World Travel Tales

Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Ratchanaddaram and Loha Prasat Temple

Two vastly different architectures are on display here at Wat Ratchanaddaram. The more familiar Thai style in the foreground, and the unique Loha Prasat in the background.

Loha Prasat was built in 1846 by request of King Nangklao (Rama III). The architecture was influenced by two similar temples found in India and Sri Lanka, but both of those have since fallen, leaving this at the last remaining example of this architecture in the world. It was submitted for UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2005, but has not yet received the designation.

It stands 36 m high and supports 37 metal spires representing the 37 virtues toward enlightenment. The temple has many concentric square levels built upon each other, and a relic of the Buddha is kept at the highest level.

We were able to walk around in the Loha Prasat and climbed the stairs to the Buddha at the top.

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 320, 1/400 sec at f/8.

Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Kalayanamit

While commuting on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok you're treated to a beautiful view of many of the temples in the area.

This is the richly decorated Wat Kalayanamit in stark contrast to the meager dwellings that lie along the river.

A late afternoon storm was rolling in which shows a dark and gloomy sky in the background.

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 800, 1/50 sec at f/7.1.

Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand

Viking Cave

The Viking Cave is a large cave that was a refuge for ancient vikings waiting out storms. At least that's what is commonly thought since there are old drawings on the cave walls that appear to be ancient viking ships.

The cave was closed to tourists on this visit, but I entered on a previous visit in 2001. Inside the cave is an enormous main cavern with a tall ceiling like a cathedral, and the locals had built a shoddy tower of bamboo, loosely strapped together with old shaggy ropes, all the way to the ceiling of the cave. If I recall correctly, they used this sketchy bamboo "ladder" to collect birds eggs which were then sold as a delicacy in some areas.

Location: Koh Phi Phi Ley, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 800, 1/80 sec at f/8.

Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Decorated Long Tail Boats

The long tail boats in Thailand often have these decorative scarves and flowers attached to the bow of the boat. These boats were lined up at the beach on Koh Phi Phi Don.

Koh Phi Phi had changed a lot since my first visit in 2001. It has become much more touristy, and rightfully so, since it's such a beautiful island, but the line-up of bars on the beaches really spoils the feeling of paradise for me. It's a great destination if your intention is partying, but I don't recommend it for travellers looking for tranquil tropical islands.

But despite it's overwhelming party scene, we did some fantastic scuba diving here at Hin Bida and Bida Nok. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the dive centre, but the owner was a really chill Belgian guy and our Guide was Canadian, and they were both great.

Location: Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/1000 sec at f/8.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao

The beautiful granite bluffs overlooking the waterfront in Koh Tao, Thailand.

There's an awesome hand painted sign visible when you step off the boat onto Koh Tao, it says:

Welcome to Koh Tao
Population: 750
Policeman: None


A good number of those 750 are scuba divers, since this is a world renowned diving hotspot and is one of the most active places on the planet for certifying new divers.

Location: Koh Tao, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/250 sec at f/5.3.

Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

Ramakien Wall Painting at Wat Pho

The Ramakien, "Glory of Rama", is Thailand's national epic, derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana, and represents the battle between good and evil.

There are beautiful statues, sculptures, and paintings of Ramakien at many of the Thai temples. The wall painting pictured here is at Wat Pho.

Rather than repeat the story of The Ramakien here, I'm including the Wikipedia link below.

Location: Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand

Related Link: Ramakien at Wikipedia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/15 sec at f/4.

Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Arun

The stunning temples, gardens, and fountains on the grounds of Wat Arun.

Location: Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/2000 sec at f/3.5.

Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Guarded Gate at Wat Arun

Wat Arun (aka. Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan) is a Buddhist temple along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok's Yai district.

The entrance gate that is shown in this photo is guarded on each side by giant Yaksha guardians.

Location: Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/200 sec at f/8.