Today we are only two people cycling, Pita and myself. Kate and Grandin accelerated towards Bangkok where they have an appointment. We did not cycling much today because we have visited two places: the Sanam Chandra Palace built by King Rama VI and Phra Pathom Chedi the first and biggest pagoda built in Thailand. A slow and interesting day :-) I told Pita we would travel around 50km per day but today we have been quite lazy haha. That compensates the long distance we have done yesterday :-)
The team :-) with Khunoi and his wife on the right hand side. We are finally ready to go.
We have been travelling together for few minutes only. Grandin and Kate wants to arrive at Bangkok today so we must say goodbye here. See you next time!
Few minutes later we arrived with Pita in the city centre of Nakhon Pathom where we started the visit of the Sanam Chandra Palace. The entrance fee is 30 baht for Thai people and 50 for foreigners.
Wouuuh, looks good already.
We start the visit of the authentic Thai house where, unfortunately no camera is allowed… Sorry… Basically, this type of house are built with wood. The different rooms are situated around the platform and leave the centre empty. At the centre, a big tree keeps the house cool.
That’s the house we have just visited. What Pita is taking picture of?
Uuuh, the view is nice! That’s the King Rama VI palace. The Queen and the King live in two different home which are connected by this bridge. The whole palace is symetric. Once again, We cannot take any picture from the inside.
Another point of view of the King’s place.
This is taken from the bridge towards the Authentic Thai house.
We keep walking towards the King’s house.
That’s the outside. Inside the King’s Palace there was an illustration of Chenonceau Castle (from France). Maybe this castle inspired the king to built this one.
It took nine years to built this Palace. The king wished to build a palace here as a retreat and a residence during his pilgrimage trip to the stupa (The huge Pagoda we are going to visit soon).
In the park like anywhere in Thailand, Chicken, ducks and other birds share the place. This rooster has luxury taste! I’m sure he doesn’t even realise how lucky he is.
From the side.
Tiny temple for prayers.
The bridge onto the river. We are now coming back to our bicycles and will go visit the Pagoda.
Only 5 minutes away, easy!
That’s Phra Pathom Chedi and the visit is free.
This Pagoda has been rebuilt two times. The original one was much smaller than the second version (built onto it) and even smaller than the actual one which measure a bit more than 120m.
“The ruins and monuments are very old; so old that the local inhabitants can only tell us myth about them. The story goes that once upon a time Phra Kong ruled over this district. He had a son, who, astrologers predicted, would one day kill his father. The son was therefore left to die but was taken away and secretly brought up by an old woman, Yai Horn, out of pity. The boy grew up into a hero and was known as Pan. Without know that ruler was his own father he opposed him as the people’s oppressor, and engaging him in a single combat where The Wat (temple) Dharmasla now stands, killed him and became King with the style of Phya Pan. Then finding out that the oppressor whom he had killed was really his father, he put the whole blame upon the old woman Hom and put her to death. He then became obsessed by remorse and worry arising from the fact of his double act of ingratitude; he consulted monks as to how to atone for his sins. The answer was that he should build a chedi “as high as the wild pigeon fly.” Hence the great monument of the Chedi of Phra Pathom. Turning back to Sanam Chandra, the palace, as it now stands, was designed and built by King Rama VI as soon as he came to the throne.” (the text is coming from a little book given to us at the temple).
A lot of people come here every day apparently.
This is Buddha when we was born. Yes, he could walk straight away. He is cool, he is Buddha ;-)
“In order to realise when and by whom Phra Pathom Chedi was built, we must go back to the first diffusion of Buddhism from India. When Buddha died, his creed had already spread all over the central India. But it was King Ashoka who spread Buddhism beyond the confines of India. He sent missionaries to many lands. […] The majority, however , state that the site of Nakhon Pathom ought to be the capital of this ancient Kingdom, and the town was probably called Suvamabhumi at that time. […] Many relics have also been found there, especially those made after the style of Ashoka which are rarely found in such number in other places, such as various stupas (including Phra Pathom Chedi), stones wheels of law, tablets bearing the Buddhist credo, carved altas (Asana) and Buddha’s footprints, all of which preceded the making of the first Buddha images in 143 B.C.
Phra Pathom Chedi is one of the most important evidences that Nakorn Pathom was the capital city of Suvarnabhumi. If we examine the original stupa inside the Chedi (there is a replica of it situated south of the hedi), We shall see that it was restored several times until its shape was completely changed If the prang (spire) is taken away, you will see immediately that it resembles the great stupa at Sanchi which dates back to Asoka’s times. Its shape is circular like an inverted basin or cup. On top is placed a square altar crowned with a chatra (parasol). The base is also square, have a circumambient gallery and enclosure outside. (the text is coming from a little book given to us at the temple).
That’s the result!
On the side of the pagoda there is also a sculpture of Buddha when he died.
That’s a big one!
A strange point of view ;-)
We can get in, nice :-)
Effectively, it’s huge.
Better keep walking in the shade.
Those two visit were good, now it’s time for lunch :-) A guy Pita met outside the Pagoda told her there was a cheap Vietnamese restaurant not far away from it. We followed his indications and get what we expected: Vietnamese food, Pho!
Finally, around 3:30pm we left Nakhon Pathom towards the north. We did not know yet where we would sleep tonight. We expected to sleep in a temple. Naturally, because planning never really works (and it’s not that fun when it works) we stopped to have a break along the road. An old woman who saw the two bicycles and asked some questions to Pita. Less than 5 minutes later, she offered us to sleep at her house tonight! They have a big hangar where they can fit two cars, the living space and us tonight! Soon, we met her husband who was a bit reluctant to invite us first but he realised quickly enough that we were harmless :-)
The man proposed to cook dinner for us. Well, he said his wife could cook dinner for us so we prefered to find something ourselves and not bother the old woman tonight.
Less than a minute cycling from the house (we thought it was further) we found a place where to eat some food. The owner was so happy that I liked her food that I got a second bowl of noodle soup for 10baht! Being full we came back at the house and had a chat with the husband who were really talkative. We thought he would never let us sleep haha. Finally, around 10pm we were able to rest. Tomorrow we leave at 6am! Good night!