Category Archives: Nonthaburi

Wat Boromracha Kanchanapisek Anusorn

Undoubtedly the most spectacular Chinese temple I have seen in Thailand is Wat Boromracha Kanchanapisek Anusorn in Nonthaburi Province just north-west of Bangkok. I would say it also rivals anything I saw even in China during my three month trip around the country. Parts of the temple reminded me of the Forbidden Palace. This temple, in Bang Bua Thong District, took over ten years to construct and cost hundreds of millions of baht. It was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the King’s reign. And it certainly lived up to its promise.

The temple is a photographer’s paradise with so much detail in the engravings on the walls, floors and ceilings. I was there for over two hours and could easily have spent longer. I will be going back for sure and I reckon that I will find things that I didn’t spot during my first visit. You really have to keep looking all around you as there is so much to see. I was there early in the morning when the sun was behind the main building. The entrance faces south-west and I reckon if I go next time at the end of the day, I should have some good colours from the sunset. At the weekend, the temple closes at 6 p.m.

It is quite a large complex with various interconnected buildings with three or four levels. Make sure that you explore everywhere so that you don’t miss any of the highlights. For me I think it was this room which had at least 12,000 little Buddha images covering all of the walls. There could be more but I lost count after a while. The advantage I found in going early (I arrived before 9 a.m.) was that it was easy for me to park and there weren’t people blocking my photographs. By the time I left, shortly before noon, there were literally thousands of people there and no more parking spaces. People had to park on the street outside. However, despite the crowds, I didn’t see any other foreigners there at all.

The main hall contains three very large Buddha statues made of brass and weighing 18 tonnes each. When I was there, there were several dozen novices and monks who were taking part in a ceremony. I should have taken along my sound recorder as the sound was mesmerizing and so different to chanting at Thai Buddhist temples. On each side of this building there were statues of 18 Buddhist saints. On the walls were large wood carvings. On the third floor is the Goddess of Mercy which was carved with Burmese teakwood (see picture above).

The fourth floor is the Meun Buddhasukkhavadi Buddhakset Hall with the thousands of small Buddha images. There was a great breeze from the hallways outside this room. Make sure you take a close look at the roof tiles as you will spot little monk images and mystical animals on the roof ridges. From here I went down several floors where they were doing another ceremony for the Vegetarian Festival. They were also preparing krathongs for the Loy Krathong Jay ceremony which they did later this afternoon. To enter this area you need to wear white clothing which luckily I was. However, you won’t miss much if you don’t want to dress in white. However, if you go there during the “gin jay” festival, then you will be able to have free vegetarian food for lunch.

I drove to Wat Boromracha Kanchanapisek Anusorn this morning. From Samut Prakan it was quite simple. It only took about 40 minutes driving along the Outer Ring-Road. I turned off for Bang Bua Thong and just followed the sign for the temple which was also in English. I understand you can catch bus 177 from Victory Monument which can take up to two hours. When I drove back it only took 30 minutes to reach Sanam Luang via the Phra Pinklao Bridge. So, if you don’t have your own transport then I would suggest you go by taxi.

Exhibition at Meungthong Thani

December is the best month for the year. Why? Because within this month, it has many public holiday for Thai people such as Father’s Day on December 5, Constitutional Day on December 10, Christmas day and New Year season. We took the chance of having long weekend to travel and relax.

On last weekend we went to see the Motor Expo at Muengthong Thani, which will held on every December. My husband told me that this motor show seems to be somewhat small exhibition when compare with Motor Show in Frankfurt. The reason is the space of the exhibition is approximately 4 halls while the international Motor show will be larger than this. I think Motor show in Thailand focuses on selling vehicles so it is quite good for people who want to buy new cars and for whoever likes to see “Pretty” – pretty girls who promote the products and often wear sexy outfit (I often hear Thai men talk about why they want to go to motor show – to see both of car and girls). It will be disappointed for other who wants to see the new technology in vehicles’ world. Overall, you can have a chance to experience the new model of vehicles from various brands within one day.

