This trip is one of the trip that I wait for a chance to go back to visit there again after I just come back from Ratchaburi trip last month during May 2015

This trip I have a chance to watch the demonstrations performance of Nang Yai (puppet show) through spotlight in puppet theater, Wat Kanon and I heard that on 13-15 April of every year, the temple will arrange a puppet show by using Kala fire (coconut shell) which is a show in the ancient time. So, it inspires me to arrange this trip.

I have a plan to visit Ratchaburi this time, I intend to visit the place I have ever been in the last time. I choose to start the trip at Tam Chom Phon which is located in Chom Bueng district.

The atmosphere around is shady and there is a lot of monkey. You should be aware when parking the car, don't park in the isolated area otherwise those monkey will go to your car. I choose to park near the store and ask for help from market women to look after my car.

Tam Chom Phon starts opening at 09.00 – 16.00 pm., admission fee is 10 Baht for adult and 5 Baht for children. The way to visit the cave is you have to walk up the stair to the cave mount, just do little bit exercise and increase a little heart beating rate. There are a monks inside the cave to take care of you guys.

There is a letter 'จ.ป.ร. ๑๑๔' on the mouth of cave area, it is a monogram letter of King Rama 5 written in the year he makes a trip. In that trip he has given this cave name " Tam Chom Phon" and also given an order to engrave the name " Tam Chom Phon" at the cave's mount too. Beside, there is a letter 'ภ.ป.ร. ๑ มิ.ย.๙๙' which is the monogram letter of out King Rama 9 on the day he visits there too. According to the history, apart from this 2 kings, King Rama 6 also visits there too.

When standing at the cave's mount, I feel some cool air from the inside of the cave is hitting me. My feeling this time is totally different from the feeling when I visit Tam Kao Bin because I can feel the heat inside the cave even I only stand at the cave's mount.

From the mount's cave, we have to go to a short wooden stair to the bottom

Just reach the end of the stair, I start to see a delicate stalactites

This point named " Tarn Si La", I heard that this point used to full of water but in this period, the water dries. Tarn Si La area consists of many small stones.

This point is named "Pichitpon" it is a big stalagmites that grows up to the ceiling of the cave. You can think of waterfall that falls down as a layer. In the past at this point, there is water flow for the whole year.

This stone looks like a big nail

Picture of stone in the middle, our little guide tells us that it looks like the King of Nagas curling up and sleeping. I try to imagine what he said but I really don't get it.

This point is named "Phawijit" it is named since out King visits this cave, take a rest and have lunch hear. And according to the history, it is said that this area is the originate of the name Tam Chom Pon because there is magnificent stalactites which looks like an epaulets on the shoulders of the officers in the period of King Rama 5 . I think the stalactites in this area is the most beautiful. It looks very white, clean and shiny.

My little guide says it looks like they are hugging

This point is named " Tam Madsayasathid", it looks like a small room

There is a stalactite sags down the streaky so it is called "Kae Sa Saluai", Matsaya Satid and Kae Sa Luai area are very dark. Luckily I bring a flashlight with me to light on the rocks.

This point of the cave area. If you are not using a flashlight, you would definitely can't see anything. I can imagine of the footprint.

Sae Jam Ma Lee, a big stalactite swags down beautifully.

The most end is a wide hall area, high ceiling with a big hole. During 13.00 - 14.00 pm., there will be a light shining down like a laser. There is an area for visitors to make a merit and receive a holy water from monk.

Barom Ard ( a seat) shapes like a pot

Next to it is a reclining of Buddha

Tarn Nae Ra Mid is a stalactite, it shapes like a river flowing from the cave's ceiling to the ground.

I think the stalactite in this place looks natural than Kao Bin cave because this place is decorated with a white light only and there is a merging of hidden light in a rock's cranny which is so different from Kao Bin Cave that Illuminated with colorful lights, not difference from temple fair and no hidden of small light.

I want to leave message to travelers who visit to see the beautiful of the cave. Please don't touch stalactite in the cave because the rock can stop growing with a little touch of the your hands or it would cause the rock to appear a dark spot on it like stalactite in Tam Chom Phon which many dark spots are appeared on it. It is more worse when someone make a traces of scribbled names on the rock that make me imagine of cutting off that people hands right away,

Now I arrive at Chom Bueng district and want to try the food of Bang Nhai restaurant. This restaurant got many guarantee awards from many T.V. shows. Latest show is Talad Sod Sanum Bao tv. show which broadcast on channel 5.

Bang Nhai restaurant is located on the side of the road. It is a small local restaurant. The food here tastes spicy.

