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**Thailand :- featuring Bangkok and Chiang Mai facts on Temples ...Attractions.... THIS PAGE IN PROGRESS!! so visit again soon **

Thailand is the most visited country in Southeast Asia with...warm hospitality, breathtaking scenery, untold attractions and landmarks 300 creatively imposing temples in Chiang Mai alone, ancient kingdoms, colourful culture, inspiring arts and crafts,Hilltribes, tasty and varied cuisine, Elephant camps and the only Elephant hospital all go to make The Kingdom of Thailand a must visit travel destination or at least travel with me by viewing the images in Shining Image Gallery


Wiang Kum Kam - ChiangMai province

A recently discovered ancient city believed to have been built during the reign of King Meng Rai in 1286, the city was once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom until the Maenam Ping flooded and wiped out the whole city. To visit Wiang Kum Kam today, drive south east of Chiang Mai, between Km. 3-4, on the Chiang Mai-Lamphun route in Saraphi District. Just drive along the road at Nong Hoi Police box to the Ko Klang Pa Kluai intersection and proceed to Chedi Liam Police box. There are more than 20 ancient ruins inside and around Wiang Kum Kam including Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi, Wat Pu Pia, Wat Ku Koa, Wat E Kang, Wat Hua Nong, and Wat Pu Song which are dated from the 21st 22nd Buddhist centuries.

Wat Chedi Luang (Thai วัดเจดีย์หลวง, lit. temple of the big stupa) is a Buddhist temple in the historic center of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The current temple grounds were originally made up of three temples — Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin.

The construction of the temple started in the 14th Century, when King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury the ashes of his father there. After 10 years of building time it was left unfinished, later to be continued after the death of the king by his widow. Probably due to stability problems it took until mid-15th century to be finished during the reign of king Tilokaraj. It was then 82 m high and had a base diameter of 54 m, at that time the largest building of all Lanna. In 1468, the Emerald Buddha was installed in the eastern niche. In 1545, the upper 30 m of the structure collapsed after an earthquake, and shortly thereafter, in 1551, the Emerald Buddha was moved to Luang Prabang.
In the early 1990s the chedi was reconstructed, financed by UNESCO and the Japanese government. However the result is somewhat controversial, as some claim the new elements are in Central Thai style, not Lanna style. For the 600th anniversary of the chedi in 1995, a copy of the Emerald Buddha made from black jade was placed in the reconstructed eastern niche. The icon is named official Phra Phut Chaloem Sirirat, but is commonly known as Phra Yok

Wat Suan Dok: a 14th century temple located just west of the old city-wall. The temple was built by the King of Lanna for a revered monk visiting from Sukhothai to spend the rains retreat. The name translates as "the field of flowers temple." There are several unique aspects to this temple. One is the temple's large ubosot (ordination hall). This is unusual not only for its size, but also that it is open on the sides instead of enclosed. Secondly, there are a large number of chedis housing the ashes of the rulers of Chiang Mai. The temple is also the site of Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University

Doi Suthep :- TO FOLLOW VERY SOON I arranged a private tour of this temple and so it will deserve a gallery ALL to itself

Travel Diary and more Facts:-

The hospitality of the Thai people is well known and extreemly welcome when flying long haul. I travelled with 4 friends not quite the famous five but ready to experience this colourful country. A few weeks earlier the military coup had been announced and in true Thai fashion it was the quietest most agreeable military affair. The tanks on the streets seemed to be just a statement to the world and had no necessity in the situation at hand . By the time we arrived the tanks had dissapeared and normality had resumed although it took a little longer to restore democracy but elections were held in 2007.

Yes there are certain areas to be avoided in Southern Thailand Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla insurgence are continuing to cause civil unrest the other area to avoid is the border between Myanmar up to date information can be obtained from your travel agent or govenment travel advice website .......but historically this has become a fact of life in so many countries has it not?. So safe to visit at time of writing Feb 2008 ?? This decision is a question of weighing up the current situation and balancing it with the safety of your domicile country ( I live between UK and Spain so I am used to and learn to live with the threat of terrorism ) where in the world can you say it's 100% safe but certainly most of Thailand is not a trouble hotspot. From my visit in 2006 I can highly recommend this land of photo opportunities here's afew smiling faces my life is certainly all the richer for meeting them and experiencing all that this fascinating country has to offer .......Our journey began in .....

Bangkok as we arrived the rains were still in full force and that is what greeted us a liitle ironic because I was concerned to gain a seat on the aeroplane that gave me the best view on landing well ....there wasn't a view. Did it spoil the visit in truth as a tourist NO as a photographer I need to return to catch better light for some of the iconic landmarks. We actually found it quite amusing wading through the flood waters to board the boats and none of the deluges lasted too long within 10-15 mins after the rain had stopped the city streets were dry and so were we.


MaeSa Elephant Camp Painting by the Elephants <<<<< click to view