This is the Redemptorist Church in Pattaya, the only Thai-style Catholic church in Thailand, and also the prettiest I’ve ever seen. The front and back are covered with porcelain and mirror tiles, there are even plates and bowls, giving it a very distinct look. Well, actually, it uses many elements that make me love Thai architecture. This was our favorite place to hold student leadership training and community service activities. It was really hard to take a full shot because it is in surrounded by trees and other buildings within a compound that is now part of Ray Resort, which is offers accommodations and facilities for conventions, workshops, and training.
Phra Nang is either a princess or a fisherman’s wife, but fishermen in this area dedicated to her one of the caves on this beach, turning it into a shrine where wood carvings of penises are offered for a good catch. There must be over a hundred there now, the pile seems to grow when we first visited it in 2005 and again in 2006. Besides, that I love Phra Nang beach in Railay because it is secluded, small, and quiet … at least at that time … except for short moments when boatloads of tourists stop by to gawk.
This beach vendor is preparing my lunch: som tam (green papaya) salad, or maybe it was green mango salad and chicken barbecue. Koh Samed is an island off Banphe, and just a a few hours drive from Bangkok. It’s one of our favorite places when we lived in Thailand, and we always try to squeeze in a few days to visit it if we have a stopover in Bangkok. You can get there by bus, taxi, or private vehicle then from Banphe you can either take the public ferry or charter a speed boat.
The old historic town of Sukhothai is a UNICEF World Heritage Site in north central Thailand. The park itself is located a few kilometers from the new town. Sukhothai represents the first kingdom of Siam, and the monuments here showcase the beginnings of Siam architecture. The Thai style “is distinguished by the particular physical features of the Buddhas: a long, fine nose, a flame-like protuberance on the head (Sinhalese influences) and a double line around the mouth (Khmer tradition).”