Friday, October 23, 2009

Treasures along the Khlong: Bangkok Noi คลองบางกอกน้อย

Today let's do a trip to Khlong Bangkok Noi คลองบางกอกน้อย. How you find all the attractions: Google Map Khlong Bangkok Noi. Where you get a boat: Bangkok by boat

This is the entrance from Chao Phraya River:


Picture by Stephen


Picture by Stephen

On your left you pass the old Thonbury Railway Station (today closed) and on your right you soon see the hall with the royal barges. Here you find the Royal Barge National Museum (open daily from 9 am to 5:00 pm, closed on on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Songkran. The magnificently decorated and carved boats are used tuday in ceremonies and celebrations. The most important of the boats is Suphanahong ("golden swan"), the King's barge, 45 metres long and created from ony one tree. Read background about the barges and celebrations by tour-bangkok-legacies.com and see pictures of a procession.


Picture by Stephen

The best conserved mural painting in Bangkok attracts a lot of art students to Wat Suwannaram วัดสุวรรณาราม. This monastery has been built during the reign of King Rama I.


Picture by Heinrich Damm

Inside the bot you find a Buddha in the subduing Mara posture:


Picture by thaimtb.com

And you can look at the paintings from the 19th century:


Painting on the West wall, picture by thonburydepot.com

On the paintings you will see some erotic poses:


Picture by Thai Travel Info

Read more about the Thai mural painting styles. See more paintings on www.roong-aroon.ac.th and on flickr.com.

Until the the reign of King Rama V Wat Suwannaram was used as the cremation site for members of the Royal Family.

Behind the wat you find the Bangkok Noi Museum, open daily from 9 am to pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays). Here you can learn, that the Chao Praya River originally meandered along the line of Khlong Bangkok Noi and Khlong Bangkok Yai. But in 1542 a canal was cut to shorten the distance for sailing ships to Ayutthaya. Soon the canal became the main river. Read more about the history of Bangkok Noi on tour-bangkok-legacies.com and about the museum on My unseen Thailand. Read also, what Bangkok Post writes about Bangkok Noi.

From Wat Suwannaram you can cross a small Khlong to Bangkok Noi District Office. Near this building you will find the Jiam Saengsajja Bronze Factory (133 Soi Baan Bu), where stone-polished Thai bronze bowls are hammered. The so called Khan Long Hin are the speciality of the Baan Bu community ชุมชนบ้านบุ. This traditional handicraft is more than 200 years old and was brought down to Bangkok from Ayutthaya. The factory of the Saengsajja family is said to be the only one still working.

Read more on tour-bangkok-legacies.com and on bloom-bangkok.com.


Thai bronze bowls, picture by natsaii

Next stop: Wat Sri Sudaram วัดศรีสุดาราม:


Picture by Stephen

See the wat from the khlong and details by Chrish Wang. From the pier we look at Khlong Bangkok Noi (towards East):


Picture by Hdamm. We look at the Charan Sanithwong Bridge and see Wat Suwannaram behind. Towards West the khlong looks like this:


Picture by Hdamm.

At Wat Sri Sudaram วัดศรีสุดาราม a large golden statue shows its back to the khlong. This is the image of Somdej Phra Buddhajarn To รูปเหมือนสมเด็จพุฒจารย, a highly revered monk. It was believed that he was the son of the King in the Chakri Dynasty and Kaesorn, a citizen (born 17 avril 2331). But this is not confirmed. His amulets belong to the best Thai amulets. They are believed to keep away dangers, bring luck and success.


Picture by ปิเพื่อนเสือออย

Wat Sri Sudaram, originally called Wat Chi Pakhao วัดชีปะขาว, was built during the Ayutthaya period and was renovated by King Rama I. The temple houses Tam Nak Daeng (a pavilion), Sala Kan Parian (a sermon hall) and a monument of Sunthon Phu (the greatest poet of the Rattanakosin period), who has been here during his school days. Princess Si Sudarak, the elder sister of King Rama I, has renovated the temple. Other renovations were done during the reign of King Rama IV, then a new ordination hall was constructed and the temple got the name Wat Si Sudaram. The Karn Parien hall was built during the Ayutthaya Period and much of the structure is well-preserved.


Picture by Kasaem Naklada

Let's get back to the khlong boat and drive to Wat Nai Rong วัดนายโรง. On the walls of its ordination hall you will see paintings of the ten prevous lifes of Buddha:


Picture by era.su.ac.th




Pictures by watnairong.net

And here you see Wat Nai Rong from the khlong.

The highlight of the next temple, Wat Phawana Pirataram วัดภาวนาภิรตาราม, is its hall built in Thai style. The temple was built in the reign of King Rama V.


