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Thailand forum

Tripods in temples?

Posted by davidwise on 1/1/2007 at 19:21

Hi, I'm coming to Thailand in a few weeks time, hoping to make a little book of pinhole photographs of temples and ruins. Is there any problem with using tripods in these places in Thailand? I only ask because I've just done a book of the Middle East and got quite a lot of hassle regarding tripod use (mainly from guards looking to make a bit extra unofficially), and wondered if it is the same in the east. Thanks. Also, any idea on the best ruins/temples to visit? I've got 6 weeks in all in the country, and 2 in Laos.

#1 davidwise has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 9

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/1/2007 at 08:34 admin

Hi David,

I wouldn't expect any problems at all.

There's a LOT of temples in Thailand! If you can give me an idea on the type of temple you're looking for I'll try to make some useful suggestions

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by davidwise on 2/1/2007 at 15:58

Hi Somtam,

Thanks for your reply. Well, as for type of temples, the pinhole camera doesn't work indoors, so the temples/ruins I'm looking for will have to be interesting from the outside, and I think also that in the time I have, which isn't much, I don't want to rush, so a few destinations like, I think, Ayuthaya or Sukhothai, might be preferable to tens of isolated sites, as they seem to have lots of temples/ruins/statues in one area so I don't have to travel around so much (I think 8 or 9 destinations in 6 weeks will be all I can fit in)? Also a good cross section of temples and ruins history-wise, so that the book will show something of Thailand's architecture through the ages, and also location wise, so to show the variation in scenery throughout the land. Any ideas?

#3 davidwise has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 9

Posted by somtam2000 on 3/1/2007 at 06:00 admin

Ayuthaya and Sukhothai are good places to start.

If you're looking for examples from the Khmer period, then Muang Sing (near Kanchanaburi), Prasat Phanom Rung (near Buriram in NE) and Preah Vihear (actually in Cambodia but easily accessed from Thailand --Si Saket) are all world-class.

Fot more contemporary styled wats, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have excellent wooden temples and Phrae in particular has a good mix of Thai and Burmese influenced wats.

In six weeks you could easily cover most of the above.

Hope that helps!

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Posted by davidwise on 4/1/2007 at 04:39

Thats really helpful, thanks!

#5 davidwise has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 9

Posted by davidwise on 5/1/2007 at 17:25

Sorry, another question along the same line...ok, i'll be going to all the temples you mention above, and i was looking into also visiting angkor wat in cambodia, but i'm doing some research and am beginning to wonder if angkor is worth it, considering the border hassle/cost/time. i'm not really interested in places just because they're on somebodies 'must see' list, so my question is, is angkor really offering much more in the way of scenic temple viewing than any of the places in thailand listed above? i know this is all subjective, but i'd appreciate some advice, thanks.

#6 davidwise has been a member since 31/12/2006. Posts: 9

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/1/2007 at 09:59 admin

I'd seen just about every single Khmer site in Thailand befoe I finally got to Angkor and it absolutely blew my socks off.

If you've got the chance/time to fit in Angkor then I'd say it's close to essential viewing.

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Posted by cathrionas on 6/1/2007 at 21:54

If you are interested in photography then the area around Siem Riep is likely to be very special for you - make sure you get to the less popular temples for early morning and late evening to miss crowds and catch some wonderful lighting. There were tripods around and there was no problem. I spent as much time as I could at Bayon which was lovely and quiet and still powerful and majestic. Angkor was beautiful but always very busy. There are so many in a relatively small area.

BTW - I flew to Phnom Penh from BKK (£20) and there was no hassles at all ($20 visa/$7 taxi from airport), then got an early morning $4.50 bus to Siem Riep a few days later from Central Market, getting back to Thailand I shared a taxi with a friend to the boarder and got a bus from the boarder to Bangkok (the whole trip was about £20 each). It couldn't have been easier (except the Cambodian road was a bit rough). More than worth it.
Cat

#8 cathrionas has been a member since 2/12/2006. Posts: 11

Posted by cathrionas on 6/1/2007 at 21:58

opps sorry - edit to the last post - There are so many TEMPLES in a relatively small area. Angkor Wat is huge.

#9 cathrionas has been a member since 2/12/2006. Posts: 11

Posted by Tilapia on 23/1/2007 at 02:17

Agree with the above. If you are into temples and photography, then absolutely make the time to see Angkor. Nothing in Thailand compares to what you will see there. The border is really no problem, and the cost is not that great.

If you are going to Phnom Rung and Phra Kao Viharn, then you should also spend a night in Phimai, just north of Khorat. Phimai was the prototype for the main Angkor temple, built about 300 years previous. It was the very first example of that very recognizable type of architecture. The reconstruction has been done very well, too. These three temples in NE Thailand were all on a road (the Angkor Road, or the Royal Road) that lead to Siem Reap.

One more recommendation ... Si Satchanalai. If you go to Sukhothai, I highly recommend that you rent a motorbike in Sukhothai for three days and then follow the signs to Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Not only are the temples better preserved than they are in Sukhothai (many have their original stucco), the place is much more laid back and quiet, and you'll have the entire park to yourself.

Inside the park area there is a village with several places to stay. We were there two weeks ago (2nd. week of Jan. '07) and not one of the places had anyone staying in them. I don't think that this was a reflection on the guest houses/bungalows, but rather an indication that this place is not much visited. We only had time for part of an afternoon. Next time we'll stay there for a couple of days and check out all the temples, nearby villages, and the old kilns along the Maenam Yom.

You can rent motorbikes for B200/24 hrs. in Sukhothai. See the main areas in Sukhothai in the morning and early afternoon, then follow the signs from the old city to Si Satchanalai. It is a great 1 1/2 hour trip (@ 60 km/hr) through rice paddies and sugar cane fields to the temples. Well worth it!

#10 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,495
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Posted by Kristi on 29/1/2007 at 13:30

I'm with Somtam, Angkor and surrounds are mind blowing no matter where you have been and what you have seen.....strongly recommended!

#11 Kristi has been a member since 4/9/2006. Posts: 20

Posted by Kristi on 29/1/2007 at 13:30

I'm with Somtam, Angkor and surrounds are mind blowing no matter where you have been and what you have seen.....strongly recommended!

#12 Kristi has been a member since 4/9/2006. Posts: 20


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