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BANGKOK 20 April 2019 07:18

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  2. Treasures of the highest order By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit The Nation Weekend The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era. Thailand’s National Museum throws open eight more of its newly renovated and interactive halls WITH THE opening of eight more halls early this month, the decade-long major renovation of the National Museum Bangkok’s exhibition rooms is nearing completion. To date, 12 halls have been entirely revamped and now boast an inviting interior, improved lighting and multimedia presentations that make them fun to explore. Four halls are slated to be fully renovated over the next three years, bringing new life to a museum long regarded as a dull and boring place. The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era. The museum compound was formerly a part of Wang Na (the Front Palace) which was constructed in 1782, about the same time the Grand Palace was built. It served as the residence for five viceroys and one second King from 1782 to 1885 during the reigns of Kings Rama I to V. “Unlike in the past where many artefacts were on show, we have reclassified and highlighted significant pieces that best represent each topic. From the more than 30,000 treasures in the collection, about half have been selected and the layout plan allows space for a 360-degree view of each piece. Multimedia techniques have been added for some exhibits and this provides more visual understanding than boards filled with text. The rotation of the artefacts will probably take place every two years,” says museum director Nitaya Kanokmongkol. Major improvements include the installation of new and more suitable lighting and specially designed secure glass cabinets fitted with controls to maintain correct levels of humidity and temperature. Visitors are even permitted to take photographs though, as elsewhere, flash and selfie sticks are banned. “All the partitions that previously separated the exhibition space have been removed to reveal the beautiful and distinctive architecture of Wang Na. This includes the windows and doors decorated with lai rod nam(gold applique on black lacquer) depicting flowers and the mythical Himmapan forest as well as beehive-like crafted wood gussets of the doors that relate the characteristics of artisans of Wang Na,” Nitaya adds. Four refurbished halls at Moo Phra Wiman – the former residential complex of the viceroys – were opened to the public last year. The Uttra Bhimuk Hall displays the clothes and costumes of the Siamese court; the Thaksina Bhimuk Hall is devoted to Thai musical instruments and art pieces related to the royal performing arts; the Burapha Bhimuk Hall exhibits armaments and in the Patchima Bhimuk Hall, the focus is on metal works. The upstairs room of the Wasantaphiman Hall has been remodelled to represent the residence of King Pinklao. The wooden bed is believed to have been used during the assumption of the royal residence when he was invested as the second King of King Rama IV. At the newly renovated, two-storey Wasantaphiman Hall, the upstairs has been remodelled to represent the royal residence with furniture and household items like watches, candle holders, blown glass vessels, as well as the collection of lek lai (extremely rare metal), rhino horns and elephant tusks crafted into different deities. The centrepiece is a royal wooden bed with an exquisite floral and bird pattern that the museum’s director assumes it was used during Chalerm Phra Raja Montien (the assumption of the royal residence) of King Pinklao, who was the viceroy of his brother King Rama IV and whose investiture raised him to kingship as the second King of Siam. “An important ritual during the coronation ceremony of Chakri Dynasty Kings is Chalerm Phra Raja Montien to inhabit Chakrapat Biman Royal Residence in the Grand Palace, which signifies the Monarch as the chief of the monarchy. When King Rama IV bestowed on King Pinklao an honour equal to himself, King Pinklao was believed to have performed this ritual in this hall and on this bed,” she says. A ranad (Thai xylophone) with a keyboard made of glass is on display next to an ancient cha khe (zither). Part of the downstairs gallery is devoted to a collection of musical instruments used in royal serenades. Among the rare items is a ranad (Thai xylophone) whose bars are made from glass instead of the usual hardwood, an old-style cha khe (zither), and a large collection of instruments given to King Rama VII by King Manivong of Cambodia during his visit to Cambodia in 1930. Another downstairs room, once the living area of the viceroys’ entourage, is given over to a collection of royal porcelain featuring the blue-and-white porcelain of the late Ayutthaya Kingdom and Bencharong ware from the early Rattanakosin period, both made in China for the Siamese court. “In addition to the popular Chinese motifs of chrysanthemums and peonies, Siamese motifs such as flame-like kanok and thep panom (a deity with hands pressed together in prayer) were painted by Chinese artisans to order. Because of the differences in cultures, the thep panom have Chinese faces while the kanok features a twisted stem. However, the Siamese designs and vivid colours of this unique Chinese porcelain make it immensely attractive,” says the museum’s director. A multimedia presentation showing the step-by-step production of the porcelain is also provided. An ancient set of Bencharong ware depicts the scenes from Thai literary work “Phra Aphai Manee”. “Evidence suggests that Prince Wichaichan, who was King Rama V’s viceroy, set up a porcelain kiln at his residence. He ordered the plain white glazed porcelain from China and the painting and firing of the motif were done here. Once he