&M, no sexual harassment???

noooo

No explanation needed!

no fng

How are they gonna know if it doesn’t smell?

no farting

I know I am.

coffee.

Well those glasses should help with his eyesight…

painted dog

Karaoke – yes, Sexy ladies – yes, Disabled – yes, Filming no, obviously!

no filming

Cute and crazy shit- some things definitely get lost in translation

cute shit 2

cute shit

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Started in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, the Buddha park contains more than 200 statues from the Buddhist and Hindu pantheon. Its a masterpiece of outsider art.

Luang Pu combined both Buddhism and Hinduism to create his own doctrine.  He left Laos after the revolution in 1975 to Thailand – only 200m away over the river and visible from the park. He continued his project there, building another sculpture park in Nong Khai.

 

statue 7

 

statue 6

 

 

statue 5

 

statue 4

statue 3

statue 8

 

statue 9

 

statue 10

 

statue 2

 

statue 1

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My obsession with papaya salad continues at Porntip resataurant in Ubon, North East Thailand – in the Isaan region where some of the best Thai food comes from.

The papaya salad is by far the best I’ve ever tried. With chunks of raw crab, over ripe cherry tomatoes, crunchy baby aubergines and topped with lots of crispy pork crackling.  I also had another of their specialties – a fermented pork sausage, grilled to perfection over charcoal.  Even the sticky rice in this place is a cut above the rest

Porntip I love you….But why do you have to be in the middle of nowhere?

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Travelling in Northern Laos is an amazing experience.  Serene, Beautiful, amazing people and a slow pace of life.  A great place to relax and enjoy Nature at its finest.

The river boat to Muang Ngoi

09 boat

 

Hill Tribe girls pose for a photo

12 kids

 

Another young hill tribe girl plays, and young boys prepare their cocks for fighting.

01 Hill tribe girl10 cocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautifully looked after sowing machine.

11 sowing machine

 

Scenes up and down the river

08 mountains

07 sunset

 

A huge tree, and dead parrot like birds for sale at the side of the road – Sadly a common sight in Laos

04 dead birds

06 tree

 

A white water buffalo family

05 Buffalo family

An Akha Hill tribe village

03 muang sing hilltribe village

 

A spirit gate – protecting the people of the village.

02 Hill tribe girl

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