The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Bangkok Palace and Temple

We visited three palaces of the Thai Royal Family when in Thailand in November of 2012:

The Grand Palace: Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand on the Chao Phraya River.

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace lies beside the Chao Phraya River in Bang Pa-In Ayutthaya Province. (Posts to follow…)

Bhubing Rajanives Palace Phu Phing Ratcha Niwet is a Royal Residence located in the Muang District of Chiang Mai Province. It was built in 1961 to accommodate the royal family during state visits to the north of the country. (Posts to follow….)

I’m not sure how much of the Grand Palace we saw, and how much was part of the temple of Wat Pho, in the block next to the Grand Palace. We just wandered around, trying to avoid the massive crowds (see next post) and taking in the details that are so different from those we see in North American or European architecture. This post features roof lines.

Thailand November 2012

Bangkok Palace and Temple

It did rain, briefly, while we were on the site, but it was so hot and humid that it didn’t seem to matter.

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Bangkok Palace and Temple

Bangkok Palace and Temple

I had my 50 mm f 1.4 Pentax lens on my Pentax K20D with me that day; it is the smallest and lightest lens I have, so it was a good choice.

Reclining Buddha, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Phra Noon without orange robe.

Phra Noon without orange robe.

Near the centre of the Ayutthaya historic district, but far enough away that we boarded our bus to get to it, lies the reclining Buddha. In anglicized Thai: Phra Noon, at Wat Lokayasutharam.

He is 37 meters long and 8 meters high and I posted a coloured version a few posts back for the ‘scale‘ photo challenge.

A closer look at the head of the Buddha.

A closer look at the head of the Buddha.

Around the Reclining Buddha was a terrace with the remains of a number of structures, but without a guide or guidebook it was hard to tell what we were looking at. One main structure stood behind the buddha.

Wat Lokayasutharam

Wat Lokayasutharam

And in front of the grass where people were making offerings and lighting incense was a tree with other gifts to the Buddha.

Offerings to Phra Noon.

Offerings to Phra Noon.

Wat Na Phramen, Ayutthaya Thailand

Main Buddha Image at Wat Na Phramen.

Main Buddha Image at Wat Na Phramen.

Main Buddha Image at Wat Na Phramen.

Main Buddha Image at Wat Na Phramen.

Seated Buddha Image in the style of the Dvaravati culture. Quite unusual seated position (in what is often called the European way of sitting).

Seated Buddha Image in the style of the Dvaravati culture. Quite unusual seated position (in what is often called the European way of sitting).

Under the seated Buddha, these offerings.

Under the seated Buddha, these offerings.

Following from my earlier posts about Ayutthaya, here, and here, we journeyed a short distance (about 10 minutes away) to Wat Na Phramen, where I took these photos. Thank goodness for internet search engines and for metadata on the photos – which told me there was a half hour break between shooting – or I would have no idea where these were taken.

Near these Buddhist statues was a small but beautifully decorated building, which I couldn’t find in the photos on the linked page.

After Ayutthaya-1-5

After Ayutthaya-1-6

Pigeons are everywhere in the world…

After Ayutthaya-1-7

And lastly, a many-headed Buddha and a very large bell in a building where we were able to get out of the sun.

After Ayutthaya-1-8

Tourists at Ayutthaya, Thailand

Tourists take photos. Bunty takes photos of photographers.

Tourists take photos. Bunty takes photos of photographers.

Tourists stand in the shade to get information.  Bunty takes their photo instead of listening.

Tourists stand in the shade to get information. Bunty takes their photo instead of listening.

Behind every photographer is a patient partner.

Behind every photographer is a patient partner.

The best description of Ayutthaya is offered by UNESCO. More of the photos of my visit are in the post immediately previous to this one.

Ayutthaya-1-8

Ayutthaya-1-7

More of Thailand to come….

Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat – the context

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat – details

In November of 2012 we spent three weeks in Thailand. At the time, my son, daughter-in-law, and their two children were living in Bangkok while my son was country manager for Right to Play (about which more in later posts.)

While there, we made a day trip by bus, arranged by my Thai-speaking DiL,  to the King’s Summer Palace (Bang Pa-In Royal Palace), on to Ayutthaya, and the reclining Buddha, with a return boat ride – including lunch – down the Chao Phraya river to Bangkok.

Founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour. (This is a short summary from the Unesco World Heritage site: if you want to know more, Google it!)

Our tour probably included some explanations and descriptions but it was far too hot and sticky to stand in one place.  When I have a camera in my hand, my attention span for long descriptions disappears.  So I have no idea where I was on the site when I took the photos, and therefore don’t know which Wat is which.

Here are two views of the same set of towers, from two different angles.

Ayutthaya-1

Not Ozymandias.

 

 

Ayutthaya-1-4

 

And here are some details from one of the temples.

Ayutthaya-1-6

 

Ayutthaya-1-5

For another take on Ayutthaya, check out Notes from Camelid Country who is also showcasing a trip to Thailand in recent posts.

I’ll have some more photos from Ayutthaya in the next post, followed by more of this day trip and more of Thailand.

Architecture in B+W

Buddhist Shrine, Chiang Mai, Thailand - November 2012

Buddhist Shrine, Chiang Mai, Thailand – November 2012

This is the last of five consecutive posts (well, six, if you count the one on Scale) of Black and White photos in response to a challenge by Ben Rowe of Aperture64.

With this, I am challenging these five bloggers to each post five days of black and white photos.

Felicia Noordman – she who also shoots with a Pentax K20D.

Nooortje Russell of Russels Lof who often makes me laugh even though I can’t read Dutch.

Janet Rimmington at Rose Bay Letters who lives in a neighbouring province in Canada.

Jim Holroyd of Tbilisi who sometimes posts in Black and White.

Avard Woolaver who lives closer to me than any other photographer blogger whom I follow and who often posts photos that look to be black and white, but aren’t.

Remember, no pressure, you do not need to take up the challenge; in fact you may already have been challenged by someone else. I will understand if you do not, but I would love to see what you might come up with.

Buddhist Macau

Macau 2013

Not far from the Christian centre of Macau was this charming neighbourhood Buddhist temple.

You could buy incense to burn ranging from tiny sparkler-sized to huge cones.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

The star attraction however was a special bowl. If you rubbed your hands firmly on the handles the water in the bowl would seem to boil. These two photos feature some of my traveling companions and one very amazed other lady.

Macau 2013

Macau 2013

I rather preferred the little shrine between the sidewalk and the busy road which I hadn’t noticed when we arrived.

Macau 2013

Next Chinese post: Las Vegas of the Orient

Guangzhou Art

Koi - art made with silk embroidery.

Koi – art made with silk embroidery.

One room of the Chen Ancestral Temple held beautiful examples of painting with silk thread.
Another room held these beautiful blue stone sculptures:

Ancestral urns?

Ancestral urns?

There were rooms of artifacts related to scholars; during the more recent dynasties, rich Chinese were often scholars.

This describes the next photo.

This describes the next photo.

A giant's inkstone with beautiful carving

A giant’s inkstone with beautiful carving

This describes the next photo.

This describes the next photo.

A scholar's study.

A scholar’s study.

This scholar would not have been able to see out his window, but would instead have been inspired by beautiful classic scenes.

A window screen in the scholar's room.

A window screen in the scholar’s room.

These look like roses. China teas?

These look like roses. China teas?

Beautiful glass work of ducks on a pond in front of a mountain.

Beautiful glass work of ducks on a pond in front of a mountain.