passed away, the production was terminated but a member of his entourage, Phraya Sunthornphimon, later built a kiln at his house, producing porcelain with motifs mainly inspired by Thai literature like ‘Phra Aphai Manee’,” Nitaya adds. A sapkhap khen (howdah with shields) is displayed together with its miniature and a replica of a mural that illustrates how it is used on elephant back. The Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall houses different styles of sapkhap (howdah), the carriage placed on an elephant’s back for travelling and for battle. Different sophisticated patterns and fine craftsmanship indicate different royal ranks. One of the important pieces used in battle is the sapkhap khen (howdah with shields) made from wood and decorated with gold leaf on black lacquer and coloured mirror glass. Three sides of the seats are decorated with big wooden leaf-like pieces believed to act as aegis shields. Poles at the corners of the seat are designed to accommodate weapons. A miniature sapkhap khen with a touch screen show how the howdah is mounted on an elephant and next to it is the replica of a mural inside the Ordination Hall of Wat Bovornsatharnsuthavart, known as Wat Phra Kaew of Wang Na and now in the compound of the Bunditpatanasilpa Institute, that illustrates a battle on elephant-back. The newly-renovated Prissadangkhabhimuk Hall displays wood-carving masterpieces such as the tall wooden door of the vihara of Wat Suthat and the round wooden raised seat for monks built in the Ayutthaya era. The porch houses a collection of exquisite woodworks. Considered one of the finest masterpieces in the Rattanokosin era is the tall wooden door of the vihara at Wat Suthat Thep Wararam crafted in 1822 by King Rama II and his royal artisans. The door sustained partial damage in a 1959 fire and was brought to the National Museum Bangkok. This lacquered and gilded wooden door features bas-relief carving at different depths with flowers and animals protruding from the background, looking as if they are alive and moving. A touch screen for visitors to learn more about the motifs, the patterns and the carving technique is inviting. Thanks to the 360-degree view, visitors can see the paintings on the back of the door. Another highlight is the round and raised wooden monk seat used for preaching built in the Ayutthaya era in the 17th century. King Rama VII was gifted the seat by Wat Kangkao in Nonthaburi and later granted it to the museum. In addition to its round shape, a rarity in Thai woodwork, this monk seat features ancient patterns. Gatekeepers and three-headed nagas are engraved around the base, while the top is shaped like a three-tiered roof. A rare collection of monk’s necessities, monk’s fans of rank and commemorative fans Another two-storey hall, the Brahmesthada, features a rare collection of monk’s necessities, monk’s fans that depict rank, as well as the commemorative fans for royal family members to offer to monks on the special occasions. Downstairs is a display a collection of mother-of-pearl artefacts, among them a traditional ranad thum (low-pitched xylophone) and thon (goblet drum) dating back to early Rattanakosin era, many from the collection of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu. The mother-of-pearl artwork is used as insignia denoting the rank of royalty and nobility and visitors can clearly see the lion emblem featured on different containers in the prince’s collection. Another multimedia presentation serves to illustrate different techniques for working mother of pearl. While Thais prefer the pasting technique, the Chinese prefer inlaying and Korean and Japanese artists use a painting technique. A set of mother-of-pearl containers from the collection of Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu The two-storey building Prapat Pipittapan that was built during the early reign of King Rama IX is partly complete. Two rooms have opened and tell the history and the archaeology of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and Thonburi-Early Rattanakosin era. A gilded lacquer wooden platform believed to belong to King Taksin who established Thonburi as the new capital of Siam in 1767 is the first attraction to catch the eye followed by a reclining chair used by King Rama I on the battlefield. The treasures of the Ayutthaya Period The upper floor is devoted to the Ayutthaya period and features a large collection of Buddha images, monk raised seats for preaching and dharma scripture cabinets. Rooms devoted to Lanna, Sukhothai and Rattanakosin-Bangkok collections have yet to be completed. “The treasures on display don’t only narrate Thai history, lifestyle, society and economy in different eras, but also the cross-cultural dynamics among countries. The lacquer technique was borrowed from Persia during the Ayutthaya era and the crafted woodwork and porcelain making originated in China. The musical instruments were similar to those of Cambodia. We hope the museum will become a living study room for many interesting topics,” says Nitaya. WHEN YOU GO The National Museum Bangkok is on Na Phrathat Road next to Thammasat University. Admission is Bt30 for Thais and Bt200 for foreigners. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 8.30am to 4pm. Guided tours for groups can be booked in advance and are conducted by trained volunteer guides in English, French, German and Japanese on Wednesday and Thursday at 9.30am. Reservation can be made at www.Mynmv.com. Guided tours in Thai are held every Sunday at 9.30am and 1pm. Find out more at (02) 224 1370 and Facebook:@nationalmuseumbangkok. Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/art/30367964 -- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-20
  3. I'm talking about the CB150R, which is this bike: But probably the CB150R and the CBR150R share quite a few components.
