Strange..... "Wat KHEMARAPHIRATARAM" is a Cambodian wat in Auckland!
Yes learning by transliteration is a waste of time! I learnt all the alphabet, then realised that you mostly only ever use 80 percent of it. Teach yourself Thai by David Smyth gives you an easy staged approach. 1steasythaialphabet was also helpful. The Google Translate app is great for practising pronunciation.