Herewith some photos of vehicles in the motor show expo 2005:

Mitsubishi Triton – Newest launch of mitsubishi pick-up car which cost approximately 800 thousand baht. Unfortunately, the elegant orange Triton is only a model.
If you have a chance to look at Triton closer, you may imagine the light as if the two-sad eyes of Triton.

We walked out from the air-condition hall and stepped into the open-air exhibition of vehicle sound. We found a batman car. Look at those doors! Do you agree with us that they look like bat wings?

batman car

Well, this is an creation and invention of Thai. I do not know the name of the shop who creates this car. It is good to have a look at it as if you are watching “Pimp My Ride” on MTV.

However, this trip is not useless because we went to see other exhibition, that is “Made in Thailand” where you can find many products that made in Thailand. I intent to look for a present to give to my senior co-worker but I did not get one for her. This exhibition was very crowded particularly the food booth, which put the emphasis on one significant of Thai’s habit, “eating” habit. Why? The significant evidence of my premise is you can find food or restaurants in every place (almost 24 hours). Moreover, Thai people love free sample so wherever providing the free sample, it always be crowded.

What is the benefit of going to the exhibition? It will collect many shops and products under the theme of exhibition (same as one-stop service) and it is very worthy for us because we won’t have to go to various places to find those products.

The upcoming exhibition is “OTOP” where you can find many Thai things here. What is “OTOP”? It stands for “one Tambol one product”, Tambol means sub-district. It is the campaign created from our Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawattra to support Thai product. It is quite good because it encourages people who live in urban or upcountry to create their product for commerce. What you can get from this exhibition? Absolutely sure, you will have a chance to taste many free sample of Thai food, touch and experience Thai products for the whole country (from north to south and from east to west of Thailand).

If you consider going to “OTOP” exhibition at Meungthong Thani, please prepare your budget well because there are many interesting products to buy. The exhibition starts from December 17, 2005 onward.

Koh Kret Tour

This is my pleasure to have the opportunity to be as a guest writer in this blog. Herewith something about me, I married with my German husband since August 2005. We agree to land our new family in the land of thousand smiles because my husband loves Thailand.

On last Saturday, we went to the river island namely “Koh Kret” where locates in Nontaburi province. Koh Kret is very famous in handmade pottery and you can see how they make it in real. We arrived at the pier about 6.00 pm and we had to hire the long-tailed boat for sightseeing and it costs 400 bath per trip. Actually, I noticed on the blackboard, which places in the front of the pier, it lists the price of sightseeing boat and the cost is only 350 baht per trip. Maybe the cost is higher when it comes dark because the driver has to be more careful in controlling the long-tailed boat because there is no electric light on the river. The boat is very rapid and makes us feel very exciting when the boat hits the wave. We cannot see the scenery of shores because of the darkness. I told my husband that along the shores represent the way of living of traditional Thai people that living along the river sides and traveling via boat. I like this kind of living, it is simplicity and there is not much pollution unlike in the big city. If we traveled in the morning, we would have seen those beautiful sceneries and people along the river sides. Four hundred baht is reasonable price for travelers like us, it would be cheaper if you accompany with more friends in order to share the cost of the tourist boat.

Around Koh Kret, you can find many coffee shops provide coffee and tea that fill in the clay pot, just pay 25 baht and you will have the coffee clay jar back home with you. Our first visit is the only one coffee shop that was opened at that time. Many shops were closed even it was only 6.00 pm but the darkness covered the village. We ordered ice coffee and we had to select the clay jar. There are many figures and shapes of the clay jars and it is hard to choose because they are all look beautiful in our eyes. Finally, we can select one and got our ice coffee. Our chubby guide leaded us to the earthenware factory where provides various types of pottery and demonstration how to make the pottery to travelers. The opening time is 8.00 am – 5.00 pm. it means we had no opportunity to see the demonstration but we can buy the pottery. Actually, the earthenware factory here is only a wooden house with larger area, in other words we call it as family factory. We explored around the factory and bought 2 dark bowls with chopsticks. The bowl provides 2 holes for inserting and placing the chopsticks, it costs 40 baht per set – one bowl with one set of wooden chopsticks. We intend to use this bowl when we eat instant noodles. We also bought 1 little carving earthen jar in order to place the fragrant cone incense and the fragrant fume will pass through the sculpture’s hole. Only 35 baht and you can have the magnificent carving earthen jar at home.