First dish is Spicy chicken with pickled asparagus. The dish tastes a little sweet. Chef says local people here like to eat sweet.

Next dish is a grill Suar Long Hai (a beef)

Steam egg with spicy liver

A hot dish, it is red curry with chicken. It tastes spicy like its name Bang Nhai.

Spicy fish soup with fish eggs. The soup is hot and spicy which can the throat.

Overall taste is okay, people who like spicy food would like it.

After that we are heading to Potharam district, first place we going to visit is Water Cave.

I see a big crowd of monkeys showing up to welcome us since when we turning from the main road, driving through a shortcut route to the temple. It seems like they know that this is their place so they sit across the street and not quite afraid of the car. So, please drives slowly and carefully at this point.

You can see a low hill from the parking lot which is the gateway to Water Cave. Many Buddha images are enshrined on the hill.

We have to walk a little up the stair, we will see the entrance of the cave. The mouth of the cave is a Hermit, Sudsakon and Manilla Dragon statue.

Tam Nam opens from 7.30 - 17.00, no admission fee.

Inside the cave is a water flow from a canal that locates next to the temple. The water flows from one side to another side which is called funnel of water. But it is a little drought when I go there so it is dried in the middle of the cave. The weather inside the cave is cool like Tam Chom Phon.

This area if you notice the cave's ceiling, you will see a white stone, its shape looks like Guanyin God.

There is an install of lights along the way inside the cave. Mostly is built in white tone. Only this area that has set up a colorful light.

There is a holy well too. Temple has provided a small well to keep a water that drop down from stalactite. You can notice that the outside and inside of the well is fulled of limestone's strain.

This point is shape like a big stone pole and swags of the stone.

Around Phaya Nun Ta Na Co Cave is quite dark. If I do not use a flashlight, we would not know that this is a small room. In front is a stone shapes like a head of Naga. You can see three-color clothes wrapped around the stone there.

Next to Phaya Nun Ta Na Co Cave, you will see a small walk way to Sacred Buddha inside the cave. Two sides of the way is flanked by a large crevices rock.

If you look back to see the place where a Buddha image is enshrined, you will see that the area was surrounded by a large granite slab that an air holes is appear on the stone.

The main attraction point of Tam Nam is not the beautiful of stalactite but a distinctive of the water flows inside the cave because when the drought period comes, little water still keep flowing inside.

After going out off Tam Nam, don't forget to worship Luang Por Ngen's body for our prosperity. I heard from local people that his nail still growing.

From Wat Tam Nam, I then go to Wat Putharam (Tam Sati). Actually, this two temples are not far away. You can ask about the route from seller that are selling goods at Tam Nam cave.

Tam Sati cave originally is a convent for pilgrim until the year 2006, Cha On nun invited Surin Rattanashoto teacher to stay at this place. Before that there are 10 cubicles but after that meditation hall, priest cubicles, churchgoer - worshipers accommodations are built then proceed to build a temple which is named Wat Pha Puttharam ( Tam Sati). This cave used to be a a place for practice mental prayer of Luang Phu Rur Si Ling Dam.

Tam Sa Ti is also called Suppaya Cave, the place is suitable for practice prayer, clean and airy. The arch is designed with a white stucco, very beautiful.

Inside the cave is a large hall surrounded by many Buddha Images but the most distinguish one is Pha Puttha Maha Kantha Rach that is carved from the stone of the cave's wall which is a Granite stone curving out from the cave.

I have heard the info that while the monk is closing his eyes and pray, there is a vision occurs in a light sphere which a clear glass is flying in the cave. After that the light stops in front of the monk. He has decided to get into that light and see the first sermon Buddha image which sit and hang his feet on Si La Ard podium and putting his feet on lotus flower. He is rising his hand and exponentially the preach, Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta. Apart from that, the light sphere flies into the cave's wall at the area that the present Buddha Image is built.

Pha Puttha Maha Kantha Rach (Phra Nang Mueng Kaew, it's shape looks beautiful which is the first sermon Buddha image sitting on the Si La Ard podium, putting his feet on the blooming lotus podium. Rising his hand to exponent the preach which is called Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta or it can also be called Pang Sa Dang Tum Ma Ted Sa Na Pan Ja Wuk Key. The Buddha Image is built from the cave wall, it is 3.9 meters height. The stone is a million ages old of Granite stone which is the only carving of Buddha image like this in Thailand.

