Government House

Government House

The Government House (ทำเนียบรัฐบาล) is the offices of  the Prime Minister of Thailand and the cabinet ministers. It also contains conference rooms and is used for state functions and receptions of foreign guests. It was designed by Italian architects with building work commencing in 1923. Other buildings date back to the 1940′s. The main building carries a golden dome housing a statue of Phra Phrom (Brahma) and its façade resembles that of the Ca’ d’Oro Palazzo in Venice.

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The White Temple

 The White Temple

One of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, done in a modern contemporary style, is undoubtedly Wat Rong Khun. This temple, which is in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand, is more well-known among foreigners as The White Temple. The temple is located in Ban Rong Khun, about 13 kilometres south-west of Chiang Rai city along Phahonyothin Road. It is the brainchild of Thai artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat who started building it back in 1998.

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Statue of Luang Pu Thuat

statue of Luang Pu Thuat

A famous pilgrimage site in Hua Hin is the statue for Luang Pu Thuat (หลวงปู่ทวด) at Wat Huay Mongkol. Luang Phu Thuat was born in 1582 and is said to have performed miracles. Amulets created in his image are said to have great protective powers and will protect you from things like car accidents. Older amulets are sold for high prices. The statue in Hua Hin is the largest in Thailand.

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Standing Buddha at Khao Takiab Beach

Standing Buddha at Khao Takiab Beach

If you are visiting Hua Hin, it’s worth driving south just a little way to Khao Takiab Beach. At the southern end there is a rocky hill with a temple at the top. It’s well-known for the monkeys that roam around the temple grounds. At the foot of the hill, facing out to sea, is this 19 meter high Standing Buddha. It has been photographed many times from the beach by tourists, but I bet you have never seen it from this angle.

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Wat Phai Rong Wua

Wat Phai Rong Rua

Wat Phai Rong Wua (วัดไผ่โรงวัว) in Suphanburi has been described as a kind of Buddhist version of Disneyland without the rides. As well as literally hundreds of Buddha images in all shapes and sizes, there is also an extensive Buddhist Hell Garden where you can see what will happen to you if you commit certain sins. For Buddhists, the temple grounds is also where they can visit replicas of all of the places that mark important periods in the Buddha’s life such as his place of birth, enlightenment, the first sermon and his passing into nirvana. The giant seated Buddha is believed to be one of the biggest cement Buddha’s in the world.

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Dragon Descendants Museum

Giant Dragon

One of the latest major tourist attractions to open in Thailand is the Dragon Descendants Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์ลูกหลานพันธุ์มังกร) in Suphanburi Province. Like the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan that is shaped like a three-headed elephant, this museum is also a “Wonder of Thailand”. One of those rare places where perhaps the building itself is more interesting and beautiful than the artifacts it holds within. In the case of this museum, the building is in the shape of a giant dragon. It dominates the landscape as you drive towards the city pillar shrine. The brightly coloured dragon, which is made of fiberglass, is 135 meters long and 35 meters high. It is 18 meters wide.

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Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Gate

This area of Bangkok has been a Chinese community since the early days of the city. The narrow Sampheng Lane was the district’s main street until was constructed in 1892 during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. Along both sides of  Yaowarat Road can be found many gold shops and all kinds of Chinese restaurants. Recently, a gate was built to celebrate King Bhumibol’s 72nd birthday. It is located on Odeon Circle at one end of Yaowarat Road.

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Wat Phra That Chae Hang

Wat Phra That Chae Hang

Wat Phra That Chae Hang (วัดพระธาตุแช่แห้ง) in Nan province features a 55 metre-high golden Chedi containing a Holy Relic from Sukhothai. Over the Viharn’s door frames and on parts of the roofs are plaster designs in the shape of Naga, the great serpent, which represent the artistic best in local architecture.

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