This trip is the trip that is out of my plan. At first, I tend to do the photo shooting for my close friend at Supan Buri province. According to my plan, the photo shooting will be in the morning on Sunday. But, I am afraid that I will wake up late, hence I decide to stay at Suphan Buri for 1 night. Anyhow, I do not have plan to go anywhere on Saturday, then I have planned to travel to Suphan Buri in the morning and start my trip in the late morning.
I leave my house in Lopburi province heading to Suphan Buri by using the main road through various cities: Sing Buri Provice, Bang Rachan. Then, I drive onto main road Chai Nat - Suphan Buri, and drive straight to Sam Chuk district of Suphan Buri province.
The first destination of my trip is at Sam Chuk market.
Sam Chuk is the antique market with its long legend, it is located on the bank of Thachin River. It is used to be the vital market for trading in the former time. Once the way of trading has been changed, it has been replaced by inland transportation (road), it makes this market less important. The land owner decides to dismantle this antique market and plane to rebuild the new market. In the mean time, the villagers have realized on the importance of Sam Chuk market. The villagers gather together in order to find the way to restore this market to be popular like previous. Finally, they have come up with the campaign of conservative tourism. This campaign is successful and Sam Chuk has been awarded " Award of Merit" since 2009 by UNESCO. Then, Sam Chuk market is the popularly antique market of Suphan Buri province.
Once you arrive at Sam Chuk market, I highly recommend you to visit Khun Jam Nong Jee Na Rak museum, he was the first leader of tax officer and the owner of Sam Chuk market.
This house was nicely built, it was so beautiful. There are various photos in the ground floor, these photos have been well illustrated Sam Chuk history. Furthermore, I can also see the house owner's appliances. But, antique tiles have caught my attention the most.
Many appliances are gathered on the second floor such as desk, chairs, bowl, antique bed and antique wardrobe. Nowadays it is very difficult to see something like these. Apart from the appliance, there was also the beautiful sculpture. It is worth to pay for the ticket to visit this place. For those who would like to donate your money for the electronic charge and water supply charge, please feel free to do so.
Referring to the sign, it indicates the office of Sam Chuk district (old building). I am not quite sure whether this is the real office of Sam Chuk in the former time or it has been written only for the decoration.
Ban Coke shop is where you can find souvenirs or collection relating to Coke. I have never been missed to visit this shop once I come to Sam Chuk and walk inside the shop in order to see the showcase of Coke. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to go inside the shop due to tight schedule. If you would like to enter into this shop, you are required to pay for the entrance fee THB 20.
Koh Kae shop, the shop will sell the souvenir relating to Koh Kae (snack brand). It is so pretty.
Bhap Thai Silp Thammachart shop is the antique photo shooting shop where has executed for 50 years and really regret that it is closed today.
The charming point of Sam Chuk market is about it classic and antique of a century wooden houses. There are various products for you to buy which are antique toys, souvenirs etc.
If you are looking for some snacks, there are various items for you to have such as Thai desserts, meat ball, curried fish cake, dry fish, Chinese sausage, crispy noodle, grilled duck, stewed duck etc. The master dish is given to stirred fried rice wrapped with lotus leave.
For those who have plenty of time, you are able to try to sit on the boat and enjoy seeing spectacular view of Thachin river. The boat is available to serve you at all time. Sam Chuk has open daily from 08.30 hrs till the evening. The peak time at Sam Chuk market is at 10.00 hrs.
Before heading to Suphan Buri downtown, I decide to Don Chedi district to pay respect to Don Chedi monument.
According to above photo is Somdej Pranarasuan Maharaj monument and the grand pagoda is the symbol of the battle where was built to celebrate for getting victory from the grand battle between Somdej Pranarasuan Maharaj and Burmese prince. Later, the army has renovated new pagoda by coating over the former one. On every 25th January each year, it is the day of respecting this monument and it is also Thai army day.
After spending sometime for a while at the monument, I am now continuing my trip to Pa Lae Lai temple.
Pa Lae Lai temple is the royal temple, the King Rama IV's royal is placed in front of the Buddha image hall in order to indicate that this is the temple where King Rama IV ever stayed in this temple when he was ordained as a monk. Once, he accessed to the throne, this temple was renovated by his command.
There is the important Buddha statue inside the Buddha image hall which is called " Luang Por To", this was built in according to the style of Pa Lae Lai posture, it was the pure art of U- thong era. The statue was sat by straighten the leg against the floor, his left hand side was placed on the knee and right hand side was placed on another knee.The height of the statue is 23. 46 meters and the length around the statue is 11.20 meters. I have no doubt that this Buddha image hall is really outstanding because we can see him from the far distance.
There is the mural explaining Khun Chang - Khun Phaen (Thai literature) inside the Buddha image hall, it started from the beginning episode to final episode, it is really beautiful.
There is also another interesting place in Pa Lae Lai temple. Likewise, the Buddha image hall is in the above photo, it is under the construction. It is really beautiful with the great decoration on it despite it has not been completely finished yet.
As mentioned earlier that this temple has greatly related with one popular Thai literature Khun Chang - Khun Phaen, this is Khun Chang's house, it is Thai antique style. It is quite the big house and it is built from teakwood. There are many pictures relating with Khun Chang - Khun Phaen literature inside the house. Furthermore, it is also the showcase of antique appliances for those who are interested in as well.
