Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More About The Rama II Park In Amphawa

The mid-day sun can turn these beautifully crafted walkways into griddles

Unless someone can provide a compelling argument to the contrary I'm going to say the best time to visit sites in warmer and/or humid climates is in the early morning or later afternoon.  Not only is the light usually better for photographs, but the temperature is much more to my liking.  Some folks adore the heat and direct sun of mid-day, but personally I fall into line with Noel Coward and his opinions in the old song "Mad Dogs And Englishmen" (you'll find my 22-8-10 post with song and lyrics if you click the link).

By the time we'd covered most of the Rama II Memorial Museum and Garden park it was past noon, and the song was running through my head while I moved as quickly as possible along the beautiful wood walkways that had now grown extremely hot for we tenderfoot farang.

Naturally,you took your shoes off at the foot of the stairway to each building out of respect, and the finished wooden walkways up in the sun may well have been hot enough to cook an egg.  I took most of my photos from a shady spot, where I could bear to stand in one spot long enough.

Even the student field trip groups were staying in the shade as much as possible.  Part of this is to avoid having their skin become tanned or darker, and part of it merely for comfort, as I was doing. They each had an theme-type booklet that they were writing in as they sat on the floor in front of the many displays within the museum, but they didn't waste much time getting out of the sun, either; and their steps increased while getting from building to building on the "heated" walkways.

There were so many things to see, and so much of it that visitors are asked not to take photographs of, so you're just going to have to make a visit yourself to see the costumes, ceramics, ceremonial furniture, intricate teak carvings and other items that belonged to Rama II and his family.  One room that was open housed a collection of traditional instruments, and I did photograph those. The stringed instruments are called jakay, the circular grouping of small gongs is a khon won yai, and the wooden xylophone is a ranat ek. As usual, be advised that transliteration may make the names slightly different than other sources.

There is a video clip of these instruments being played at the Bang Pa-in Summer palace in Part 3 of the Isaan Odyssey series.  Click on the Part 3 link above to see that clip.

One last photo here today - not because it's any great shakes as a photo, but the hanging below was made from what we more familiar with Hawaii would call "crown flowers'; used in many native lei and decorations.  I've seen them different visits in Thailand, but this particular day I was thinking of someone who has passed on to another life that loved these flowers, and as I was thinking of him I looked up to see the hanging (below) above my head.  I guess it's posted here today more for me than anyone else, but indulge me, OK? Thanks.

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