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Christina Bolton

Friday, 30 July 2010

Buddhist Temples of Thailand

Buddhist Temples of Thailand written by Joe Cummings with stunning photography by Dan White is the ultimate guide to Thailand’s most important temples. With the rich history of each temple outlined and interesting facts about the influence of Buddhism across Thailand today, this is one of the most comprehensive and accessible books on the subject.

Off the Tourist Trail: 1,000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives by Eyewitness Travel (with a foreword by Bill Bryson) is an inspiring book offering a plethora of choices for the traveler who feels beleaguered by crowds of tourists and the hawks they spawn.

This small church is the oldest in its city and the most historic. It has been named three times: once after the infant Jesus; the second in 1690 after a victory in battle with an arch enemy trying to capture the city; and a third revision after being saved from another attack due to the shipwreck of the intruders in 1711. The church is seen as the protector of the city for those victories. A miniature replica of a vessel that brought the defending army in hangs from the ceiling close to the fort shaped alter.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Incognito Contest Jan-Feb 2008

This building that looks like a small castle is actually a church and a Benedictine monastery from the Middle Ages. Apparently it was well protected, sitting atop a beautiful rock island/peninsula next to the town’s beach and surrounded on three sides by the oceans slapping waves.

This boulder – which looks like it’s about to topple at any minute – has probably been here longer than the ancient civilization that resides on this coastline. This is a land of temples, the sea and sun. One of its temples, located right on the shore, was the first in the area to be built of stone, and it even could allow the sea in to become a water shrine. Now there is a breaker wall built up to help preserve the structure from erosion.

I am standing in a small room overlooking the meticulously tiled courtyard of an ancient theological college. It is a stunning example of Arab-Andalous architecture. Its tile work and stucco decoration are complemented by exquisite cedar work carvings. The main courtyard has a low pool at its center built with more handmade tiles, and is surrounded by arched doorways leading to its lovely prayer halls. This pattern of a courtyard surrounded by rooms is replicated again and again as you follow the long hallways around the building. Mini-courtyards around mini-rooms (that some describe as ‘cells’ because they’re so small) are on the ground floor, and upstairs its same except the courtyards are replaced by balconies.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

incognito March-April 2007

I am standing on large dunes overlooking a lagoon and a small traditional fishing village. This area is a National Park and the town has recently become a tourist beach haven. Hundreds of stairs lead to the top of these huge shifting sand dunes and stunning views.

Sunday, 31 December 2006



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Monday, 04 December 2006

incognito Jan - Feb 2007

I am in a dark cavernous world at high noon – it’s sweltering outside and ever so cool in here. The sandstone walls and sandy floor are lit by sunbeams that shine straight in at noon, and at other times they curl in and light the stratified walls their crimson, coral, and rose glory. As I walk through the narrow crevice with its sensuous sculpted walls, I remember that rushing water formed its curves.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

incognito Sept-Oct 2006

I am standing at a medieval castle in the main city of a long isolated island off of a small seaside country. The castle is an imposing square building built of dolomite blocks. To get here I had to pronounce the island’s long name (heavy on the vowels) satisfactorily to the ticket purveyor.

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