Sunday, September 21, 2008

F1 Driving School in Thailand

This week Singapore media is a buzzed with F1 news... touted as the first night race ever. Everybody jumped into the fray.. lifestyle events like a private jet exhibition, celebrity party etc. Even Johnnie Walker is promoting a safe driving theme (with whisky?) on the grounds. Anything and everything that can be construed and linked to the F1 event.

I took a walk to the Esplanade to check out the street circuit. Much of the circuit is actually on reclaimed land. Only the section from Anderson Bridge, around the City Hall, World War II Memorial to Suntec City junction are not.

Something came to mind though, my Thai friend, Somphop, is a car lover. He once told me he took lessons at a F1 school in Pattaya.

It's the Taki Racing School, the first and only F1 school in S.E. Asia. Here it is if you are a serious F1 fan and like to have a spin while in Thailand, this is where you find them.

Location map:

Yes, its the same Sukhumvit Road all the way from Bangkok to Pattaya, pretty long huh!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life at a Cambodia border town

Visa runs to various Cambodian border towns are common for visitors to extend their stay. Several companies providing such services from Bangkok.

These are impressions of life at Poi Pet, a Cambodian town short distance from Aranyaprathet.

This snake sculpture greets you soon after you leave the Thai immigration check point.

Between the Cambodian & Thai check points are actually some casinos!

Where lunch is arranged while Cambodian entry visa are processed.

Push carts ferrying goods seem the main daily activities across borders.

Mostly agriculture produce..

Little motor traffic once across.

This heavily laden cart need a dozen men to push & pull!

Child labor is common sight too.

A handicap making a daily living the same way..

Empty carts returning in queues..

Little children helped out their parents..

This one with hand paddle..

Taking a break..

Child beggars across wire fence that separate the two countries.

Not an inviting sight.. but fact of life here!

Ironic to see this sign "Holiday Palace"; two contrasting worlds at one place!

Back to Thai check point again

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Sanctuary of Truth

Can you imaging a wooden pavilion 105M tall and 100M wide, as huge as a 20 storey building? This is the Sanctuary of Truth located in north of Pattaya. It truly fits the description of amazing Thailand. Yet not many visitors are aware of even after many visits to Pattaya! I am among one of these.

Location as seen from Google Earth satellite picture.

To be fair, not all Thais know of it too! It had been in construction since 1981 and it is still not finish to this day! My Thai friend who brought me there did not know of its existence till one day his girlfriend phoned him to catch it on TV.

When I saw photos from his visit, "Is it a temple?" I asked. No.
Then is it a theme park? No again.
Then what is it? I only had the answer after my visit!

It is a philosophical statement manifested in art form. A legacy of Khun Lek, a self made billionaire. This remarkable gentleman is another story by itself.

Its vision is no better encapsulated by these words on its web site; quote
"The building was constructed according to ancient Thai ingenuity
and every square inch of the building is covered with wooden carve
sculpture. The purposes of decoration with wooden carve sculptures
are to use art and culture as the reflection of Ancient Vision of Earth,
Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. With in this complex,
visitors will understand Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic
Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and
Common Goal of Life toward Utopia." unquote

Or these words engraved on a wooden panels within the pavilion:

I had the fortune of meeting the architect of its design on the day of visit.. this gentleman, a fine arts professor from a local university.

Looking up to assess work in progress with master builders.

Scaffoldings atop roof where new sculptures are being erected

Marvelous display of art works everywhere your head turns!

Some close up views..

Centerpiece of the huge hall

Huge floor boards - single piece timber more than a meter wide!

The hands behind the art work... master craftsmen & women too!

Can't show you all my photos or tell their story here, you'll enjoy better with a visit!

More info at their web site:

You can also find some write up of this place at: