Monks Bowl Village, Grand Palace, Partying at Gazebo

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Ban Batt Community

I saw this documentary about Bangkok, where they went to this small village in the middle of Bangkok, called 'Ban Baht' where they still keep the tradition alive of of creating handmade Buddhist alms bowls out of eight pieces of steel (representing Buddha's eightfold path).  Walking down the narrow alleys in Rattanakosin, the city's old quarter, known as "Ban Batt," you start hearing the 'ping,ping,ping' of the alms bowls being made. 

This village was originally established by King Rama I as an area where monks black alms bowls, used to collect food, were made.  In Buddhism, giving of alms is the beginning of one's journey to Nirvana.  But over the years with the creation of cheaper ways of producing bowls are replacing the traditional techniques, thus putting most of the craftsmen out of business.
Me, Bennie & the artist
  However, you can still come to the village and find a few families still keeping the traditional ways alive.  Me, Ruby and Bennie made our way through the village and after visiting one of the businesses where the lady was kind of rude, we found this nice little man who took us into his little home, showed us how his wife is starting the process, gave us more personal view of the process was very warm and open.  Ruby ended up buying a small bowl and Bennie and I bought the full size bowls.  We even got to take photos with the craftsman.  This was really cool, not only do we get to buy a souvenir full of Thai tradition and culture but we also get to see how its made, and meet the artist himself!

After getting our souvenirs, we go for some sightseeing nearby and stop at Wat Samet and the Golden Mount.
Grand Palace at Sunset
  The Golden Mount was his is was the highest point in Bangkok at one time.  King Rama III wanted this to be the sight of the greatest chedi (golden spire) in all of Thailand, but due to the fact that Bangkok is built on sinking ground the original chedi crumbled.  King Rama IV merely placed a much smaller chedi in its place and called it Wat Samet.  If you go to the top of the Golden Mount, you will be rewarded with an amazing panoramic view of Bangkok, but you must climb all 320 steps...

After that we make our way to the Grand Palace, which is a compound full of former residences of Thai Kings.  It contains Boromabiman Hall, built by King Rama VI, and every king since has lived there at some time.  Amarinda Hall, the original residence of King Rama I, now used for ceremonial gatherings and corronations.
Good Times at Gazebo!
  The last and probably the most interesting is Grand Palace Hall (Chakri Maha Prasat) This building hasn't been used as a royal residence since the mysterious death of King Rama VIII, who was found shot dead in his room in 1946. To this day this remains a taboo subject and not to be talked about publicly in Thailand.

Now all that sounds quite interesting and would be interesting to see, however when we get to the Grand Palace we notice that it is already closed.  Even if it would have been open we wouldn't be allowed inside since there is a strict dresscode, everyone and I do mean EVERYONE has to wear clothing that covers their knees.

Its still very impressive from the outside :)

We make our way back to our hotel and meet the others for some food and drink!  We end up going to Gazebo, a club which has a nice rooftop area, where u can smoke hookah and drink, and we had a great time.  Ruby had to get up early to pick up James at the airport, Derek founded the idea of buying ridiculous hats for everyone, and after much alcohol and hookah we end up at.... McDonalds at 4am for much needed food!!!
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Ban Batt Community
Ban Batt Community
Me, Bennie & the artist
Me, Bennie & the artist
Grand Palace at Sunset
Grand Palace at Sunset
Good Times at Gazebo!
Good Times at Gazebo!
Top of the Golden Mount
Top of the Golden Mount
Haha
Haha
6pm salute to the king!
6pm salute to the king!
Give me back my hat!
Give me back my hat!
Ok thats better ;)
Ok thats better ;)
Good Times at Gazebo
Good Times at Gazebo
What was this? No alcohol was invo…
What was this? No alcohol was inv…
Buying our hats :)
Buying our hats :)
Me, Derek, and Bert
Me, Derek, and Bert
In deep thought
In deep thought
Bangkok
photo by: Deats