The streets of Bangkok are very congested with traffic which probably explains why there are no police car chases in the city. At the same time, there are also some very narrow lanes that are not suitable for cars or even motorcycles. This is where the Police Bike Patrol become useful. These guys are from Chana Police Station near Khao San Road. There are about twenty of them and they are made up of volunteers and fulltime policemen. They patrol the tourist areas on their bicycles.
The photograph shows a group of novice monks eating their last meal of the day. Many children become novices for a few weeks during the summer holidays. It’s not easy for them as they can only eat twice a day. Breakfast and lunch. They cannot eat again after noon. However, they can have drinks like soy milk. For forest monks, they only eat once a day.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Loei Province in the winter months is the Poinsettia Garden. This can be found at the entrance to the Phu Rua National Park. The leaves of the poinsettia plant turn from green to red under special circumstances and are often used for Christmas displays. This flower garden is very popular with Thai tourists during the cooler weather in Northern Thailand from the end of November until the end of January. People travel far to take pictures here.
There has been a regular Children’s Day in Thailand since 1955. It is held on the second Saturday of January every year. On this day, many places open their doors to children for free or at a reduced rate. For example, zoos, theme parks and museums. Other places that don’t normally open to the public will open on this day. Such as Parliament, Government House and military bases. It is the latter which seems to be very popular with many kids and their parents. The children get to handle guns and climb up and over tanks and helicopters.
Most tourists who visit Phuket spend most of their time on the beach. In doing so, they are missing out on the beautiful Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket Town. These colourful buildings date back to the start of the 20th Century. In 1994, Phuket Municipality designated the old section of Phuket Town on Rassada, Phang Nga, Yaowarat, Krabi, Deebuk, Thalang and Thepkasattri roads as a conservation area and prohibited buildings of more than 12 metres high. In addition, many roads in this area have had their power and telephone wires buried underground.
One of the most amazing temples in Suphanburi is Wat Phai Rong Wua. Around the grounds there are reproductions of buildings marking the locations of important places in the Buddha’s life. There is also the largest concrete Buddha and this Standing Buddha, which is said to be the largest Bronze Buddha images at 26 meters high. As well as many Buddha images of all shapes and sizes, there is a Buddhist Hell where you can see what will happen to you if you sin in this life.
It is traditional for Thai men to ordain as Buddhist monks at least once in their life. Some consider they are not real men until they have done this. In the past, men would ordain for three months when they have reached the age of twenty. However, with a modern lifestyle, it is not always easy or convenient to ordain for a long period of time. So, some do a token ordination into the monkhood for less than a week. Nevertheless, the ordination ceremony, which lasts for two days, can be very elaborate. Here a young man is being escorted to the local temple by family and friends on the back of a horse.
The start of the three month long Buddhist Lent was celebrated in Suphanburi with an elaborate parade with traditional cultural performances. The highlights were beautifully carved candles on floats that took part in the parade. All ten districts in Suphanburi submitted their own float with wax carvings that must have taken months to create. The parade was so long that it took more than two hours to pass the starting point in the city.
A popular destination for Bangkok people at the weekend is Cha-am Beach, which is about 200 kilometers to the south. It can get very crowded with thousands of people in the sea and no deckchairs available. However, as this is mainly a Thai resort, you will find you will have the place to yourself if you visit during the week. The seaside resort is popular with Scandinavians who have settled here in large numbers.
It’s becoming the trend in Thailand these days to build themed restaurants and malls. Santorini Park in Cha-am is a cross between a themed mall and an amusement park. Though there aren’t really that many shops of interest. Entrance is only 50 Baht and then you pay extra for each of the rides. The place is popular with Thais at the weekend who go to take selfies and upload to social media.