Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

May 31, 2012

2011, DEC 29 : THAILAND, PATTAYA-Beach Road

After leaving the Sanctuary, we had to walk for almost one-half hour, before we could get a conveyance to transport us to the Beach Road area. Once there, we spent the whole evening, wandering along the beach.

Beach Road area is a lively place, especially around sunset.

A variety of hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and arcades and other businesses are lined along the road.

Many vendors set up their make-shift stalls in the narrow strip of land between the beach and the Beach Road. They sell a variety of goods and foods.

Before returning to our hotel, we dined at the Sher-e-Punjab Restaurant. But we neither liked the food nor the service.

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2011, DEC 30: THAILAND, PATTAYA-Floating Market

For a long time, floating markets have been a part of the Thai culture, especially in cities and towns close to water bodies. In Pattaya, the Floating Market is located just south of the city. It was opened in 2008.

Tourists and locals, adults and children, all seem to enjoy spending time here.

The Market has its own functioning temple, which is dedicated to Hindu god Ganesha. When we reached there in the afternoon, evening prayers in Hindi and Gujarati were being offered. Also there is another shrine outside the market.

There is an extensive network of boardwalk and bridges allow visitors to walk get around the market. Also there are boats to ferry them through its canals. Some boat vendors sell Thai food.

Spread over 25 acres, it is reputed to be one of Thailand’s largest markets of its kind. It comprises of more than 100 shops and vendors.
Officially named as the Four Regions Floating Market, it is divided into four sectors. Each sector features food, clothing styles, arts and crafts from a different region of Thailand.
The market offers a picturesque sight at sunset, and ....

....when the market lights are turned on at night.

Before left the market some of us posed their faces behind a couple of Thai cultural cut-outs.
We ended the day with dinner at Zaika, an Indian restaurant in the Beach Road area. Restaurant is owned by Rajeev Jain, originally from Rajasthan (India). Food was to our taste and service was good.

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2011, DEC 31- 2012, JAN 2 : THAILAND, PATTAYA-Beach Road

We spent today and January 1, in Pattaya. I stayed most of the time at our hotel, while others continued to explore the town, what it had to offer, including shopping, Thai foot message,
and a Thai cooking class.

In the evenings, we enjoyed the Beach Road Malls and other establishments, all decked out for Christmas and the New Year’s Eve.

The morning of January 2, after breakfast, we packed our bags to leave for Bangkok, in a hired van.

Mr. Pon, our driver was a lively middle-aged man. He entertained us playing of Indian movie songs and some songs he had written and composed himself in praise of the Buddha.

Back in Bangkok, we rested at our hotel, before heading out to dine at the Indian Hut. Getting there, however, turned out to be quite an adventure.

After getting out of the subway station, we ended up walking in the wrong direction. We had to hire tuk-tuks to take us to the restaurant, and after dinner, back to our hotel.

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2012, JAN 3: THAILAND, BANGKOK - Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Today was our last day in Thailand. After breakfast, we went out to see the Chapel of the Reclining Buddha.

We took subway part of the way, and completed rest of the trip to our destination of the day by tuk-tuks.

Built originally in the 16th century, and rebuilt and expanded twice since then, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha complex is Bangkok’s the oldestand largest one.

Besides the chapel of the Reclining Buddha, the complex includes 91 Stupas, a Buddha Temple, and the traditional Thai massage and medicine teaching center.

The solid mounds of the large Stupas (or Chedis) are said to contain ashes of the Buddha. The smaller ones have those of the Thai kings.

On the back of the Buddha Temple has a large bronze image of the Buddha. It was brought here from the former Thai capital at Ayutthaya. Scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana are carved into the outer base and inner doors.

The entrance and two side wings of the Buddha Temple enshrine smaller images of sitting Buddha. All images are gilded.

Built of brick and plaster, the image in the Reclining Buddha Chapel is gilded with gold leaf. It is more than 150 ft long and more than 50 ft high.

Mother-of pearl inlays depict the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha on the feet of the image.
A wall behind the image is lined with 108 bronze bowls to represent these auspicious characteristics. Devotees seek the Buddha’s blessings by dropping coins in these bowls.
Temple walls and doors are full of religious painting and ornamental embellishments.

To complex also has its own Bodhi Tree, in a gated enclosure. Below the tree is a small open-air shrine. Doors of the enclosure have painted images of guardian deities.
Chinese giants guard the temple complex gates. Carved out of rocks, these statues are said to have been originally imported as ballast on ship trading with China.

Near the temple people were writing their wishes and prayers on clay tiles. The the tiles would be used in the renovation of th etemple-complex.
By the time we were done there, we were hungry.
We decided to have lunch at the Thai Cultural Complex. After tuk-tuk and subway rides, and considerable walking, when we finally located the Cultural Center, to our disappointment we found it had been closed.

Much exploration of the area on foot led us, finally around 6 p.m., to a place, where some of us had Pizza lunch. Others brought in food from the nearby fast-food joint.

Then we headed back to our hotel, to get ready for our 1:45 a.m. flight to Seoul, on our way back homes in the United States.

Finally, let me end this travel blog with a commentary on English language, entitled, “English is really crazy”, which I found in The New Light of Myanmar newspaper of Sunday, December
17, 2011:

“There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England or French Fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat…..quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

“And why is that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. One moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

“If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

“In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital?

“Ship by truck, and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run, and feet that smell? Park on driveways, and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day, and cold as hell another?

“When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on,

“When the stars are out, they are visible, but whne the lights are out they are invisible.
And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.”


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