Moreover, we bought 1 set of earthenware for grilling pork on the clay pan and 1 set of earthenware for making Thai dessert called “Khanom Krok”. It seems not difficult to make “Khanom Krok”, the combination of coconut milk and rice flour cooking on the hot clay pan. But it is not that easy as you think, I tried to make it at home on last Sunday and I failed. It is not only putting the set of clay pan on the water for one night in order to preventing the pan from cracking but you also have to stir the smashed coconut for getting the coconut oil on it. Making “Khanom Krok” is the famous playing for Thai girls (in the past) including me who ever played like that when I was a little girl. The point is I have never prepared ingredients and the clay pan by myself but my aunt did it for me, I had only use a stainless spoon for take the “Khanom Krok” out of the pan. Do you know the source of making “Khanom Krok” at home with your family? I have just realized that it supports the family in terms of sharing, helping each others and make us closer. I think it seems like making cookie with parents in western culture.

I recommend that we should buy “Khanom Krok” because it is not easy to make it as I mentioned above, so just buy it only 10 baht per one vessel. Normally, you can find “Khanom Krok” in the morning near fresh market. In the past time, “Khanom Krok” placed on a vessel made of banana leaves stitched into square or pentagon shape by bamboo sticks. It smells very good when the hot “Khanom Krok” places on the banana leaves. Accordingly, traditional Thai people used to eat food on the leaves such as banana and lotus, which are very easy to find those leaves and wrap the food.

Let’s get back to our trip, we went to Thai Dessert House and bought some souvenirs – Thai Dessert. During the day, they will demonstrate how to make Thai dessert and you could enjoy it. Perhaps you can ask for a chance to do it by your own. Thai dessert is neat and beautiful particularly the name of dessert is somewhat good name.

The end of our trip was feeding fish in front of the temple, which we do not know the name of the temple. Buy one bucket of dried sliced bread (I assume that the bread is expired) and start to feed the fish. Throwing one piece of sliced bread and waiting for a minute and then large school of fish appears. We enjoy this trip so much and we will come back here again but in the morning time so that we can see the magnificent scenery along the riverside.

A Trip to Koh Kret

A long-tailed boat

Just close your eyes and pray!

A few days back I was telling you about my recent trip upriver from Bangkok to Nonthaburi Province by public boat. My intention was not to just view the scenery but also to make my way up to an island called Koh Kret. I had heard about this place for several years now and wanted to go and visit for myself. It sounded mysterious. An island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River? How could that be? I tried to do some research but most of my guidebooks barely gave the place more than a paragraph worth of coverage. As I was in Bangkok I was tempted to join a tour. I don’t normally like doing that kind of thing as I prefer to go my own pace. But, sometimes it is beneficial as they can not only save you time and money but they will also take you directly to the places of interest. However, the two companies that were running tours seemed to run only at the weekend. We were in Bangkok on a week day. So, we decided we would make our own way up there.

The first part of our trip was from Bangkok to Nonthaburi on a public express boat. This lasted about 80 minutes but cost only 13 baht each. The tour companies were charging 250–300 baht per person. So far so good. When we arrived at the end of the line we knew from our map that we still had another 20 minutes to go. The conductor on the boat suggested we should take a mini van to Pakred Market and from there a local ferry boat across the river to Koh Kret. The van was advertised as 10 baht and the ferry probably would have been only a few baht.