  4. That is a long time! It is a bit unnerving that there are selective things for selective races here. Just like the special Chinese immigration line. On another note, I would wish countries like the USA and EU to not allow Thai to own land. Tit for Tats is what is needed to show how bad they are. If the shoe feels good to them on one foot, then I would love to know how they think the other shoe fits.
  5. Regulations will not be suddenly rescinded, that would be a loss of face. One can only hope for relaxation in implementation. I actually expect the regulations to become stricter, the retired person market is looking less attractive to Thailand and their xenophobia will rule.
  6. Let's accept that, in the short-term, no significant changes can be made to currency rates, pollution levels, racism, crime and many of the other intractable problems being raised in this thread. If the Thai authorities wanted to increase the amount of money being spent by foreigners in Thailand, here are 5 simple steps they could implement right away: 1. Increase the visa waiver to 90 days (same as Malaysia). 2. Drop the retirement age to 40 (same as The Philippines). 3. Encourage the use of Thailand as a hub for visitors to the region by ordering immigration officers to stop interpreting frequent trips in and out of the country as a bad thing. 4. Drop the insane 20,000 baht cash requirement. 5. Replace all the immigration officers in Don Muang with trained macaque monkeys. I understand the reasons for some rules but am absolutely certain that there are ways to address those problems without torpedoing your tourist industry. For instance, if there is genuinely a problem with foreigners taking Thai jobs, deport anyone caught doing that and keep fining the employers until they stop.
  7. Maybe you can explain how it's 'tightened up', a one year multi-entry ES VISA for $300 (introduced in 2017) by signing an application at an agents office, with no financial checks seems pretty 'free and easy' to me.
  8. What do you do if you have been doing all these things (diet and exercise) for the last 15 years and you are still showing signs of Insulin resistance - like wise high blood pressure - been doing all the things they recommend for this for the last 15 years.
  9. I can confirm there are little to no western expats or tourists left in Sihanoukville. You see the odd backpacker passing through on their way to the island, but that's about it. I have been to Kep, but some years ago, prior to the Chinese taking over Sihanoukville. I was told many moved to Kep, and I would be interested to see or hear about what has been set up to cater for them. I was also told many moved to Vietnam. Where did you stay in PP? I used to stay in the riverside area, near the Royal Palace. Is this area still the same?
  10. I agree with Champers...I can't spot all nine relics but I can see two at the front and possibly one at the far rear. Looks like a pleasant peaceful day indoors away from the water wars.
  11. The boys down at TAT will be going over the moon for "The Sun" reporting from Koh Samui, according to them a "seedy Thai resort famed for prostitution". Article 44 must be pulled and "The Sun"'s website blocked for good. On a more sombre note, there are seedier places better known for its horizontal business activities and Samui, albeit completely outpriced for what they offer, is still more of a family resort than certain seaside resort close to Bangkok
  12. Yes they have melded perfectly with the upper sections of Thai society, and become complete and utter snobs.
  13. This is another lie apparently based on Nyezhov's cliched belief that "academic = lefty" In fact, all we know about Lamparello's beliefs is that he's a devout Catholic. So it seems unlikely that he finds congenial company in the party of family planning and abortion rights. Deeply religious suspect, devout but demented, gets psych exam after St. Patrick’s Cathedral arrest ends mystifying two-state meltdown https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/ny-st-patrick-arrest-dad-speaks-20190418-j4cetm56gjfmjkbl4vlghwvs3u-story.html
  14. It's probably because you are only meeting female Thai sex workers. Ladyboys are male Thais, try making 'friends' with a few of them. None of them would really be your friends.
  15. I do Keto... yes, even in Thailand... (which is tougher, but doable)... That basically means, no sugar (includes fruit, and most dairy (but cheese ok)), (<20gm) carbs, no processed foods... no beer.. (hard stuff vodka, whisky ok... thai whisky (aka rum) no no)... 90% of what is in western markets is crap... but I think it's just as bad in Thailand... probably most of Thai dishes contain sugar too... I also do intermittent fasting... aka dont eat from 6p-12noon... My objective was not weight loss (although it's a nice side benefit)... Trying to let the body repair the damage from too much insulin spikes... So far it's working... Look it up on youtube (plenty of vids for both keto and intermittent fasting)... Good luck...
  16. The Obama link was before the election. US intelligence and the Mueller report state unequivocally there was Russian interference during the election process. The unknown is now much Russian interference actually influenced voter behaviour.
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