Adventures of a LuLu

Mischief and Mayhem in East Asia

[ View Guestbook ] [ Sign Guestbook ]
Get a FREE guestbook here!
My Photo
Location: Seoul, South Korea

Steer away from the beaten track and leave a trail for others to follow.


Round 2

I am now back in Korea for round 2. I have more pictures of Thailand, but unfortunately they did not make it as far as this website. When my life gets off the ground here in Seoul, hopefully I will post some more of Korea there. My new website is



Bangkok Canal

Bangkok (as indeed the rest of Thailand) is not all gleaming gold Buddha statues and ornate temples and palaces. This shows the quality of life of the average Thai, taken outside the hotel of the first day of the 18 day tour.

What Wat is What?

Unfortunately due to time constraints and slow internet connections, I have lef the publishing of my photos of the temples (Wat) too late for remember what the names were, what they looked like, and how to distinguish between them. Added to this, I have stupidly filed the itinerary of the first tour under section B (ie the bin), so it can not give me any clues as to where I went. The pictures where I am sure what they are I have put on this website. The rest I will show friends and family at home as "another priddy picture".

As well as visiting umpteen temples in my first few days here, I also went to a gem factory & shop. There I watched a 15 minute docu-ad (if this term does not exist, it certainly does now) about how the gems are found, mined/collected and then turned into the wonderful jewelry that happens to be sat in glass cases round the corner,waiting to be purchased. It was there that I decided that if I was ever to get engaged, and if I have the choice, I would prefer a PINK sapphire and diamond ring, opposed to the traditional blue (to go with the Korean wedding dress and proposal in Italy...a girl is allowed to dream!).

At one of the temples I had a spooky encounter with a fortune-teller, who used Thai numerology, Chinese astrology and palm-reading to outline my personality, describe my past, and predict my future. I simply wrote down my name, date and time of birth, then sat in complete silence as he did his stuff. I am keeping to myself (and a few chosen people) what he said, but I will say that I took everything he said with a pinch of salt until he told me (not suggested to me) that I am a teacher in an Asian country, now and in the near future, at which point I decided to sit up and pay attention. Before I approached his table, I was stood with the lady who was obviously my tour guide and a couple of middle-aged women, one of which could easily pass as my mother. Thinking back to what he saw of me and anything I could have said within earshot before I approached his desk, he had no reason to suspect that I am teacher in an Asian country. Of course, there are many Westerners my age in Thailand and Asia who are teaching English, but they rarely book themselves on a tour in the country they are living. So how did he know? Overall, the description of my past and my personality was detailed and accurate, with only one mistake....apparently I drink and smoke too much which will affect my health around age 29....but I rarely do either.

Wat Arun.

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn (so- called because the King arose at that time to pray), was the first temple I visited in Thailand, on my first full day in Bangkok. To get there I took a boat on the choppy, dirty waters of the Chao Phraya river, and disembarked on the other side. On the way back my tour guide gave the group some bread, which we broke into smaller pieces to feed the cat fish. I repeated the feeding of the fish on the 18 day tour, which I have photographs be published later.

Also, it was at this temple that I was accosted by a group of primary school children and their teacher, who interviewed me. In return I got a chop-stick hair piece, which after some amount of huffing and puffing, actually holds up my hair in a Japanese-style bun.

The information below I got from the Thailand for Visitors website.

The towering prang with its four smaller siblings was started by Rama II in the early part of the 19th century, and completed by his successor Rama III. The temple in which the prang sits is actually much older. It dates from the Ayuthaya period. During King Taksin's reign, just before the founding of Bangkok, the temple served as his palace.

The prang is not only in its design, which is a blend of Khmer and Thai styles, but also in decoration. Over the brick core, a layer of plaster was applied and then decorated with bits of Chinese porcelain and glazed ceramic tiles. Using porcelain from China isn't as extravagant as it might sound. In the early days of Bangkok, Chinese trading ships calling on the Siamese capital used tons of porcelain as ballast. The temple is just an early example of the Thai approach to "recycling."

Like the bell shaped chedi, the central Prang represents Mount Meru, home of the gods. The four smaller prangs symbolize the four winds. High up on the four smaller towers, you can see a statue of Pai, god of the winds, on his horse.

