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My friend Henk Landkroon, from Groningen in the Netherlands, has an excellent photoblog: STORMBLAST1953

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cha Am August 2019

Strange weather this month with a combination of sunny skies, overcast and the occasional heavy rain.

Water feature at Amazon Cafe, PTT filling station, Wang Noi

Huge clean restroom at the Porto Go, Tha Chin rest stop in Samut Sakhon

BaBa Beach Club high rise hotel building. So happy to see that it will not block the view from the Aquamarine Sky Lounge

Busy breakfast on the beach in Cha Am.

Shell Station under construction at the entrance of Thew Talay Estate. There will be a railroad themed restaurant.

Canopy being built over the fuel pump area.

Lao food at the Bluport Mall in Hua Hin.

Jit Pochana restaurant very close to Thew Talay.

Sometimes you need a burger.

Every trip to Cha Am deserves at lease one Sunrise photo.

Cycling To Wat Na Kwang Cave

Balast piled up for Thailand's dual track project.

"Please Don't Feed The Monkeys"

This, and other such warning signs, are routinely ignored. Just as I passed a band of Macaques someone threw a bunch of watermelon rind out of a car. Quickly devoured.

Up To The Na Kwang Reclining Buddha Cave

Inside the cave. The reclining Buddha is in front of the entrance to the rest of the cave complex. 

Statues of revered monks.

This image is of a ฤาษี (Rishi), a Vedic (old Sanskrit) term referring to an enlightened person or sage.

The reclining Buddha is in the U Thong style and probably dates from the 13th-15th century. 

Another view of the reclining Buddha

View of the cave from the reclining Buddha platform

I think this Buddha image is in the ปางปาลิไลยก์ (Retreat to LiLai Forest) gesture. Unfortunately, the bottom part of the image is either missing or wasn't made. This is the Buddha gesture for people born Wednesday evening. (Wednesday is the only day with two different Buddha gestures.)

The front of the cave is now blocked by this ugly fence and gate. Fortunately, it was unlocked when I was there and no one was around.

Buddha image just outside the cave.

On the way back I stopped at this deteriorating structure is called "Tham Khao Nang Nuan Dharma Practice Place" on Google maps. It is overrun with dogs and Macaques. A fortune teller works inside. He has a sling shot which he uses to fend off the monkeys.

Looks like it was once an interesting spot. Just a mess now.

I also stopped at Wat Nikhom Wachiraram to have a look at the old Chinese cemetery. I visit several years ago and the place was a mess with empty sarcophagus lying around and junk everywhere. It has now been cleaned up. 

Old brick tomb or chedi. Most are concrete. No idea how old this is.

Grave marker. Most Chinese are buried in tombs. No idea about this.

Chinese tomb that seems to have been stripped of all its decoration.

Most Chinese tombs look like this.

These chedi probably hold the ashes of non-Chinese Thais.

Cha Am South Beach - Low Tide, Low Season

A band of Macaques has taken up residence at the Cha Am Little Shop Resort and Restaurant

Cha Am Little Shop - Low Season

Friday, July 26, 2019

Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi and Cha Am

Ayutthaya, Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi and Cha Am

This was a busy trip as Mam had lots of work to do on the way down and back and in Cha Am

First stop was Ayutthaya where I wandered around some of the fantastic ruins. This is Wat Phra Ram.

Fern growing out of a brick foundation.

Almost all of the Buddha images are missing heads and other parts.

Wat Langkhadum

Wat Nok

Coffee Break at Coffee Old City

Wat Khun Muang Jai
AKA วัดกล้วย (Wat Banana)

Wat Khun Muang Jai

Wat Khun Muang Jai

Wat Khun Muang Jai

Wat Khun Muang Jai

Lunch at Malakor Café and Restaurant (ร้านมะละกอ)

For some time now I've wanted to visit Wat Mahathat Worawihan in Ratchaburi. We were driving by, so took some time to look around. This Buddhist temple was originally constructed during the Dvaravati period around the 11th century. It was later modified by the Khmer during the reign of Jayavaraman in the late 11th century. At that time the laterite wall (shown above) was built. 

