The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The most well known attraction in Kanchanaburi is the so-called Bridge on the River Kwai. This became world famous due to the book and movie of the same name. Though, strictly speaking, it should be the Bridge over the River Kwae Yai. The bridge and tracks are part of the infamous Death Railway built by Allied prisoners and Asian labourers during the Second World War. An estimated 100,000 of them died during construction. The 415 kilometer long railway line was built to connect Thailand with Burma. The bridge was bombed by the Allied Forces towards the end of the war. The only original part of the bridge are the arched sections. The River Kwai Bridge Festival takes place every year at the end of November and early December.

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Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho (วัดโพธิ์) is situated behind the Grand Palace, near the Tha Tien Pier in Bangkok. It is a large temple that was built during the Ayutthaya Period. King Rama I ordered its complete restoration in 1789 and installed many Buddha images that were removed from abandoned temples in other parts of the country. King Rama III ordered another major renovation of the temple to make it a center of learning and art. The temple is famous for the 46 meter long Reclining Buddha.

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Mass Alms Round in Samut Prakan

Mass Alms Round in Samut Prakan

Early on Sunday morning, thousands of lay people from Samut Prakan and the surrounding provinces, came together to give alms to an estimated 11,111 monks. The event took place in Paknam between the Samut Prakan Provincial Hall and the market. After chanting and a sermon, the monks then started to file down the red carpet. The lay people then started offering food to the monks at the same time. The majority of alms offered were dried food as well as personal necessities. All of the donated food will be sent to 286 temples in the deep south of Thailand.

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Lad Chado Riverside Market

Lad Chado Riverside Market

Lad Chado Market in Phak Hai district of Ayutthaya, is an old market that has been revived over recent years. The local community and canal are named after the Great Snakehead fish (Pla Chado) which used to be abundant in the canal many years ago. Like many old riverside markets around Thailand, this used to be very lively and also the center of the community. However, with the building of roads, the importance of Lad Chado market declined. However, about five years ago, the local authority helped revive this 100 year old market. At the start of Buddhist Lent every year, hundreds of locals take part in a boat procession to the market.

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Queen Suriyothai Monument

Queen Suriyothai Monument

Queen Suriyothai was a royal consort during the 16th century Ayutthaya period. She is famous for having given up her life in order to save her husband, King Maha Chakkraphat in a battle during the Burmese-Siamese War of 1548. This patriotic monument, unveiled in 1995, is situated about six kilometres northwest of Ayutthaya Historical Park. The focus is the giant statue of a war elephant with King Maha Chakkraphat on its back. He is guarded by four Siamese soldiers. The monument is in the middle of a lake which is a popular recreational site at the weekend for Thai families. During the week you will probably have the place to yourself.

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Baan Teelanka, The Upside Down House

The Upside Down House

The latest tourist attraction in Phuket has literally turned itself on its head in order to attract attention. It is called Baan Teelanka which translates as the Upside Down House. As soon as you arrive and walk past the upside down car and upside down garbage bin you know that you are in for an unusual adventure. And it’s not only the garden that is in reverse order. The house itself is fully furnished and everything that should be on the floor is now fixed to the ceiling. Taking pictures in the house can prove to be fun but you need to think about the shots first. Any picture that you take needs to be flipped around so that you are upside down. But the furniture in the house will then be the right way up. A lot of fun.

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Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

One of the most visited historical site of Ayutthaya, Wat Chaiwattanaram rests on the bank of the Chao Phraya river, to the west of the city island. The temple was ordered to built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong to honor his mother, featuring the architectural style influenced by Angkor temple in Cambodia—its unique feature is a large, central prang (Khmer-style pagoda) surrounded by smaller prangs, symbolizing Mount Sumeru, the gods’ mountain according to Hindu belief. The lighting at night makes the temple even more exotic and beautiful.

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Paknam Observation Tower

Paknam Observation Tower

This is the Paknam Observation Tower (หอชมเมืองสมุทรปราการ) in Samut Prakan. They say that the 179.55 meter high observation tower will be completed within two years. The tower will contain educational facilities for children and local people that will include a library and museum. There will also be a viewing platform at the top.

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Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

The most iconic temple building in Ayutthaya is Wat Phra Si Sanphet (วัดพระศรีสรรเพชญ์). It was built in 1491 and was the only temple located inside the compound of the Grand Palace. Like The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, this temple too didn’t have any resident monks. During the height of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, this was the largest temple in the city. Ashes of some Ayutthaya kings were stored here. It was damaged and left abandoned after the collapse of Ayutthaya in 1767 but the remaining structures still help us picture the temple in its former condition.

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Royal Elephant Kraal Pavilion

Royal Elephant Kraal

Situated in the north of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the Royal Elephant Kraal Pavilion was used as a royal seat for the monarchs to witness the elephant round-up. Elephants were the essential animals for wars and transports in the past, and there were often a round-up ritual gathering wild elephants to be trained for wars and transportation. No longer carried on, the last time the round-up took place was in 1890 to welcome Nicholas II of Russia during his visit to Siam.

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