After spending sometime in Pa Lae Lai, I decide to continue my trip by driving to another place. I turn left passing Mungkornsawan National Park a bit further. Then, I see the junction, turn left and continue driving. I have seen many interesting temples, I choose to go into Pra Non (reclining Buddha) temple.
Pra Non (reclining Buddha) temple was built since the early Rattanakosin era, The most interesting point of this temple is about the Buddha statue's posture, it is very different from other temples. The reclining Buddha at this temple sleep by turning face up. The statue was carved from stone, the height of this statue is the same as the ancient people which is around 2 meters. This statue is look alike reclining Buddha statue at Kusinara city, India.
Pra Non (Reclining Buddha) temple is close to Thachin river. There is fish pond in front of the temple, you are able to see variety of the fish. After paying respect to the reclining Buddha, please do not forget to feed fish.
I turn back the previous way to visit Pra Loi Temple.
The actual reason of building this temple is because there was the Buddha statue was floating along Thachin river, this statue is a special one because the statue's head is covering with serpents. Hence, the villagers have performed the rite to take the Buddha's statue from the river. It is assumed that this statue was built in Lob Buri era.
Furthermore, there is the big Buddhist sanctuary inside the temple and this is the place where the big statue called Pra Buddhanawaratchamongkol. It also has with beautiful mural as well.
After visiting Pra Loi temple, I come to Kae Temple.
Kae temple is also antique temple which is mentioned in Khun Chang - Khun Phaen literature. There is the Buddha statue with Maravichai posture style, this is Rattanakosin' art. The yellow robe is designed as Phikul flower, this statue is located in the front of the main statue. The is only one way to exit and enter to the Buddha image hall. I have seen the interesting activity about sacred symbol that the temple is performing. I have taken this opportunity to have a look around the Buddhist sanctuary.
This is the big tamarind tree which is also mentioned in Khun Chang - Khun Phaen literature, the length around the tree is 10 meters. It is the superstition that Khun Phaen ever played the magic with tamarind leave , he transformed the tamarind leave to be the wasp, the was taught by Arjarn Kong in order to battle with the enemies. The bronze statue of giant wasp was built beside the tamarind tree and Luang Pu (Abbot) Mun's bronze statue was also built and placed on top of the giant wasp. Once, we look over into the tamarind tree, we can see a very big wasp hive. I have never seen such this big before, but it is abandon.
There are also ancient Thai houses, it is called Khum Khun Phaen (Khun Phaen's house zone),this zone consists of one big house and be connected with the small houses.
There is also a big Banyan tree near parking zone, it is really beautiful.
We will go to the next temple which is Pra Srimahathat temple.
Pra Srimahathat temple was built for 600 years, the main pagoda is to keep Buddha's relic. Unfortunately, this temple is a bit worn-out because some villagers have searched and dig for the treasure. This hiding place is the origin of Pra Pimphong Suphan Buri (Buddha medal), it is one of 5 popular Buddha medals.
The pagoda was built from brick like the same method in the former time. Many archeologists have assumed that this pagoda was built in according to U-thong art style. Nowadays, the pagoda is under construction.
There is Praphong Suphan insidePraphong Supan Buri in Buddha image hall, this is the biggest Praphong Suphan in th world.
Now, it is the time our trip at Mungkorn Sawan National Park, this place is also the museum to show all related to Chinese generation. I have parked my car at the parking area. Then, I walk to the entrance of Mungkorn Sawan National Park.
Once I step in to this place, I feel so surprised because they have reproduced Lee Jiang village which is the ancient village in China, it is so beautiful. Furthermore, this village is named as the world heritage too.
I feel as if I a traveling in China, all shops are decorated in Chinese style. There are many place to visit such as restaurant, souvenir, theatre, massage and 7-11 grocery.
And there is one place that you should not miss to visit where is view point hall. It consists of 4 floors. For those who would like to do some exercise, I recommend to take the stairs. But, elevator is also available for tourists who are not convenient to use the stairs. In my point of view, it will be a good idea if we can help to save the electronic cost.
You are able to see the whole village in Ban Mungkorn and museum from the high angle point.
Mungkorn Sawan (Heaven Dragon) has been correctly designed in according to the superstition. The dragon's face should be the same as camel's, the eyes as rabbit's, horn as deer's, ear as cow's, body as snake's, leg as tiger's.
After spending sometimes in view point, it is time to go to have a look at the museum.
20 years ago, the was an exhibition of Chinese history, there was entrance fee.
The city shrine is the sacred place where is respected by Thai -Chinese people. Many people have believed that they will have good luck, wealth,success and happiness if they pay respect at this place.
Bronze bell hall is very colorful and beautiful.
The 7 layered pavilion is in the middle of the pond.
The Chinese gods are in this zone.
Dragons are on Tian Un Meon pavilion's roof.
It is the beautiful architecture of dragon pillars which are imported directly from Chong -U, China. They are close to view point hall.
The atmosphere of twilight light after the sun set, it is really beautiful because the light has been decorated on the building and pavement.
I choose to end up my trip with a view point again.
Suphan Buri province is not far from Bangkok. If you are free and still do not know where to go, I recommend you to travel in Suphan Buri. I guarantee that you will be surely happy in Suphan Buri.