Tag Archives: Grand Palace

At The Royal Crematorium

One thing I couldn’t afford to miss when in Bangkok is the Royal Crematorium. The royal cremation ceremony was held in October 2017. The Royal Crematorium was still on display as an exhibition until December. I had an observation of people paying the last homage of the late King Bhumipol in December 2016. I was eager to see how they transformed Sanam Luang to glorify the monarch. They have done a very good job.

I don’t use a DSLR camera for a photo shoot much these days. But the day I visited Sanam Luang to take picture of it, I had so much fun. Because it was spectacular.

I arrived the place in late afternoon and the weather was perfect with overcast cloud to diffuse sunlight. It was not so busy that we needed to queue up. That gave me some rooms to take photos without bumping with the crowd.

Then, I realised that it was impossible to get deep down in details of the crematorium while photographing because of each element was created through the royal tradition with ancient Buddhist and Brahma believes. From the Funeral pyre to the surrounding pavilions converted into exhibition halls. And I didn’t do any homework on any of them what so ever.

So, yes, I was in awe and overwhelmed.

It wasn’t just the structures and the decorations that amazed me, but also the people. As the day went into dusk, the magic started to emerge—the golden hour of sunset. That was when the crowd started to form. There were some top spots for photographers stationed. But most visitors used their mobile phones or tablets to take picture considering it was a one-off event in their lifetime.

This was one of the most fun photo sessions I had for a long time. The last one I had real fun could be sunrise in Sydney I took in 2016. It reminded how much I could engage with photo shooting when the subject was astounding like this.

Paying Respects to the King and the People

One of my definite to-do lists when I was back in Bangkok last December was to pay respect to the late King. The main reason wasn’t for the sake of myself paying the respect but to see the people and their activities around it.

Totally, it took about six hours that day to eventually get into the Grand Palace for ten minutes to pay the homage to HM’s body. Most of that time was just a wait in Sanam Luang, outside the Grand Palace. That would be enough for me to get a glimpse of the mourning environment.

Waiting to Pay Respect
One of the sections in the waiting area to get into the Grand Palace for paying respect HM’s body

Continue reading Paying Respects to the King and the People

Grand Palace

Gold Drop

My aim of the visit to the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว) was mainly to explore the complex with the photographic eyes and see how I could get away from typical postcard pictures. That was the only once there in this trip. The time I spent in the compound was only 2 hours, no where near a whole day as intended. We did not get a chance to go back when Stil was in Bangkok.

  

    

  

Late in the afternoon, all the visitors were herded outside the main temple for a monarch representative to commit a ceremony. One tourist asked if the King was coming. Oh, if he was there, we would not be standing around. It was good to see the space was used for everyday ceremonial purpose, not just for foreigners walking around and taking snap shots.

Moreover, the last quarter of the shots was unexpectedly lost when transferring the files from the memory card. It might be the flat battery. The lost the images when the bored officers waiting for the job to be done, workers maintaining the details of the temple and the anxious tourists who had paid a fee to see the Palace. Nevertheless, I am very satisfied with the results.