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This is the Bangkok & Around chapter from Lonely Planet's Thailand guide-book. Same same, but different. This Thailish T-shirt philosophy sums up Bangkok. Technically, elephants are not allowed on the streets of Bangkok, but during .. One Stop Thailand ( Comprehensive tourism guide to . This Thailish T-shirt philosophy sums up Bangkok, a city where the familiar and the exotic Digital PDF only These are our most comprehensive, in-depth city guides, designed for visits lasting from a couple of days up to one week or more.

Lonely Planet Bangkok City Guide Pdf

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The first task set before the planners of the new city was to create hallowed ground for royal palaces and Buddhist monasteries. Astrologers divined that construction of the new royal palace should begin on 6 May , and ceremonies consecrated Rama Is transfer to a temporary HISTORY Since the late 18th century, the history of Bangkok has essentially been the history of Thailand. Construction of permanent throne halls, residence halls and palace temples followed.

Many of the countrys defining events have unfolded here, and today the language, culture The plan of the original buildings, their position relative to the river and the royal chapel, and food of the city have come to represent those of the entire country. This role is unlikely, and the royal parade and cremation grounds to the north of the palace todays Sanam Luang given the citys origins as little more than an obscure Chinese trading port, but today boasting exactly copied the royal compound at Ayuthaya.

Master craftsmen who had survived the a population of 10 million, it is certain that Bangkok will be shaping Thailands history for sacking of Ayuthaya created the designs for several of the more magnificent temples and royal some time to come. Foreign traders continued to call the capital Bang Makok, which eventually truncated itself Ayuthaya served as the royal capital of Siam as Thailand was then known from to to Bangkok, the name most commonly known to the outside world. The Thais, meanwhile, Encircled by rivers with access to the gulf, Ayuthaya flourished as a river port courted by commonly use a shortened version of the name, Krung Thep City of Angels or, when refer- Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, Chinese and Japanese merchants.

By the end of the 17th ring to the city and burgeoning metropolitan area surrounding it, Krung Thep Mahanakhon century the citys population had reached one million and Ayuthaya was one of the wealthiest Metropolis of the City of Angels. Virtually all foreign visitors claimed it to be the most illustrious In time, Ayuthayas control of tribute states in Laos and western Cambodia including Angkor, city they had ever seen, beside which London and Paris paled in comparison.

Bangkok also had ample access to colonise the kingdom of Siam.

Many Siamese were marched off to Pegu Bago, Myanmar today , where they were forced Using this immense pool of labour, Rama I augmented Bangkoks natural canal-and-river to serve the Burmese court. However, the remaining Siamese regrouped under Phaya Taksin, system with hundreds of artificial waterways feeding into Thailands hydraulic lifeline, the a half-Chinese, half-Thai general who decided to move the capital further south along Chao broad Mae Nam Chao Phraya.

Chakri also ordered the construction of 10km of city walls and Phraya River, closer to the Gulf of Siam.

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Thonburi Si Mahasamut was a logical choice. Sections of the 4. Monks who wouldnt worship him as the in Wat Saket and the Golden Mount, and water still flows, albeit sluggishly, in the canals of Maitreya the future Buddha would be flogged, for example.

Disapproving of his religious fanta- the original royal district.

As Chakri shared no bloodline in the custom reserved for royalty by sealing him inside a velvet sack so that no royal blood with earlier royalty, he garnered loyalty by modelling himself as a Dhammaraja dhamma king touched the ground and beating him to death with a scented sandalwood club in Waterborne traffic dominated the city, supplemented by One of Taksins key generals, Phraya Chakri, came to power and was crowned in as Phra Yot Fa.

Fearing Thonburi to be vulnerable to Burmese attack from the west, Chakri moved the a meagre network of footpaths, well into the middle of the 19th century.

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He also sponsored Siams second printing press and instituted educational reforms, developing a school system along European lines. Although the king Until polygamy was outlawed by Rama VI, it was expected of Thai monarchs to maintain a harem consisting of numer- courted the West, he did so with caution and warned his subjects: Whatever they have in- ous major and minor wives, and the children of these relationships.

This led to some truly extended families: Rama vented or done which we should know of and do, we can imitate and learn from them, but do I had 42 children by 28 mothers; Rama II, 73 children by 40 mothers; Rama III, 51 children by 37 mothers he would not wholeheartedly believe in them.

Rumours spreading through the capital claimed that Thaksin had hired Cambodian shamans to put spells on Pakdeepol so that he would perform the unspeakable deed. Artists traditionally applied natural pigments to plastered temple walls, creating a fragile medium of which very few examples remain. Today the study and application of mural painting remains very much alive.

Modern temple projects are undertaken somewhere within the capital virtually every day of the year, often using improved techniques and paints that promise to hold fast much longer than the temple murals of old. In sculpture the Thai artists have long been masters, using wood, stone, ivory, clay and metal and a variety of techniques — including carving, modelling, construction and casting — to achieve their designs.

Nowadays, historic bronzes have all but disappeared from the art market in Thailand and are zealously protected by temples, museums or private collectors.


Despite the seemingly disadvantageous setting, over the years the flat marshland was eagerly bought and sold by politicians and developers hoping to make a quick profit.

Not surprisingly, the construction of Suvarnabhumi was rife with allegations of corruption, including the use of faulty building materials, and a substandard runway. At one point Thaksin suggested making the area around the airport into an entirely new province, an idea that appeared to have no benefit other than to enrich area landowners, primarily his friends and associates.

