For legal services in Thailand, contact: Korat-Legal


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

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Cha Am July

Yet Again, To The Condo

Never get tired of this view. The mountain on the left is Khao Yai. Ocean off to the right.

Beach chairs and umbrellas are not allowed on the beach on Wednesdays. On this Wednesday there were hardly any visitors anyway.

No trouble finding a table for breakfast on the beach.

Sunrise from the Sky Lounge at Aquamarine, Thew Talay World

This is the small fishing boat harbor near Wat Sai Yoi, south of Cha Am

This woman took advantage of a very low tide to pry oysters from the jetty rocks

The beach at Cha Am Little Shop. A favorite spot for lunch.

The infinity pool and beach at Aquamarine.

On the weekends Thew Talay has a night market at Hua Hin One, the Shell station at the entrance to Thew Talay World.

Lots of food vendors.

Khao Yai

Things got busy on the long holiday weekend.

South Cha Am. Not yet overrun by visitors.

Breakfast on the beach.

On the way back to Korat we stopped in Pak Chong to buy avocados and grapes.

Wat Khao Krachiu

The ordination hall (ubosot) of this temple is visible from Patchakasem Highway at Tha Yang, about 25 kilometers north of Cha Am. I'd wanted to visit for a long time, but hadn't made the effort until I read that the temple museum contained some interesting artifacts from a nearby archaeological site. So, I decided to to ride my bicycle there one early morning. I dislike cycling on highways, so I picked a route that traverses the coastal plane east of the highway.

In the distance is "Jurassic Mountain", the base of which has a fishing resort by the same name. It's a wonder that a road in the middle of nowhere is so nicely paved and with street lights yet. 

Only one of the roads on my route was unpaved. This one was still in excellent shape.

These are Asian Openbill Storks. They used to be kind of rare and skittish. Now they are very common and not at all afraid of humans. Their beaks are open in the middle to help them harvest and eat the snails that are their main food source.

Old farm carts at Wat Chai Na on the way.

Shrine at Wat Chai Na

There's my destination. The wat is on the other (north) side of the limestone outcrop.

This ordination hall (ubosot) is the structure visible from the highway. It was locked.

After viewing the ubosot I decided to look for the museum and find a path up to the chedi which is further up the hill. The only person I saw in the two hours I was at the wat was some guy washing his car. Of course, why else visit the wat on a Friday morning? Anyway he directed me to the stairway which leads to the chedi. I knew the numerous Macaques would steal anything I left behind, so I packed everything in to my bike bag. As I was leaving the car washing guy pointed to my water bottle which was still on my bike. I grabbed it and said "ลิงขโมย" (monkeys steal) over which we had a good laugh.

There are at least two caves along the steps up to the chedi. This one had about a dozen interesting Buddha images.

This reclining Buddha has no natural light. This taken without a flash.

This taken with a flash.

View from the steps to the chedi, looking north.

Just to prove I made it.

This Buddha image is outside the chedi.

Looking down the steps. Steep, long and uneven, but well worth the effort.

Nice forest along the way.

The museum I came to see was locked up tight with no indication when, if ever, it will be open. There was no one to ask. Aside from the guy washing his car, I saw no one. No monks. No visitors.

No idea what this is. My guess is Rattanakosin period, but that's a huge stretch. It has Garudas and a clock, so it's certainly not ancient.

Huge Chinese influence in this area. The wat grounds contain hundreds of burial stupas like this. Many are brightly painted, like this one.

Chinese style burial tomb. Also brightly painted. Note the image of Hotei (Budai or พระสังขจาย Pra Sangkachai) above the tomb.

Was it worth the 67K (41 mile) round trip? Yeah, the countryside in that part of the coastal plain is beautiful; full of banana and other fruit plantations, rice fields and lots of small dairy farms. The roads are good and there's almost no traffic. Makes you wonder why anyone would ever bother to cycle on the highway.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Wat Nam Cha (วัดนํ้าฉ่า) Kham Talay So, Nakhornratchasima

I last visited this wat five or six years ago. It has a small but interesting collection of Khmer era artifacts. I was interested to see if they were still around. So, I cycled there from home.

The wat is in the village of the same name and is reachable from Highway 2068 via a small paved road which closely follows the Lam Takhong River

These two rather unique Buddha (?) images are located under a Bodhi Tree opposite an old Ubosot (ordination hall) which houses the antiquities.

This leaf shaped Sema Stone would have been used to mark the boundaries of an Ubosot.

This Khmer-era Yoni and Lingam probably date to about the 11th century.

This carved hunk of sandstone is what is left of a rather large lintel which would have been over the entrance of a large building.

This detail is of the figure on the right edge of the lintel which probably would have been at the center originally. It shows the Hindu deity, known as หน้ากาล, in Thai and as Kirtimukha or Kala in English. The inset shows a less eroded image. This deity is a common ornamental motif often found in Khmer temple art.

I'm not sure who this represents. It might be Shiva or maybe even Vishnu. It sits atop a Yoni

This Buddha image sits atop a Yoni.

This is the inside of the old Ubosot in which most of the Khmer artifacts pictured here are located. 

These Buddha images might be quite old. I'm not expert, but the style including the attached earlobes make me think that they are not recent.

Part of the ceiling of the ubosot is beautifully painted.

Detail of ubosot ceiling

Buddha images inside of ubosot.

A Rishi (ฤษี or ฤๅษี in Thai) is a hermit sage or recluse. In the Vedic traction a Rishi is an accomplished or enlightened person

This could be Brahma or Vishnu. Trouble is, in his right hands he is holding objects normally held by Vishnu: a discus and a mace. But in his left hands he is holding objects normally held by Brahma: the Vedic texts and a scepter. 

This is Jayavarman VII who was King of the Khmer empire from about 1181 to 1218. During his reign he improved the "Khmer Highway" (from Angkor Wat to Prasat Hin Phimai in Korat) by building a series of rest houses along the route.

The exterior of the old Ubosot at Wat Nam Cha

I was kind of curious about the name Nam Cha (นํ้าฉ่า) which could be translated into English as "sizzling water". The word cha is onomatopoeic, so I was searching for something that made noise. It certainly wasn't the river in the vicinity of the wat. 

However, upstream several hundred meters is this dam built to collect water for the municipal supply. They river falls about a meter here. I suspect there may at one time been some mild rapids here, now replace by the dam. That might have been the source of the sizzle.