All along the top of the wall are these sandstone Buddha images. They are somewhat crude but all in the same style. I wanted to see these to compare them with similar images I've seen at Wat Kham Talay Soh in Korat. 

These are at Wat Kham Talay Soh in Korat. No longer on top of a wall, they are now on the alter of a recently preserved ubosot. I'm sure that at one time these sandstone carvings were on top of a large laterite wall surrounding an ancient Dvaravati temple at Wat Kham Talay Soh. Although not much is left at Wat Kham Talay Soh, there is a pice of what was probably a two meter long sandstone lintel which must have been above the doorway of a very large building. No one is studying this place, so I guess we'll never know.

Current Buddhist Temple at Wat Mahathat

 Khmer prang (tower) at Wat Mahathat. This prang has many Hindu images including Siva, Garuda and Indra.

Buddha images at Wat Mahathat, Ratchaburi

Mam pours hot wax into a mold to make a candle.

Lunch at our favorite seafood spot: Kruea Pa Maew

Every afternoon a few laps in the pool and then relax time.

Bang Kwai, also known as Sai Yoi, is a fishing village south of Cha Am. For some reason, this is my favorite boat. Never seen it in the water.

A big service station is being built near the entrance to our condo. It will have a Shell station, Lawson minimart, restaurant and lots of shops.

Future restaurant.

I often have morning coffee at Raya Coffee, part of Raya Resort.

Cha Am Little Shop and Resort - A great place for lunch. Note the crowds.

Cha Am Little Shop and Resort

Horse Claim Raising Bridge at Cha Am Fishing Harbor

On my weekly long bicycle ride at the giant custard apple north of Cha Am

Wat Thung Setthi - A Dvaravati period (11th century?) chedi. There was once a modern wat here which encroached on the ancient site, so was removed. Some bits remain.

Typical limestone karst topography at Khao Nang Phanturat Forest Park

Macaques on the road

Rice almost ready for harvest

New coffee spot in Cha Am at the beach end of Soi Bus Stop. Nice place, beautifully appointed, decent coffee. I think the name is just Cha Am Coffee. 

Sunrise on the beach

Sunrise umbrellas at Thew Talay Estate

Looking north. Khao Yai (Big Montain) on the left. Cha Am condos on the right. The lights are on Patchakasem Highway.

Lunch at Jot Potchana, Cha Am branch

Another beach sunrise. They just keep on coming.

Phra Nakhon Khiri (Khao Wang)

Mam had to go into Petchaburi for some work. So, I decided to climb up to Phra Nakhon Khiri (Khao Wang) which is a limestone hill in town which has a castle (summer palace), museum and several Buddhist monuments. The complex was ordered built by King Rama IV (Mongkut) in the 1850s.

This is a rest stop on the way up the hill. Interesting architecture and not very Thai.

I had visited the palace and museum on a previous visit so decided to visit the Buddhist chedis which I hadn't seen.

Palace and museum in the distance.

The well-known Red Chedi

Buddha Image inside the Red Chedi

View from Wat Phra Kaeo Noi, which is a replica of the emerald Buddha temple in Bangkok

Panorama from Wat Phra Kaeo Noi

On the way back to Cha Am we stopped for lunch at The Army Sanitarium at Chaosamran Beach. This is actually sort of a military retreat that is open to the public. The lunch was good and huge.

Beach at the Army Sanitarium

The restaurant is called ครัวจอมพล - Field Marshall's Kitchen

We also took a detour to look at Nong Chok village, to which I cycled from Cha Am last month. This is on of many old wooden buildings in town.

On the way back to Korat we stopped at the Mega Bangna Mall. We had lunch at Viet Cuisine. Always good food.

And, this is the huge Amazon Cafe at the PTT Life Station in Wang Noi.