In the middle of each side of the square formed by the smaller prangs are pavilions containing Buddha images depicting the four stages of the Buddha's life, birth, meditation, preaching and enlightenment. These guard the stairways to the second and third levels of the big prang.

Wat Po/Wat Phra Chetuphon

I visited Wat Po on my second day in Bangkok.

Wat Po/Wat Phra Chetuphon (originally Wat Potaram) is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and recline is exactly what the statue did. The reclining Buddha image, like all other Buddha images depicts and reminds followers of various significant moments in Buddha's life. The reclining Buddha image is a very popular one, and represents the calmness of the Buddha as he reaches Nirvana. I did not take any photographs of anything else belonging to Wat Po, as it was raining and I was not in the mood.

The temple dates back to the 17th century, making it older than Bangkok itself, as we know it today. King Rama I enlarged the temple and renamed it Wat Phra Chetuphon, though it is more commonly known as Wat Po. Rama I recovered and placed many artifacts from Ayuthaya inside this temple. However it was Rama III who oversaw the construction of the Reclining Buddha, and making the temple Thailand's first university.

The Wiharn barely houses the statue; this and the the way the Wiharn is designed makes it almost impossible to take a wide shot of the whole statue. The feet of the statue are impregnated with Mother of Pearl images of the 108 auspicious signs that signify a true Buddha. I attempted to take a photograph of this but it came out too dark. The Wiharn is where people come to pray. Round the back of the statue I dropped one coin into a separate bowl each...each coin representing a different wish. There was also a large drum to beat to let the Buddha know that you are there (most if not all Buddhist temples in Thailand have this drum).

Follow the link above (click on the title) to see photos of the temple that I was too lazy to take myself.

Reclining Buddha Head

Reclining Buddha Head
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
Due to the bizzare angle I took this, I was unsure whether to rotate this before publishing it. In the end I just left it the way it was. Above the Buddha's head is the ornately painted ceiling. This statue is HUGE!

Reclining Buddha Statue

Reclining Buddha Statue
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
I took this photo literally at the foot of the statue. The gold reflected to brilliantly for me to take a decent picture, but least it gives an indication of the size of the statue.


Bangkok Grand Palace

My first free day was spent sleeping in the morning, and then visiting the Grand Palace in the afternoon. Before visiting the Grand Palace I headed straight for a Tourist Information office and picked up some maps. On the way from the office to the Palace I bumped into a crazy (in a good way) German man who goes by the name of Tobius (Toby). He kept me very entertained as we toured the palace together. A few Koreans took a photo or video-ed me, as I happen to be wearing the T-shirt with the Korean flag on it. I have found an interesting virtual tour on the net for this palace (and some other places that I did not visit), the link to which is the title of this blog.

The following information is from the Thailand For Visitors website,

For just about 150 years, Bangkok's Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court, but also the entire administrative seat of government. Within the crenelated walls were the country's war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace full time around the turn of the twentieth century, but the complex remains the seat of power and spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom.The palace complex, like the rest of Ratanakosin Island, is laid out following the general outline of Ayutthaya palaces. The Outer Court, near where you enter the complex today, housed the government departments in which the king was directly involved, such as civil administration, including the army, and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha takes up one corner of the complex next to the outer court.In the middle is the Central Court, where the residence of the king and the halls for conducting state business were located. You are allowed to look at the fronts of the buildings in the central court, but only two of the throne halls are open to the public, and only on weekdays.Behind the central court was the inner court. This was where the king's royal consorts and daughters lived. The inner court was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty. Even though no royalty currently reside in the inner court, it is still completely closed off to the public.