I recommend you to go through the thigh of Pha Puttha Maha Kantha Rach when visit this place too for the prosperity of life. The way to go through his thigh is not hard. Just make a meditation and pray then go through the left side of the thigh and worship at the feet one time and then go through it again and again for 3 more times. The area under the thigh is quite narrow. My body is big so it a little bit hard for me to go through, can't go through it normally so I have to use my left hand to hold the base of the podium and right hand to hold the lotus flower and use my power to rise myself up from the left to the right instead.

There is a mural painting on the cave's wall which is painted by oil color, telling the profile of Lord Buddha, it is very beautiful.

If anyone passes Pho Tha Ram, I recommend that you should not miss to visit and worship Pha Puttha Maha Kantha Rach because it is rarely a chance for you to see the place.

After that we are heading to Jed Samien train station.

Next to Jed Samien train station is a Jed Samien old market.

Jed Samien market is an olden market, the age is more than 100 years but people are familiar to say " 119 years Jed Samien old market" It is a small market, opens every Saturday and Sunday of the end of the month. During the sunlight gone and the wind blow, this old market has arranged the heritage arts show from local people, All About Arts, but I go there at this time so no show.

The best and distinguish products of Jed Samien old market is a Chinese salted radish which there are many types of it, such as salty, sweet, shredded, dice or slice in a thin sheet. It can be used to make a spicy or fried with egg and eat with hot gruel. It is so delicious. Apart from radish, a pickle vegetable is also selling here too. I recommend that you should not miss it.

From Jed Samien market, now we are going to Petchkasem road to have lunch first before we are going to continue our journey. I make a pin at Secret Space restaurant.

Because Secret Space is a secret area. I want to know the secret of this place so I decide to visit this place.

From the parking lot area, if you want to go inside, you have to go through the maze that the restaurant build. Even it is a hot day at that time that my body fat melt out but I still want to expose the secret that is hidden inside.

When you finish exploring the maze, you will find out the secret of this place that it is the large area of 500 rai which is one of the big source production of plants in the country. Secret Spare is a supermarket of tree, a restaurant and a source of knowledge to share with those who interest in various plant species.

There is a cactus planted area. Inside is various cactus species, there are planted in a single pot and decorated in a beautiful mix cactus.

The atmosphere inside the restaurant. The menus are steak, spaghetti, salad and hot and cold beverage.

The weather is so hot, so I want to order some cold beverage, the atmosphere in the restaurant makes me think that the price is high but when I look at the menu, then I can say that the price is not different from Amazon Coffee shop.

I order sea food spaghetti, the taste is okay, it is served with shrimp, squid and mussels.

My last order is Salad wrap with a 3 sauces. Organic vegetable comes from their own planted. 3 Salad dressing is delicious.

For those who wants to find out the secret at Secret Space, you can go there everyday accept Monday since 08.00-20.00 pm. This place is opened not so long so there are not many tree but I recommend that you better go there in the evening,

Our stomach should fulfill with food. After we are fulled then we move on to the Wat Pha Sri Ar Ra Ya which is one of another interesting place of Pho Ta Ram.

A golden chapel of Wat Pha Sri Ar Ra Ya indicates an enormous power of faith of Ratchaburi people on Buddhism by building a golden chapel which cost one hundred millions Baht and take 37 years of construction.

A golden chapel is decorated with a statue of local handiwork, there is no fix pattern. It is built according to Luang Pho Kan. He intend to build this chapel without a piles, just take the rock to fill and pour a supporting beam to create a chapel.

The chapel's door is craved in a little curved out, telling the history of Buddha.

The chapel inside is tall, slender and spacious

Buddha image in the temple is Pang man Wi Chai, a Myanmar art which the whole body is built by a white jade. Luang Pho Auttama of this Wat Wang Vi Wey Ka Ram is the president to enshrine the Buddha image at this chapel.

Beside, Pha Sri Arn is a Buddha image that enshrined in the temple. It is the old Buddha statue, the dominant feature is Talipot in front of the statue, yellow robe is held in a petal form which is similar to the Buddha statue in Kan Ta Ra period. Pha Sri Arn is in front of Buddha image in the temple.

Mural painting is telling the story of MAHAJANAKA, 5 Gods. The color of the mural painting is still look fresh.

Beside the golden chapel there is a public pavilion. Inside the pavilion is a food provide by the temple for kith and kin to have a meal. Sticky rice, Som Tum, cantaloupe with coconut milk are menu served on that day. I had tried it. Som Tum tastes good and cantaloupe with coconut milk is sweet enough which can help me become fresh and this is a good opportunity to see people working together on string a Tip rice so I have a chance to eat Tip rice that are cooked fresh from the stove.

