An Elephant Offering Alms to a Monk


I’ve taken pictures of alms giving many times in Thailand. These have varied from the early morning alms round on foot and boat to the big mass alms giving in one location. The latter kind often takes place on special occasions like the birthdays of the King and Queen and also for marking the new year. I took a picture of this elephant offering alms to a monk during the Songkran festival in Ayutthaya. Songkran is the traditional Thai new year.

A Young Snake Charmer


This young snake charmer was spotted at a tourist attraction in Thailand’s central region. For a price, she lets tourists hold the snake around their neck for them to take a picture. Other places have animals like monkeys and parrots. Sounds nice but there are two things that you should be concerned about. Firstly, why isn’t she at school? Her parents are obviously using her to make some money. Secondly, many of these animals are endangered and have been doped up to keep them calm. If you see anything like this while on holiday, please think twice before supporting them.

Police Bicycle Patrol in Ayutthaya


A popular tourist destinations for tourists is the Historical Park in Ayutthaya. As much of this is inaccessible to vehicles, the local police started an innovative scheme to help keep their citizens and foreign tourists safe. About three years ago they launched the Volunteer Police Bike Patrol. This is headed by two fulltime policemen and fifty five local volunteers. They each take turns to go out on patrols around the ruins of the ancient city. Volunteers work on shifts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. twice a week.

The Golden Buddha

The Golden Buddha

The Golden Buddha is the world’s largest solid gold statue. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit in Bangkok. The statue is 3 metres tall and weighs 5.5 tonnes. For several hundred years it was encased in a thick layer of stucco. In 1955, workmen were moving it to a new location when the ropes broke. The Buddha image fell revealing gold underneath the plaster.

Steam Train arriving in Ayutthaya


This is the Pacific Steam Locomotive 824 as it arrived at Ayutthaya railway station this morning. It was manufactured in Japan and was then first used in Thailand in 1949. The locomotive was recently refurbished and refitted with a new boiler, electric generator and genset air compressor. It was also given a fresh layer of body paint. It is used on special occasions like the run today celebrating the anniversary of the State Railway of Thailand.

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