Shrine of the Emerald Buddha

bangkok 065
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

I could not take photographs inside the shrine, so I only have one of the outside. The Emerald (Jade) Buddha was much smaller than I expected, but it was worth it to see what the hype was about. I find the history behind it more interesting than the statue itself. The following I got from the virtual tour:

The “Emerald Buddha” is carved from a block of jade. It is an object of national veneration and crowds come to pay respect to the memory of the Buddha and His Teachings on certain days of the weeks when it is open to the public.
The Emerald Buddha sits high up on an altar of gold designed to represent the traditional aerial chariot (Busabok, Sk. Pushpaka) attributed to Hindu gods on the murals of this country. The effigy was first discovered in Chiang Rai in 1464, brought down to Lampang where it remained till King Tilok of Lannathai brought it to Chiang Mai, his capital, where it was fitly enshrined. Later on, there occurred a vacancy in the Lannathai line of succesion and King Chaichetta of Luang Prabang, whose mother was a Chiang Mai Princess, was invited to fill it. He however returned to his nativeland in Luang Prabang after a comparatively short rule here, taking the palladium with him back to his capital. Then King Chaichetta moved his capital to a newly built town of Viang Chan taking the Emerald Buddha again with him.
It remained there for a long time till the King of Thonburi sent a punitive expedition under Chao Phraya Chakri to Viang Chan which brought back with it the famous effigy of which the King of Thonburi was very proud. When King Rama I built the city of Bangkok with the Chapel Royal and the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha was installed with pomp and ceremony in the chapel.

Palace Home

Grand Palace
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

Model of Ankgor Wat

bangkok 055
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

Base of a building

bangkok 057
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.


Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

Hindu-style statues

bangkok 071
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.


bangkok 063
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

Palace Corridor

bangkok 067
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.
(From the virtual tour): The Chapel Royal ground is enclosed by galleries, the murals of which depict the story of the Ramakien of the first reign version. If we start at the east gate we come to the initial stages of the war waged by Rama of Ayodthaya to rescue his wife who had been abducted by Thotsakan (Ravana), King of Longka.
Here are depicted episodes of the building the causeway from the mainland, of the campaign of Maiyarab the Magician who took the sleeping Rama away to the netherworld, the campaigns of Kumpakan and Indrajit, the brother and son respectively of Thotsakan and other campaigns waged by Thotsakan himself, his other relatives and allies. The battle in which Thotsakan, loses his life is to be found just beyond the gate leading into the royal palace

Palace Temple

bangkok 064
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.

Base of the Column

bangkok 056
Originally uploaded by LouiseL.


Adventure Bound

I have been in Bangkok, Thailand's capital city since Tuesday night. Today is my first day of the 18 day tour, and I will be meeting everyone for the first time tonight, at the hotel. So far I have taken around 100 photographs of Bangkok alone, but I have no time to put them on here. The weather has been generally wet and miserable, with tuk-tuk drivers offering me 50 Baht ride (70p) for a 10 minute walk back to my hotel, knowing that I would be grateful for the shelter from the rain. However, I ignore the pestering, lies, and cajooling, and so far have walked everywhere....I feel relatively comfortable in Central Bangkok compared with the cities of the Philippines.

I have visited around 5 temples, toured on the river, been to the Bangkok National Museum and explored the grounds of the Grand Palace. The food here is delicious...spicy with the familiar lemon-corriander tang that I have experienced back in the UK. I have shocked a few Thai's by choosing ONLY the spicy dishes from the menu....if I am here inThailand I should at least try the food!!!

Tomorrow I will embark an overnight train north to Chang-mi...from now on the next 18 days are in the hands of my tour guide.


A few Lose Ends

Finally, I have found a computer that a) has USB connection for a camera and b) is fast enough to not reject my feable attempts at uploading images.

Tomorrow I will take my flight to Thailand...where new adventures await.

Please excuse the brevity...I really need some sleep.

Sunset from a Tricycle

Sunset from a Tricycle
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
Silloette (spelling????agggh) of a palm woods against the sunset.

Red Banana

Red Banana
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
Never seen one of THESE before!

Sleepy puppy

Sleepy puppy
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
As I have already mentioned, there are stray dogs everywhere in the Philippines...very useful organic rubbish bin for unwanted meat. This puppy was taking a siesta in the shadow of a shop cute!


Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
I took this while bouncing along in a tricycle side-car. As you can probably make out, the truck is overloaded with passengers, just like all transport vehicles, to make the ride as cheap as possible.

Moalboal Scene

Moalboal Scene
Originally uploaded by Eleruen.
One of the rare moments where I felt confident enough to get my camera out in the middle of the day, in the middle of a town. However, Moalboal was relatively safe compared with North Luzon (rice terraces) and Cebu city.