Aug 3, 2014

Thailands Military Junta plans two Highspeed Railway Lines - serving as Connection with Southern China

The plans for highspeed railway lines in Thailand are back on track: Thailand military junta, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), first put on hold the projects, when it took power in May. Now it has approved two high-speed train projects at a total cost of 741.4 billion baht according to Bangkok Post. The two routes will serve as a transport link between Thailand and southern China.

One route would travel 655km from the border town of Chiang Khong to Ban Phachi in Ayutthaya province in central Thailand. Another would see freight carried 737km from Nong Khai, across the Mekong River from Vientiane prefecture, to the Thai port and industrial estate of Map Ta Phut, as The Nation reports. The former project of the Shinawatra government included lines from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Bangkok to Rayong, Bangkok to Nong Khai and Bangkok to Padang Besar.

Map by Bangkok Post

The NCPO intends to bring down the costs of the projects from 500-600 million baht per km to a range of 350-400 million baht per km. Therefore the railways are planned for a maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour instead of 200 kilometres per hour, announced permanent secretary for transport Soithip Traisuth according to Bangkok Post. This was to allow a possible shift to a higher speed train system in the future after more investment were put in,she said.

The construction of the two routes should begin in 2015 and be completed by 2021, said Soithip.

Also endorsed by the NCPO were six more metre gauge dual-track rail routes for a construction budget of 117.4 billion baht with construction to begin next year. These routes are from Chira junction to Khon Kaen (185 kms), from Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon (167 kms), from Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin (165 kms), from Mab Kabao to Nakhon Ratchasima (132 kms), from Lopburi to Pak Nam Pho (148 kms) and from Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan ( 90 kms ), as Thai PBS reports.


Read older stories:
Chinas Railway for Laos: Waiting for Thailand
Chinese money brings big change: A railway from the North of Laos to Vientiane and Thailand


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Aug 2, 2014

Tuk-Tuks, Songthaews and Buses in Chiang Mai - what you should know

See the locations on Chiang Mai Songthaew and Bus Google Map

Picture by Connie Ma

Chiang Mai city has no buses. You use Tuk-Tuks, Songthaews (Pickups with seatbanks) or taxis. The buses are for travels to other provinces. Since August 2014 only red songthaews are allowed to travel inside the city centre. All other songthaews and buses start from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal or Arcade Bus Terminal.

Learn the colours of the Songthaews: Differend colours mean different directions:

Picture by Dennis Jarvis

Red Songthaews: They roam around without a fixed route. Just stop one - by extending your arm in a downward motion - and ask for your destination. If the driver doesn't go to this destination take the next one.
Orange Songthaews: They travel to Fang in the north. Depart from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal.
White Songthaews: They travel to the eastern suburbs, to San Kampaeng. Depart from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal.
Yellow Songthaews: They travel to Mae Rim in the north and Hang Dong. Depart from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal.
Blue Songthaews: They travel to Sarapi and Lamphun in the south. Depart from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal.
Green Songthaews: They travel to Mae Jo in the northeast. Depart from Chang Phuak Bus Terminal.
The fare for the fixed routes is 20 Bath within Chiang Mai town. The price for longer distances has to be negotiated.


Tuk-Tuks: Fares are usually 40-50 Bath for a short way and 50-100 Bath for longer distances. Tuk-tuks parked near train- or busstations will ask for a higher price.


Buses to other provinces: These buses leave from Arcade Bus Terminal. There are buses from state and private companies.
Green Bus: See Green Bus schedules. For a reservation you call their Call Center 0-5326-6480. They will give you a reservation number. Then you have 2 hours to get to a Seven Eleven shop, where you can pay with the reservation number and get your ticket.
. Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
. Chiang Mai - Golden Triangle
. Chiang Mai - Mae Sai
. Chiang Mai - Mae Sot
. Chiang Rai - Fang
. Chiang Mai - Phayao
. Chiang Mai - Chiang Khong
. Chiang Mai - Thoeng
. Chiang Mai - Nan
. Chiang Mai - Chiang Muan
. Chiang Mai - Phrae - Nan
. Chiang Mai - Phrae
. Chiang Mai – Phrae – Nan – Thung Chang
. Lampang – Phrae
. Chiang Mai - Phuket


The Transport Co.: The state bus company. See their routes and numbers in Thai. See their timetable in Thai and English. You can translate with Google Translate.
. Chiang Mai-Bangkok
. More buses Chiang Mai - Bangkok by other companies.

Prempracha Transport Co.: See their routes.
. Chiang Mai - Pai - Mae Hong Son
. Chiang Mai - Mae Sariang -Mae Hongson
. Chiang Mai - Chiangdao - Prao
. Chiang Mai - Sansai - Prao

Nakhonchai Tour Bus Company:
. Chiang Mai - Nakhon Ratchasima

Sombat Tour:
. Chiang Mai - Hua Hin, See timetable. Read an experience by Four Letter Nerd.
. Chiang Mai - Khon Kaen

Chakrapong Tour:
. Chiang Mai - Udon Thani via Uttaradit, Phitsanulok, Loei and Nong Bua Lamphu

Bus Schedules and Fares from Chiang Mai: Read more here.


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May 28, 2014

After the Coup In Thailand: Informations you can trust

Updates about the situation in Thailand after the military coup:
My Krung Thep กรุงเทพฯ (Bangkok)


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May 2, 2014

Temples inside the Old City Wall of Chiang Mai - for your individual Walking Tour

See the locations on Chiang Mai Wat Google Map

Chiang Mai is very rich of ancient, mostly Buddhist temples, some dating back to when the city was founded in 1296. You like to plan a walking tour? First you may discover the temples inside the walls of the old town. Therefore we show you, which roads you can follow and what you will see, when walking along them.


Ratchadamnoen Road

Wat Sum Pow วัดสำเภา (also: Wat Sam Pao): One of the Buddhist temples built during the reign of the Mang Rai dynasty.

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Entrance from Ratchadamnoen Road

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"Our massage make your body sing"

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Viharn at Wat Sum Pow with Burmese style lions in front

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Inside the Viharn

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Door of Ubosot at Wat Sum Pow



Wat Phan On วัดพันอ้น: Built in 1501 the original Wat, Chedi Khwan, has been built. Wat Phan On was erected later, then both temples were combined. Inside you finde two golden sitting Buddhas.

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Sareerikkatartsirirak Pagoda, named by His Majesty King Bhumipol on 9th June 2550 B.E.

See the Buddha inside Wat Phan On by photos.3scape.net, it's a copy of Phra Buddha Chinarat in Phitsanluak. And see a video on youtube.com.

Look at the ubusot which sits above the viharn. You see there stucco work, done by the Buddhist monk Phra Bun prasert, read about Thai wood carving here.


Wat Tung Yu วัดทุงยู:

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Viharn

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Kuti Building



Phra Pok Klao Road, from North to South

Wat Phan Tao วัดพันเตา: The name means "The Monastery of a Thousand Kilns". The building was originally constructed as a royal palace building (ho kham) for Chao Mahawong, the ruler of Chiang Mai. The front gable end is decorated with the image of a peacock standing over a sleeping dog. The dog is the symbol of Chao Mahawong's birth year. Read more on orientalarchitecture.com.



Does the dog know, that he is the symbol of the birth year of the former ruler of Chiang Mai?








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Wat Chedi Luang วัดเจดีย์หลวง: Also: Jedi Luang. King Saen Muang Ma, 8th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty, began building it in 1391. He planned to enshrine the ashes of his father Ku Na, but the construction was only finished by King Tilokaray in the mid of the 15th century: 82 m high and 54m large at the base, then the largest building of Lanna. In 1545 the upper part collapsed during an earthquake, in the 1990s the Chedi was reconstructed, about 60 m high. Have a look at the massive tree to the left of the entrance. A legend says that if this tree should fall, a catastrophe will happen. A small building near the tree enshrines the "Spirit of the City" (Sao Intakin). Read more and see pictures at orientalarchitecture.com and read the guide of chiangmai1.com.

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The Viharn was constructed in 1928 and renovated in 1999.

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Wat Chang Taem วัดช่างแต้ม : It is the home to The Sacred Bronze Buddha of Chiang Mai Province, the Fon Saen Ha Buddha (one hundred thousand drops of rain). He was brought to Chiang Mai by King Tilokaraja after a war with Lamphun. Every year in may it is transported during a parade on a chariot to the City Pillar at Wat Chedi Luang, where it stands for 7 days and 7 nights. During this time the locals come to pay respect. They guild the image with gold leaf paper, pour water over it to bath it and present flowers to the City Pillar. The Fon Saen Ha Buddha is believed to bring wealth and happiness to the people of Chiang Mai. The Inthakin City Pillar was made by King Meng Rai, when he built Chiang Mai city in 1296. It is in front of Wat Chedi Luang, inside a small temple and made from a giant tree, fixed underground. See a picture of the Fon Saen Ha Buddha and read more about the Inthakin ceremony. See also a video.

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See more pictures by brickroadcafe.


Wat Fon Soi วัด ฟอน สร้อย: Wat Fon Soi is mentioned in The Chronicle of the Lan Na Thai Legend as a temple dedicated to Phra Tera, a high-ranking patriarch between 1562-1601. See gallery by Azchael


Wat Muen Toom วัดหมื่นตุม:

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On the wall of the compund. See more pictures by brickroadcafe and by wat9chiangmai.com.


Wat Chedlin: Also: Jet Lin. Go out on the back and you will discover an old pond with bamboo huts around, where monks live. See pictures of the pond with the huts.

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One of many huge gongs in a line.

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Looks ancient: The stone Buddha in the courtyard. More photos by brickroadcafe.


Phra Pok Klao Road Soi 4

Wat Pan Waen วัดพันแหวน: See video of chanting monks. Oui Come, meaning “granny Come,” is one of the most famous songs sung by Lanna music singer Charan Manopeth. Its lyrics depict the story of a lady, who lived near Wat Pan Waen. Read more on compasscm.com

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Special: Vor faces on top of the Chedi



Moon Muang Road

Wat Dok Kham วัดดอกคำ:

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Ratchaphakinai Road

Wat Chiang Man:

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Viharn

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Under the full moon


Wat Ban Ping: See night-pictures by JChris F and hlchen1220 and a gallery by Fred.



Singharat Road

Wat Pha Bong วัดผาบ่อง:

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Viharn


Wat Dap Phai วัดดับภัย:

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Viharn at Wat Dap Phai

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The door of the Viharn

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Details of the door


Sam Lan

Wat Phra Singh วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร:

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Murals and bronze engraved windows

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Naga detail


Ideas for walking tours you find on templecd.com

More temples in Chiang Mai:
Phra Doi Suthep
Temples outside the Old Town

Where to eat:
Chiang Mai's Restaurants and Food Stalls: Food prepared with love

Discover more:
Your Guide to Chiang Mai


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