The beautiful Phra Pratom Chedi and touristy Rose Garden

Nakhon Pathom Travel Blog

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It is about noon when we arrive in Nakhon Pathom, to see the Chedi. From down the stairs it didn't look that spectacular to me. It is the biggest Chedi in Thailand and that is exactly what you see when looking up to it: it is pretty huge. Frankly, I thought that was going to be it. A big golden building, having a walk around it, going to the bus and being able to tell everyone you saw the largest chedi of the country. But man was I wrong!

First thing I liked was the Buddha Statue halfway up the stairs. It is a white statue in stone, not a shiny gold one. I can't help liking the stone images more. They don't reflect the light that much which makes it easier to see the details, and they have more flair around them, I think.
Golden Rain Tree
I must be an exception on that point, as most people like the gold statues that are often more ornamented.

There aren't many people around the Phra Pratom Chedi. That's the first thing I notice when I get up the plateau that surrounds the building. This area is a lot bigger that I expected it to be. There is some space to walk arround, decorated with trees and little bell-houses. I like the bells because it is said they bring luck when you ring them. As I tend to be more supersticious on a holliday I ring one. She makes a lovely sound, that is carried around between the flowery trees by a warm, soft breeze. When I left Belgium all trees were bold, but here they all have coulorful flowers that smell heavenly. One of them is the Golden Rain tree, which is said to be some sort of national tree because of the yellow colour of the flowers (that is also the color of the king), and another tree of which I can't translate the name from Dutch (we call it "Franchipaneboom").
It is the "tree of saidness", someone told me, but I don't really know why. The smell and form of the flowers make me really happy, as they simply are delightful. Yet it used to be planted only at cemetaries for some reason. The area around Phra Pratom is full of them. I ring the bell again after the tone faded, and again, to salute this beautiful place.

Around the Chedi there is a gallery ful of Buddha statues. They all show a different pose and small information boards explain the meaning of each position. I find this very interesting, especially because I'd read there were many poses but I couldn't imagine what they would look like. So I make the whole tour, stopping at each statue to take it in. Every now and then there is a door in the gallery so you can walk through it to the Chedi itself. Because the area here is closed in by the surrounding building, and yet still in plain sun, it is very hot here.
Flower of the tree of sadness. They smell great!
I do climb the stairs though, to walk around the chedi, but I don't stay too long. The little "park" with the bells and the trees is much more pleasant to me. I've seperated myself from the group to enjoy the peaceful athmosphere just after we got up to the plateau. There's no way you can enjoy the silence while surrounded by 16 other people.

While walking around on my own I've only crossed a handful of visitors, three of them monks, and after the crowded Floating Market it felt good to be away from the other tourists for some time. I could have stayed here for hours, but I also got a bit hungry after more than 2 days without food. So I wasn't all regretful when we left for our next stop, Rose Garden, were we would have lunch.

Rose Garden is a sort of touristy hangout place that tries to show the traditional Thai way of living to visitors.
Other beautiful flowers
I would compare it to the Belgian "Bokrijk", although most of you won't know what that is. There were ponds and trees and flowery gardens to walk around in, traditional wooden houses in a traditional village, a show about different dances and ceremonies, and a large buffet with Thai and international cuisine. Though I love Thai food I am also glad to find the Western Pumpkin soup and the Western bread. I feel like starting to eat again but I also feel like taking it easy. Just some soup and some bread would therefore do fine, and indeed they did. The last cramps faded out short after I had lunch, and that really made my day. The Rose Garden show wasn't that spectacular though, but good to see onces. If I had had a choice in the matter however, I would have rather stayed at Phra Pratom a bit longer.

After the show the bus takes us for a two hour ride to Kanchanaburi, where we arrive in the evening.
Our hotel here is simply wonderful. It’s called Felix River Kwai, and has a beautiful setting surrounding it. From upon my room balcony I can see the River Kwai and even the famous bridge. I have a pond and a fountain just underneath my window, and in the evening the lawns and the trees in the garden are beautifully enlightened, while gentle music plays on the terrace. The rooms are equally nice. Maintenance could be a bit better but apart from that everything  looks smooth. Too bad we will only be staying here for one night…

We saw the little “party rafts” for the first time on our way to the hotel. Small rafts with a roof, that are pulled over the river by a little boat. People hire them to party on, to dance and eat and sing karaoke.
Tonight we have diner on one of those, and it looks really cosy. It is all wood and painted in bright colours, the views over the passing by land are nice and the buffet it delicious. I can’t imagine a better ending for this wonderful day.


Masterboy - Land of dreaming
aoisoba says:
as usual i enjoyed your blog and pics :)
Posted on: Mar 23, 2008
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Golden Rain Tree
Golden Rain Tree
Flower of the tree of sadness. The…
Flower of the tree of sadness. Th…
Other beautiful flowers
Other beautiful flowers
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
Rose Garden Show
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
The lovely Felix River Kwai Hotel
Our party-raft
Our party-raft
Nakhon Pathom
photo by: Pearl510