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About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thursday Challenge - Vibrancy along the roads in Bangkok

Came upon this Thursday Challenge on a fellow bloggers' page and thought why not do it here as well..

The theme for today is "BRIGHT" (Sunny, Lights, Laser, Intense, High Key,...). 

It was our 1st day in Bangkok and we had stepped out to explore Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Along the way we spotted a few tuk tuks, a Government building of sorts that had flags from across the world and quite a few sites with the King's photo accompanied by flower arrangement of sorts. The one in the shape of a harp was beautiful, made up of small pots with red coloured plants.. 




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jim Thompson's house, Bangkok

When I was planning my Bangkok trip, as always I did do a bit of research and one of the places that cropped up in almost all the sites was a visit to Jim Thompson's house. A friend of mine who had been to Bangkok earlier also recommended the place. 

So one afternoon, we hopped on the BTS, and headed towards the House. [We are staying at Sukumwit 11, and so from there we had to take the sky train to Siam BTS, get off from the Sukhumvit Line train, search for National Stadium sign and get into the Silom Line Train the platform. In National Stadium (W1), take the exit 1, walk on, then you'll see the house at about 200 meters from the main road.] 

It is located down a narrow lane that ends with a view of the canal. We saw quite a few boats speed by while we had lunch at the restaurant inside the Jim Thompson house, which is more of a museum of his works and life. 












I bought a ticket for 100Baht [friend decided to sit this out] and signed up for the next available tour [ 40mins is the duration of the tour]. The place is filled with Thai structures that Jim Thompson, an American businessman collected from all parts of Thailand during the 1950s and 1960s. While he was building his silk company, he also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art, which at the time was not well-known internationally. He built a large collection of Buddhist and secular art not only from Thailand but from Burma, Cambodia, and Laos, frequently travelling to those countries on buying trips. It was in 1958 that he began to put together a home to showcase his art collection. Formed from parts of six antique Thai houses, his home (completed in 1959) sits on a klong (canal) across from Bangkrua, where his weavers were then located. Most of the 19th-century houses were dismantled and moved from Ayutthaya, but the largest, a weaver's house (now the living room), came from Bangkrua. 

You walk along a beautifully done up garden to explore the various buildings, see the fine art pieces and to get a glimpse of what his life was like. And when you are done, you can also check out the store near the restaurant where a few products are available for sale [ beautiful but pricey]. And then there is the small art performance done by two women just outside the store. They are so elegant and graceful, was quite a sight to watch. 

And when you are done, there is a small shuttle of sorts that will drop you off at the main road which is within walking distance from the station. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Skywatch Friday- Wat Pho, Bangkok



And so we had finally landed in Bangkok and made our way to the Hotel. After grabbing a quick bite in the Executive lounge and taking a tour of our cool room, we sat down to chalk out a plan for the day. 

It was nearly 2pm, and so we thought we will do The Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun that evening since all these were close to each other and Wat Arun shut the latest at 6.30pm. 

We left the room around 3pm, and headed out to hail a cab from the streets. We asked quite a few cabs, but most wouldn’t come. And then one guy said ok but was charging 400Baht. 

Being ignorant and eager, we hopped in and went over to The Grand Palace. Just as we got off the vehicle, a man in security uniform came over and told us the place was closed and only Thai locals were allowed. He then suggested we hail a Tuk tuk and go to Wat Arun. He proceeded to take us to a Tuk tuk waiting near the curb and the guy there quoted 250Baht. Now we had done enough research to know that Wat Pho and Wat Arun were close by. We asked if he would instead just drop us off at Wat Pho. He refused and asked us to get away from there. We walked on, and before we knew it we reached Wat Pho

The complex is huge and beautiful. We had never seen such intricate workmanship anywhere else and this just blew our minds away. The towering temple complexes,  the number of Buddha sculptures [more than 1000], the walk ways and then of course the majestic Reclining Buddha [160 ft long] leave you overwhelmed.. the entire place is spread across 8 hectares of land. 

Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple in Phra Nakhon district in Bangkok. It is also known also as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. But what not many know is that the official name of this temple is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan [quite a mouthful right?]

While you do the rounds of the campus, there are quite a ew smaller shrines where people worship even today. The custom we noticed was to pick up a lotus, a candle, 2 incense sticks- light them up and say a prayer. Here in the temple there was a table with roof tiles with a form pasted on it. Just like in our part of the world we donate money in the temple, here you donate a roof tile. 







And now talking about the focal point of Wat Pho- the Reclining buddha, he is lying down and looks so divine, it had us grounded for a few minutes. 6m long and 15m high, this sculpture illustrates the passing of the Buddha into nirvana (ie the Buddha's death). Made with plaster around a brick core and finished in gold leaf, the sole of his feet are studded with Mother-of-pearl inlay ornaments, displaying 108 different auspicious lák·sà·nà (characteristics of a Buddha).  

All along the corridor of the temple are 108 bronze bowls indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. We spotted quite a few people drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune and the money donated is also used for the temples maintenance. 

The sky was beautiful blue, with cool breeze keeping us company as we wandered around the complex. 




The one thing about the place that amazed me was the way people moved about. There were places where we had to leave our footwear in a stand. People came, removed, left them, walked in and walked out to pick up their footwear in peace. There was no chaos, no worry about “will my footwear be there or would someone have taken it away”…   The other thing I noticed was the temple was filled wit cats, all colours, shapes and sizes... They were  not scared of people, some almost invited visitors to come pet them, while others went about their work peaceful. 

And then of course were the gazillion people clicking selfies - either wit hands stretched out or using a selfie stick. We spent a good two hours exploring the place and could spend another hour easily taking it all in. 

It was time to get out across the road toward the ferry point.. 

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday ...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Travellling to Bangkok- visa!

Once the destination was decided, it was all about getting details sorted out for the Visa, picking up some foreign currency and finally putting a few things in the suitcase before hitting the road.

For Bangkok, visa is available in two formats- one you can get online visa and the other is Visa on arrival. It costs about 1000  [regular queue] or 1200[fast track line] Baht if you are doing Visa on arrival.  I opted for this module and so went ahead downloaded the form from the net. It said I needed a photograph to be affixed on it which meant I had to get the photograph done ahead of time [ oh and in case you forget, there is a booth near the visa counter for instant photos]... While I was at it, I managed to exchange some money as well.

Once we landed in Bangkok, we walked into the airport and saw a sign that said Immigration and visa with an arrow pointing to the left.. We went around the corner & were overwhelmed with what we saw. There were a million [yes I am exaggerating, but there were more than 200 ppl] milling around the area. Could not find a single person to help/give us guidance, we took place and stood in line. But I kept going round and round trying to find someone who could help and finally a lady told us that this was for people with Foreign passport and visa stamped already, but Visa on arrival was in another area down the lobby. 


I took the cue and walked down the corridor to the area that said "Visa on arrival", found a small crowd there. Stood in the line and it took me about 10 mins in total. The 1st person in the counter took my documents+photo+money and passport, gave me a token and asked me to go around where another lady took the token and gave me back my papers, I was then asked to stand in another line where a person sitting at the desk went through the documents and passport once again before stamping the visa on it.. Phew! I was done! Beyond this counter were the baggage collection conveyors. I was nearly the 6th and had to go all the way to the 15th to pick up our bags. All this while, my friend continued to stand in line with the millions around her and it took her a good 40mins to be done with it. By this time, I was done with the bags[found 2 of the 3 bags, went around the conveyor a few times trying to find her other bag, gave up and decided to wait for her].

It was nearly an hour by the time we walked out of the airport. Oh and while she did currency conversion, she was given a local sim but with no money in it. We had to visit one of the many counters outside to top it up [ the ladies in those booths were so rude, we dint understand what they said, they dint understand us... sigh...]

