Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Wat Suan Kaew in Nonthaburi province

Wat Suan Kaew วัดสวนแก้ว in Nonthaburi province จังหวัดนนทบุรี

Reasons for visit: the ancient Egypt inspired mosaic that is shown in Thai language guidebooks (hoping there would be more of such stuff), the dog condo where large numbers of abandoned animals are kept, and the second hand department store (from donations to the wat).

Saturday, 08.11.2014

Bus 4 from Sathorn (Rama 4, Bon Gai bus stop) to Saphan Phut (8 THB, 10:52-11:25). Walk from bus stop to pier, wait for boat. River boat from Saphan Phut to Nonthaburi (N30, 15 THB, 11:48-12:42). Boat is full, if you want a seat, better enter at Sathorn Pier. Ferry across river (to Ban Sri Mueang pier, 3 THB), songtheo to wat (8 THB, 13:00-17). 

The wat is rather unspectacular.



Free haircut by apprentices:




The mosaic that I know from guidebooks:




(Update 16.12.2014: There is a similar wall painting elsewhere: http://maleangpo.blogspot.com/2010/04/wat-thung-setthi-chaiya-phum.html)
  There is more exterior decoration with tiles:









The wat has a large garden, there is an artificial waterfall:



Underneath the waterfall is a grotto, the stains on the wall are from the 2011 flood (you can see the water level in many other places, on average chest height, the entire area was flooded):



This seems to be a genuine skull:



whereas this looked like a reproductions to me (bone and teeth of same color and no gap between them):



"Natural Ubosot", the luk nimit ลูกนิมิต are half in water (not on picture):



I inquire about the dog condo. The area of the wat (with fruit plantation) is that wast, one of their staff takes me there by car. There must be hundreds of dogs, the picture shows only a small part:


As far as I can tell, looking from outside over the fence, the living conditions are acceptable, however other have been inside and say it's inacceptable: http://bangkok.coconuts.co/features/inside-the-dog-condo-bangkoks-abandoned-animals-face-nightmare-conditions-at-wat-suan-kaew

So far nothing to write home about (I was hoping there would be more mosaics inspired by ancient Egypt), but the second hand store is interesting. Not well labelled when coming from the wat (maybe better when coming from main road). There is one large building (clad in dark red corrugated iron) for delivery and sorting:


Building next to it is storage / furniture sale (?) in basement and multi story car park upstairs.


From the upper floors, I finally spot the second hand department store (accessible from hwy 3215, 
13.8606574,100.439875 = 13°51'38.4"N 100°26'23.6"E)



Seven floors of various stuff like furniture, computers, clothes, TVs, washing machines. Notice the mosaics from tiles outside and inside the building:





Not just a rummage table, a rummage floor for clothes, 10 Baht per piece (in bulk cheaper):



There is an area with a market for collectibles/vintage, setup similar to Chatuchak จตุจักร market, merchandise similar to Railway market (Rot Fai รถไฟ market, in new location behind Seacon Square Srinakarin ศรีนครินทร์).







Return (songtheo, ferry, bus, MRT) uneventful.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

2 comments:

  1. From what I heards, this is in fact a place where many of those vendors stock up. Clothes at 10/20 bt /kg are pretty common min most poor areas.
    You can go there by MRT to Ch-chak, then bus 63 to market Nonthburi, there are also small buses/songhthaews from the Nonthburi main side

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