Wat Paramaiyikawas

Wat Paramaiyikawas on Koh Kret

While we were deciding we were approached by a long-tailed boat driver. (The boat has a long tail and not the driver!) He showed us a leaflet detailing the places he would take us on a tour of Koh Kret. He pointed out all the stops on the map and said that the trip would last about three hours in total. The price? For a minimum of eight people the leaflet said it would cost 100 baht each. As there were only two of us, he said he would do it for only 600 baht. Basically the same price as the group tour though we would have our own driver. We told him that we felt it was a bit expensive and asked for 500 baht. He said he couldn’t.

After a little contemplation we decided we would hire his boat. Like I said before, I hadn’t been able to do much research so to be honest I didn’t really know what there was to see, let alone how to get to each place! Koh Kret wasn’t supposed to be a big island. In fact you could walk around it in about 2 hours or so. There were no roads on the island, just narrow paths. The only means of transport are the motorcycle taxis. Great if you know where to ask to go on the island.

Actually, Koh Kret isn’t really a proper island. A canal was built back in 1722 in order to bypass a large bend in the river. The king at that time was trying to save on sailing time for ships heading up to the then capital in Ayutthaya. The tide soon changed direction and the little canal became a raging river. The Mon villagers, who live there now, are very isolated, and up to now, their unique lifestyle has remained intact. The Mon people are famous for their potteries and Thai desserts.

Wat Phai Lom

Wat Phai Lom on Koh Kret

Our first stop was at Wat Paramaiyikawas. This could be found at the top right-hand corner of the island. A prominent feature is the stupa that is leaning out towards the river. The temple was built in Mon style about 200 years ago. Inside we found a large Reclining Buddha. In the temple grounds there is also a museum though unfortunately it only opens in the afternoon.  From here we walked along the northern side of the island a short distance to another temple. This one was called Wat Phai Lom and was built in 1770. Like the previous temple, this was also done in Mon style and was stunningly beautiful. After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, King Taksin gave permission for the Mon people to live here as a reward for fighting bravely against the Burmese. As you can see from these pictures, the style of temples are very different to the standard Thai temple.


Our boat driver told us that we should keep walking along the path to a pottery village. He told us that he would meet us a short way down. Looking around, you could see how commercial this place had become. It was all geared up for the tourists that come at the weekend. On weekdays the place is very quiet and many shops were closed. But, we did manage to see some potters at work. With hardly anyone around it did look authentic but I guess if you came at the weekend you would see that the whole place has been set up for the tourists.

As we walked back to the boat to continue our journey around the island, I couldn’t help but make comparisons between this place and another Mon community in Phra Phradaeng that had also been isolated inside a loop in the river. I have written several times before about Bangkrachao and the other communities in the loop. Despite being so close to Bangkok they still continue to live their very unique lifestyles. However, their “island” is big enough not to be so affected by tourism. You do see Bike tours there but there are many roads and local people cannot really take advantage of these passing tourists. However, on Koh Kret, there is basically only one track and so it was starting to look like that every house had set up some kind of shop.

Edible Flowers

A local speciality – deepfried flowers!

Back on the boat we continued our trip around the island. The driver was actually quite good as every time he saw me raise my camera to my eye he would slow down. He had obviously done this before. A short while later he took us to a shop to watch a demonstration of how to make traditional Thai desserts. This was a bit touristy and reminded me of those tours where they stopped at factories on the way back for you to see “free demonstrations” before being herded through the shop. I didn’t mind so much as we didn’t have to buy anything. After this he took us to another temple where people were feeding hundreds of giant fish in the river.

Just over three hours later we finally made it back to our starting point in Nonthaburi. It had been a good boat trip. I am not sure if we had got our money’s worth but it had indeed been a good and easy introduction to the lifestyle of the Mon people. I am pretty sure I will come here again. Maybe not this year though, as it was quite an effort to get here. But, if I go again, I would take public transport all the way. I would then take the time to walk around the island on foot in order to better appreciate what it has to offer.

If you are planning on going yourself, I would suggest you go by public transport which shouldn’t cost you more than 50 baht there and back. If your time is limited you don’t need to explore the whole island. Just visit some of the places along the northern edge.

More information and pictures at >>>

(On the next page I have put a map of the island to help you…)