Now it comes to a highlight time of this trip which is Nang Yai Wat Kanon festival. I arrive at Wat Kanon around 18.00 pm. I think that I arrive the place early but I am wrong, I am so late, because I see audiences have already laid out the mat to reserve the seat all over the yard. So, I have to try searching for the available place of 4 people... and I get it, it is a small place so we try to make ourselves small as much as I can too. We sit for a while and someone is asking us to move forward a little bit because I am tall which intercept them to see the show. What I can do is nod my head and get away from that place and leaving other 3 members of the team sitting there. So I go out and find a place to take a pictures beside the show stage instead.

Pra Kru Pi Tak Silapakom, abbot of Wat Kanon who preserve Nang Yai from disappearing in Thailand.

Every show is a lives show both music performance and dubbing.

The first show that I watch is a puppet show about Sudsakorn and Manilla Dragon. This show actually the actor is at the back of the stage and will appear only the puppet but this time we have seen the whole show in front of the stage.

Next show is a folk dance of Indonesia

Dancer is so delicate like they have no bone. The face of the dancers is painted in a real mood. The face is changed by the mood of each actor.

Punctuated by the show from Thailand.

The story tells about Nang Songkran. The show is beautiful, showing the delicate, balance of the actor. So enjoyable.

Then go back to the show of Indonesia again, this show is named " Wayang Kulit" or a shadow puppet show.

Wayang Kulit is the oldest national art of Indonesia. It is a beautiful shadow puppet show. It combines an artistic several show with an unique puppet show of Javanese. So people have speculated that the arts is create by themselve without any influence from anyway.

Wayang Kulit is a small show, it is much smaller than Nang Yai of Thailand. Normally, they use a small display for the show but when it is show in Thailand, the display is very big so they have to find a way to adapt the show. The temple has use a technique to show Wayang Kulit through the projector and makes the show go smoothly.

Next show is from Cambodia, it is names " Sa Bak Thom"

In Khmer language, the word Sa Bak means " Nang" and Thom means "Yai" This art of the show is about Sa Bak Thom in the court of Cambodia around after the year 957. We guess that it is the original of caring a picture from various ornamental stone which in the next period, especially the story of Ramayana and Maha Parata,

Wen Sa Bak Thom is supported by the government so it has been registered to be the world heritage in term of on tangible heritage of UNESCO. Local Khmer people also try to maintain, preserve and publicize by arrange the show abroad in the original way both music and the show. The show of Sa bak art, Wat Bor from Siam Rieb city reflects another version of Nang Yai to Thai people. We can see similarities and differences point but the most important is we can see the common culture center of Southeast Asia region.

What I notice is Nang Yai of Cambodia is big enough when comparing to our Nang Yai. But, Cambodia show presents only in black color which is different from our show that we have presented it with color.

I have a chance to see the show at the back of the stage. The show of Cambodia and Thai is using Kala fire ( fire burn from coconut shell). Back stage is very hot, I have to admit that all actors are so tolerance. Even I stay at the distance farther away than the actors but I feel that my body fat is non stop melting right now. The actors will stay near fire, holding Nang Yai material which is heavy. more important is that they are not wearing the shoe and dance which I think they are taking their risk to step on the coconut shell that burn with fire and fall on the floor. It is such a difficult time behind the beauty of the show to audience.

More than 45 minutes to finish Sa Bak Thom show. The show ends with loud applause.

And then it comes to the highlight of the show which is Nang Yai show fom Wat Kanon.

Nang Yai is a treasure of Thai culture. It is a mixture of several valuable artistic including handicrafts, dance, literary arts, musical and rhetorical. It is a worth cultural treasure that is called "High-level performance". It is an olden art because there is an evidence of Nang Yai since Krungsri Ayutthaya period. Nang Yai Wat Kanon has received the prize from UNESCO to show that it is 1 of 6 distinguish community of the world that conserves a an abstract cultural heritage (ACCU PRIZE).

Nang Yai is made from buffalo skin. It is sew in a character from Ramayana story and show on a big screen. For the show on that day, it is a combination of 2 arts which are Nang Yai and pantomime which is so hard to see it.

When comparing from where I used to watch the show in theater and the show this time, I can say that the mood is very different. The show today is using a fire from burning a coconut shell which can produce more beautiful shadow. I recommend that you guy should find a chance to see Nang Yai festival once in your life then you will know that Ratchaburi really has more interest things than you think.

Tonight I will stay at Tai-Shan Suites which is located in middle of Ratchaburi.

Tai-Shan Suites is located near By Pass Road.

There are many parking lots inside.