Picture by bangkoknoi/travel

Back on the boat we see at our left Khlong Chak Phra คลองชักพระ joining Khlong Bangkok Noi. At our right we look at Wat Suwankhiri วัดสุวรรณคีร:



Again on the left we discover Wat Kai Tia วัดไก่เตี้ย:




Picture by talingchan

This temple has been built around the end of the Thai year 2320. Read more in Thai.

Back to the boat we pass under the elevated Borommaratchachonnani road and find a Yok Yor restaurant at our right.



Then look at this beautiful house on your left:



See the decorations over the windows and below the roof:



Soon we arrive at Wat Noi Nai วัดน้อยใน. This temple dates from the end of the Ayutthaya period. Read more in Thai.



And let's admire the beautiful artwork:



And see the houses opposite Wat Noi Nai:



Then we arrive at Wat Pikul Thong วัดพิกุลทอง :




Picture by sdc63.org

More old houses along the khlong:



Soon we arrive at the marvelous Wat Khet วัดเกด, where Khlong Bang Nang flows into Khlong Bangkok Noi:









Our next boat stop is at Wat Chalo โรงเรียนวัดชลอ. Wat Chalo is assumed to have been built during the Sukhothai period, becaouse some Buddha images in that style were found here. It's famous for its boat temple:


Picture by Oldboy

We find a very special Buddha image here:


Picture by Jeanne, who shows many more. See also photos by jewie404 and Mattana.

Now we arrive at the point, where Khlong Bang Kruai flows into Khlong Bangkok Noi.

Our next destination, Wat Pho Bang O วัดโพธิ์บางโอ, cannot be seen from the khlong. But it's only a 200-metre-walk away. It has been constructed during the reign of King Rama III. The top of the bot was made of wood; mural painting inside the bot have been created by the Nonthaburi school of painting.


Picture by jetmom3425



Battle scene, picture by www.thaitravel.info

You can red more in a book by Sangaroon Kanokpongchai: "Mural Painting of the Late Ayudhya Periods, Nonthaburi School" with Thai and English text. Nonthaburi murals "are charakterized by the use of light-coloured backgrounds and a predominance of reds", another book, "The Arts of Thailand" (Steve Van Beek, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni, Luca Invernizzi), describes it. According to them the paintings at Wat Pho Bang O show "the various evils which confront man and offer the broad hint that the way to avoid them is to join the monkhood".

Later we stop at Wat Bang Aoi Chang วัดบางอ้อยช้าง: The temple houses a 200-year-old Buddha footprint, that was found by Phra Khru Nawa Kam Koson (the first abbot of this monastery) while travelling in Phitsanuloke province.


Picture by Oldboy


Buddhas foot on the ceiling, picture by Natt

Wat Kaew Fah พระแก้วฟ้า houses many buildings and art objects in the Ayutthaya style; for example; the Ubosot, the Buddha image, the boundary stones, the boundary wall, the chedi behind the bot and the chedi with 12 cornered indented pillars. The monastery was renovated during the Rattanakosin period. It's daily open from 9 to 16.


Picture by Peekul

Would you like to rest now? We arrive at Bann Klong Bangkok Noi. A fifty years old teakhouse with rooms with view to the khlong or the garden.







Wat Poe En วัดโพธิ์เอน:


Picture by เกษมฯ

Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market ตลาดน้ำบางคูเวียง: At the mouth of Khong Bang Khu Wiang, open from 6 am to midday. Sellers bring fruits, vegetables and food in their boats. Monks also pass by in their boats and receive food from the people.


Picture by Jarcje

See a picture by Gettyimages.

Wat Prang Luang วัดปรางค์หลวง: Built in the reign of King Rama I. The seven-tier pagoda is made of brick and decorated with stucco bas-reliefs.


Picture by Kimsagus


Picture by Kimsagus

Now we arrive at Wat Ampawan วัดอัมพวัน: This temple was built during the Late Ayutthaya period. The Ho Trai (a library) is situated in the middle of a pond. The building was made of wood in Thai style.


Picture by เกษมฯ


Picture by oiltrips


Picture of Ayutthaya, painted to the wall. Foto by oiltrips

Read background in Thai.

Finally we arrive at Wat Pikul Ngoen (also: Wat Phikul Ngern) วัดพิกุลเงิน. This temple was built in the early Rattanakosin period. The chapel was renovated by a Chinese man named “sa Thonawanik”. Inside you find a replica of the Sothon Buddha image, that is highly revered by the local people.


Picture by travel.sanook.com

If you like to continue, read Treasures along the Khlong: Om คลองอ้อม




Discover more in Bangkok:
Your Guide to Bangkok


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