Undoubtedly the most embarrassing scandal associated with the airport was the corruption-laden purchase of 20 CTX security scanners from a US company. The ceremony was essentially little more than a face-saving measure considering that the airport was still far from operational. Suvarnabhumi eventually began flights a year later, on 28 September In an ironic twist of fate, Thaksin, the main catalyst behind the project, was in exile in England, having been ousted in a military coup the week before, the junta citing corruption and shoddy construction of the airport among their justifications for the takeover.

Despite being the largest airport in Southeast Asia, and among the largest in the world, in March many domestic flights were relocated back to the old Don Muang Airport, officials citing overcrowding of runways and safety concerns as reasons for the move. With fantastically little foresight, a train link to the distant airport was only begun after its opening, and was not expected to be finished until early For details on arriving at Suvarnabhumi, see p Some particularly exceptional works include: Wat Bowonniwet Map pp68—9 Painted by an artist called In Kong during the reign of Rama II, the murals in the panels of the ubosot chapel of this temple show Thai depictions of Western life during the early 19th century.

Among other scenes, the murals depict the conception, birth and early life of the Buddha — common topics among Thai temple murals. Wat Suthat Map pp68—9 Almost as impressive in their vast scale as much as their quality, the murals at Wat Suthat are among the most awe-inspiring in the country.

Gory depictions of Buddhist hell can be found on a pillar directly behind the Buddha statue.

Wat Suwannaram Map pp—5 These paintings inside a late Ayuthaya-era temple in Thonburi contain skilled and vivid depictions of battle scenes and foreigners, including Chinese and Muslim warriors.

Sukhothai king Phaya Lithai is thought to have composed the first work of Thai literature in This was Traiphum Phra Ruang, a treatise that described the three realms of existence according to Hindu-Buddhist cosmology.

Of all classical Thai literature, however, the Ramakian is the most pervasive and influential.

Its Indian precursor — the Ramayana — came to Thailand with the Khmers years ago, first appearing as stone reliefs on Prasat Hin Phimai and other Angkor temples in the northeast. Eventually, Thailand developed its own version of the epic, which was first written during the reign of Rama I.

This version contains 60, stanzas and is a quarter again longer than the Sanskrit original. Like many of its epic predecessors around the world, it tells the story of an exiled prince who must triumph in an odyssey of love and war before returning to his kingdom.

Each form uses a complex set of rules to regulate metre, rhyming patterns and number of syllables.

During the political upheavals of the s, several Thai newspaper editors, most notably Kukrit Pramoj, composed lightly disguised political commentary in klawn verse. Modern Thai poets seldom use the classical forms, preferring to compose in blank verse or with song-style rhyming.

Contemporary The first Thai-language novel appeared only about 70 years ago, in direct imitation of Western models. Thus far, no more than 10 have been translated into English. All are frequently exhibited and collected outside Thailand.

Since the s boom years secular sculpture and painting in Bangkok have enjoyed more international recognition, with Impressionism-inspired Jitr Prakit Buabusaya and Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit among the very few to have reached this vaunted status. These artists delight in breaking Thai social codes and means of expression.

In recent years the emphasis is moving away from traditional influences and political commentary and more towards contemporary art.

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Modern painting and sculpture are exhibited at dozens of galleries around Bangkok, from the delicately lit darlings of Thai high society to industrially decorated spaces in empty warehouses. In the absence of galleries National Museum p60 in this era, the competition served as the only Wat Suthat p71 venue in Bangkok — in all of Thailand, for that matter — where young artists could display their work publicly. Among the most celebrated art of the period were works of realism painted by Chamras Khietkong, Piman Moolpramook, Sweang Songmangmee and Silpa Bhirasri himself.

For the first time in the Thai modern art movement, there was also a move towards the fusion of indigenous artistic sources with modern modes of expression, as seen in the paintings by Prasong Patamanuj and sculptures of Khien Yimsiri and Chit Rienpracha. Much of the art and music produced at this time carried content commenting on poverty, urban-rural inequities and political repression, and were typically boldly and quickly executed.

A contrasting but equally important movement in Thai art later in the same decade eschewed politics and instead updated Buddhist themes and temple art. The fact that the author, himself a Thai prince, took his own life at the age of 26 only added to the mystique surrounding this work. The late Kukrit Pramoj, former ambassador and Thai prime minister, novelised Bangkok court life from the late 19th century through to the s in Four Reigns Thai ; English , the longest novel ever published in Thai.

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The Story of Jan Dara Thai ; English , by journalist and short-story writer Utsana Phleungtham, traces the sexual obsessions of a Thai aristocrat as they are passed to his son. When it comes to novels written in English, Thai wunderkind SP Somtow has written and published more titles than any other Thai writer.

The Somtow novel most evocative of Thailand and Thai culture is Jasmine Nights , which also happens to be one of his most accessible reads. Several types of drums, some played with the hands, some with sticks, carry the beat, often through several tempo changes in a single song. Classical Thai music may sound strange to Western visitors due to the use of the standard Thai scale, which divides the octave into seven full-tone intervals with no semitones.Yes, as far as I know, the opening hours are up to date also in July.

Siam is a shopping bonanza and we love it! There are so many nice places to see in Thailand. Another tip for your readers.

Maria on January 25, at Awesome rooftop infinity pool at Avani Riverside Hotel. Hi Meya, Thank you so much! It was discovered in the northern part of Thailand in Shandy Amaze on October 02, at This gave the Constitutional Court a green light to nullify the elections, ostensibly due to questionable positioning of voting booths.