And there waited out ride, to take us to the hotel.... A  Merc C class no less had been booked for our journey to the hotel- it came with a chirpy driver, a cool box that had wet cold towels, cold water bottles and wifi... All this did not come cheap, it costed us 2200Baht.. *gulp*...
 



Thus began our Bangkok vacation~!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Skywatch Friday- Sky coming alive at the break of dawn near Thailand...


I love travelling as most of you have guessed by now, even though I havent travelled as much as I would love to. And when it comes to flying, then I instantly gravitate towards the window seat. This time too, luckily friend wanted Aisle while I happily chose the window seat and we settled in. From Chennai, the flight took off at the unearthly hour of 1.45am and it was to reach Bangkok around 6.25 which became 6.35am finally. We boarded, got into our seats, got comfy, chit chatted a bit and that is when the stewardess came around asking all to shut the window. I wonder why they do that, there is nothing we can see anyways; it is pitch dark outside… Oh well! 







And then before I knew it, I had knocked off for about 4 hours, to wake up around 6 and see the sun rising above the clouds slowly. What a breath taking sight that was, the orange peeking into the white empty blue sky as we flew high above it all.  It was beautiful, for lack of better word..

A brand new day, a brand new destination awaited us on landing!!

For more beautiful skies, visit Skywatch Friday ...


Monday, January 19, 2015

Room with a view

We landed, took a luxurious ride in the S class Mercedes Benz which came with a cool box that continued chilled towels and wifi as well... And then came another pleasant surprise.. We were booked in The Westin Grand in Sukumwit 11... And the place was beautiful, our room was on the 23rd floor(executive club floor) and it came with this gorgeous view...

The BTS train, the Terminal 21 mall and wide open spaces.. What joy it was waking up to the glorious sky every morning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pillaiyar patti Pillaiyar temple, Thiruppatthur


I had been dreaming of visiting Karaikudi for nearly 2 years and finally decided there came the day when I knew the weekend was free and ergo I made plans. A friend wanted to come along, so booked tickets for her  as well. We reached early in the morning, checked into the hotel, had breakfast and the 1st place on our agenda was the "Pillaiyar patti Pillaiyar temple". When I had snooped around on the net I discovered that the temple was just about 12kms away in the town of Thirupatthur. 











This is actually an ancient rock-cut cave shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. As we walked around the temple complex, we came upon the temple pond and a small mandap of sorts where many were resting, some doing a small family picnic of sorts. There are rock cut images of Lord Siva and other gods as well as a few shrines.This temple is most famous for the rock cut Vinayagar (Ganesha) sitting majestically inside a cave.

The most unique thing about this temple is that Vinayaka appears with 2 hands unlike in other places where he is seen with 4 hands. Also he is seen seated without Angusapasam, with his legs folded and stomach not touching the Asanam in the form of "Artha Padma" Asanam. Like all Shaivite temples, Pillayarpatti Pillaiyar temple also has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. Shiva is called "Arjunapureeswarar". 

Outside near the entrance is a small mount with a few rock cut steps that lead to a small shrine, we couldn't make out the name of the God there. 

Another weekend, another destination

Am loving the new turn of events.. When I was looking forward to welcoming 2015, I knew I was going to travel lot more this year but did not have any real plans in place. And then things fell into place and here I am all set to pack my bags once again.

I am off Thur night/Fri early morning to a destination that is new, and should be back Tue morning sometime! I am quite excited about this trip, and it is once again with a friend who hasn't really done too many trips sans her family. She is nervous/excited and anxious... haha...

Where am I headed to? Well, that is for me to know and for you to guess.. But I promise that the 1st 5 who get it right will get something as a reward once am back... :-))

Clues:
1. it is nearby yet far
2. I do require a visa to explore this town
3. English is not their native language
4. The flight duration is less than 10 hours
5. It is not a cold country [ but I do hope & pray it is pleasant atleast]
6. There are quite a few beaches/water bodies around here.. 

Fire away your guesses..

Adios!!