What could be better than to share your Photos of Thailand with the rest of the world so that everyone can view some of your greatest moments captured in real time. You too can record your travel experiences and adventures with some great photos. And that's exactly why I decided to share some of my adventures (in photos) few tourists get to see or even know about. Sure, we've all heard how fabulous Thailand is, but for most, we tend to stick to places that are all too familiar.
Yes, I share photos of those places too, but what if you can see and read about those places off the beaten path. Why not go somewhere you've never been before. To wake up in a strange place could be the most thrilling sensation in the world. There's not a place on this planet that is as bad as what some people might tell you it's going to be.
A good starting point would be to visit some of the many ancient temples scattered around the country, be it a Buddhist or Khmer site.
One such temple is Wat Chiang Man, the oldest in Chiang Mai. This particular temple is actually older than the city itself. But what's even more interesting, is its pagoda with fifteen life size elephant carvings surrounding its base. Apart from it being an architectural masterpiece, it also houses some of the most treasured artifacts in Thailand.
One is a carved crystal Buddha image called Phra Sae Tang Kamani. No one knows when the Buddha came to be, only that in 1296, King Mengrai had it brought to Chiang Mai. Another is a stone Buddha image called Phra Sila, thought to have been carved around 900 AD in India.
A must see temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep even if it's only to take in the panoramic view from the top of the stairway. There are some 290 steps flanked on either side by Naga serpents. For those of you who don't have the energy, take the cable car on the way up and then walk down on your way back to the car park. While the temple itself is impressive and worth viewing, it's extremely touristy.
Thailand is a land full of myths, mysteries, superstitions, legends, and awe-inspiring tales that simply go beyond the ordinary imagination. No exception to this enigma is one that surrounds the gigantic and grimacing giant known as the Yaksha. These towering and monumental demon guardians are mostly seen at the temple complexes around the country such as Wat Phra Kaew at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
Now here's a place of immense interest very few tourists get to see, let alone knew existed. It's a special place about 50 kilometres outside Lampang in the north of Thailand. Stupas, shrines and prayer halls as well as a Buddha footprint are all part of the spectacular attraction at Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn, a Buddhist pilgrimage site perched high on top a rocky hill in the countryside.
Tham Khao Luang Cave is a must see attraction should you be anywhere near the town of Phetchaburi in Southen Thailand, about 160 kilometres south of Bangkok. The cave is the largest in the region and regarded as the most historically. Entrance to the cave is free and it's just a short walk from the car park. Just don't worry too much about the overly friendly monkeys you see everywhere here. Once inside, you'll see lots of Buddha statues which are well lit via the hole in the ceiling.
Wat Mahathat Worawihan is a large temple complex consisting of a number of Prangs, several Chedis, a Viharn, an Ubosot and an assortment of monastic buildings. All of which are located in the old, but somewhat noisy part of Phetchaburi, south of Bangkok. The most spectacular of these structures must surely be the five white Prangs that not only tower the complex, but can also be viewed from the town itself. It can be busy here at times, but it's also a place where visitors are given incense sticks and flowers in which to make merit as well as gold leaf with which to apply to any number of the Buddha images here.
If you want to visit one of the most spectacular temple complexes in Chiang Mai, then perhaps Wat Ban Den could very well be it, not only because of its beauty and innovated features, but also because it's not over populated with tourists. That way you can simply enjoy the views in absolute peace and tranquility. The vast grounds on which the extraordinary collection of temples is housed is a must for anyone with a desire for all things Thai. And especially the twelve Chedi's dedicated to each of the twelve animals of the Thai Zodiac.
It may not be one of the most visited temple complexes in town, but Wat Rajamontean and its large Buddha statue is one of the relatively newer temple sites in Chiang Mai. It's located on the northern side of the old city and well worth a look just for its sheer beauty.
While Wat Phra That Khao Noi may not be the most spectacular temple in Thailand, the view you get from here certainly is. The temple is located in a town called Nan, 668 kilometres north of Bangkok. Because the temple is on top of a small mountain, you may want to get there all the way by car. However, if you feel up to it, you can climb the 300 odd steps from the road below. A good time to visit is either early in the morning before sunrise or in the evening to capture the sunset.
Huay Pla Kang Temple is located in the Rimkok district of Chiang Rai. It's a nine storey Chedi style Buddhist temple, best known for its architectural design and ornate detail. Inside the Pagoda you'll find a number of incredibly crafted wooden statues, including a massive statue of Guan Yin Buddha. It's a truly spiritual place to visit and explore.
If you happen to visit Koh Samet Island, don't miss the chance to see the Mermaid and Flute Player statues situated on a rocky outcrop at Ao Hin Khok beach south of Hat Sai Kaew beach. The statues are based upon a 19th century legend surrounding the written words of Thai poet Sunthorn Phu who tells the story about a mermaid who saves the life of a prince from drowning and brings him to Koh Samet. Simply walk along the southern shores from Ao Hin Khok beach to find the statues.
Standing atop Doi Kong Mu hill in Mae Hong Son is the oldest Burmese style landmark in the province. The temple complex, built in 1860 is known as Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu and houses two Viharns and two white Chedi's with the larger of the two Chedi's containing the relics of Phra Moggalana, one of the disciples of Buddha. While there is no entrance fee, the climb up the hill can be a little challenging. However the breathtaking views you get from the top of the hill are truly amazing and if you should get there in the early evening, so much the better.
Can You believe that the photo above was taken in Thailand and that the country has its own Grand Canyon? Well, maybe not as grandiose as the one in the USA, but Sam Phan Bok Canyon certainly does exist. You'll need to go to Ubon Ratchathani in the northeastern province of the country if this sort of thing rocks your boat. It's a place known as the rocks with 3,000 holes. And that's because the rock formations here are constantly subjected to years of water erosion. It may be a little out of town, but can be reached by road or by boat on the Mekong River.
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