Monday, April 19, 2010

Ruby Antiques

The wishing well

Here are lots of antique rubies displayed close to the library of King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)  in Bangkok, Thailand.
An old cart
A boat
An old mill
This old mill is planted with red Bromeliads.

And these red leaves can be seen in the antique area.

More Ruby Tuesday posts here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Modern Songkran Festival: A Diversion from Thai Spiritual Tradition

Today is the first day of the Songkran Festival, the traditional Thai New Year. It is celebrated from April 13 through 15 but some areas such as Phra Pradaeng close to our place extends it for two weeks. Traditionally, it is a spiritual event paying respect to the elders by pouring water over their shoulder and saying their wish for them. In return, the elders bless the young ones by doing the same. Water-pouring symbolizes cleansing and renewal in welcoming the new year, which is still practiced in the provinces. But now in the modern times especially in Bangkok, it has become just sort of a water war or a fun game among the young generations such as shown in these photos.

This girl using a garden hose waits for her preys.

And here are the kids throwing water to each other and to the passersby.
Kids using water guns don't realize that this event wasn't really meant for just having fun as originally conceived. But they're just following the locals who celebrate it this way. For them, it's simply one great way to beat the summer heat.
Could you imagine a pick-up loaded with large water tumblers for the water splashing war?
Here's what my kids enjoyed most. The water they use is cold because ice companies supply blocks of ice for free during this season. April is the hottest month of the year here reaching up to 42 degrees so the cold water splashed on the Songkraners is such a treat. Putting on mentholized powder is also another way to cool down the Songkraners. Here's a video.

More watery posts here and with reds here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Familiar Thai Arch: The River Dragon

 Standing splendidly in the midst of a pond filled with flowering waterlilies, this statue welcomes you when you enter the main gate of KMUTT, one of Thailand's leading universities in technology particularly in the field of engineering. This statue is one of the symbols of King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), in Bangkok, Thailand.
 Look how it glows at night-time!
It is surrounded by other images of river dragons.
Now you have a closer look of this ubiquitous arch in Thailand, the legendary river dragon, you often see in the designs of Thai temples (look at my header), shrines, buildings and even Thai boats and barges.

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On the other side of Bangkok

Trying to avoid the red-shirt infested area downtown, we still enjoyed the weekend bonding as a family just close by. We had a sumptuous dinner at HotPot Buffet at Central Rama 2 and walked around the plaza. We were supposed to let the kids feed fish at the pond here but sad to say the mall closed at 8:00 PM so we had to rush going to another mall instead to buy our groceries. Just the same, the mall we went to closed at 9:30 instead of the usual 11:00 PM. Again, it's all due to the political unrest. We're lucky we're on the other side of Bangkok, across Chao Phrya River as we're not so much affected with the rallies downtown. For many days, major malls downtown such as Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, etc.  temporarily closed causing so much losses. As I don't frequent going downtown except if necessary, I was shocked that I was asked to get off the taxi last week when the protesters blocked the road to my destination. Luckily, there's BTS (sky train) as an option for my return. I should have walked far like my other friends did. I never knew the protesters moved downtown. But for many friends who are asking and worried of us here, FYI not the entire Bangkok is really affected. We still go to work and do our routines here as usual because our area is very peaceful.

Hope the Songkhran Festival, the Thai New Year celebration, even if canceled in some places will go on in our area being a bit far from the protesters so that I can post fresh photos here. Definitely, the celebration in Khaosan, famous for tourists, has been canceled as it is close to the protest areas.