Lobby is designed simple and there is a personal small corner including a beverage and a rest area inside the lobby. You have to prepare 200 Baht to Check-in.

The room is quite wide and simple and modern style. The room color looks clean with a combination of wood style. At the end of the bed, there is a sofa for watching television, a table for eating foods or working and balcony to breath in a fresh air outside the room.

The restroom is also wide and it is separated into wet and dry area by a mirror. A toilet spray is also there too.

Facilities in the room are flat screen television size 32 inch with cable t.v., water heater,large fridge, 2 bottles of water and free wifi.

For me overall facilities and room are worth paying for 600 Baht. This price is not include breakfast but a coffee, Ovaltine and bread for free service. For those who wants to have breakfast, you can add more 100 Baht.

I pay attend at breakfast so bread and Ovaltine is not enough for my stomach for sure. Before we go out, we go to try a egg noodle at Guai Tiew Kai Khun Mam.

Guai Tiew Kai Khun Mam is located beside Prom Pat hospital, opens from 05.30-17.00 pm. Apart from the noodle, there are curry with rice, dessert and many snacks.

At Ratchaburi, if you miss eating Guai Tiew Kai is like you are not at Ratchaburi so I order it 2 dishes, both a normal and with dumpling. The taste is delicious without adding more flavoring but a little bit sweet.

Tao Hong Tai factory is an ancient pottery factory of Ratchaburi since the year 1933. Start from operating Hai Nam Pra factory, big eartern jar without any pattern, flowerpot. It is the first factory of Ratchaburi and then they keep developing their products by differentiate the old product and adding creative and modern style on it. The products can be used in the real time. This place opens for customer abroad to visit for free. Inside there are many cool corners to take a picture and there is a coffee shop there too.

Apart from that, this place is also open for visitors to see a production process and method to produce many stuffs of the factory. Starting from hand molding, a pattern written and if traveler want to buy these things to send it back home, you can buy it here but for what I observe the market and it makes me feel sad because the price is quite high.

From Ratchaburi, I choose the route to Damnoen Saduak Floating district and heading to Kam Phaeng Saen district to avoid traffic jam so we visit Luang Posod Tumma Ga Ya Ram which is located in Damnoen Saduak district.

I have passed by this temple so many times but I have no chance to visit it since time is limited but today I still have time left so I ride around the temple. The temple is very peaceful and shady. It is located in the area of national park and Suan Pa Thawon Chaloem Phra Kiat, the area is more than 200 Rai. The temple has received the award of excellence forest from the department of forestry in the year 1996 too.

I visit sanctuary in the middle of water of Luang Sod which the place is known as a magnificent and holy place which is built for meditation, 4 Satipatthanas and 24 hours develop enlightenment. This sanctuary is built in a Thai building style with white tetrahedron. It is designed in a contemporary art style in the middle of the water which a bridge is connect to the sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary is enshrined a Buddha image, the attitude of meditation. Apart from that, there is a mimic picture of Luang Po Sod, Som Ded Pra Pudthajan, Pra Bor Rom Sa Ree Rik Ga Taat and a pure marble in difference size to help meditation in the sanctuary.

This afternoon I plan to have lunch at TEXAS STEAK which is located next to Lotus Kam Phaeng Saen. Actually this restaurant is located outside Ratchaburi province but I decide to have lunch at this restaurant because member of the trip recommend that the food of this restaurant is delicious so I have to try it here.

In front is a parking lot which quite wide. There is an indoor and outdoor seat. But it is afternoon time, so I decide to sit in air-condition zone.

Starting with Texas Steak, a pork steak. The pork is tender and also taste good.

Next menu is Rib Eye Steak, it is grilled ,a little bit dried.

Seafood Salad, salad serves together with fried shrimp and fried Dolly fish. Salad dressing is taste good.

Last menu is seafood pizza in a small size. Its appearance looks good and the taste is also good too.

Overall, the food taste good, it doesn't make me disappointed that I intend to try it. The price is reasonable. The taste is worth the price and quantity.

For this Ratchaburi trip, it is my second time " I intend" to visit this place and it makes me know that Ratchaburi has so many interesting thing to do. It is too many that I still can't visit an outstanding place of Ratchaburi and I definitly intend to come back here for 1 or times.

I am wondering why Thai people are not quite appreciative about the show because the province like Ratchaburi has Nang Yai in Wat Kanon which have received a prize from UNESCO to be 1 of 6 community in the world. I think that we are having a great treasure in our hands, so please don't let them disappear by time. We just have to help each, preservative of this the show in the future.

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 Thursday, September 8, 2016 9:59 AM