Ban Rak Thai provides intensive courses for foreigners who interested in learning Thai dance and Thai instrument. The courses are suitable for both foreigners who have just a short period of time in Chiang Mai, and foreigners who live in Chiang Mai. In addition, we provide courses for children too. The courses include Thai dance from every region of Thailand; for example, Rabum, Rum, Forn, which are easy to learn. If foreigners study at Ban Rak Thai, they will be impressed by our friendly instructors who are more than welcome to help you. Moreover, Thai dance is fun to learn. It can be another way to exercise. More importantly, they will learn a lot about Thai culture from studying Thai dance and Thai instrument. Finally, after foreigners who studied at Ban Rak Thai, they can use their knowledge that they learned from Ban Rak Thai to teach others who interested in learning Thai culture, or even adapt it with their culture.
Wat Nak Prok was established around late Ayutthaya period in 1748. A hundred year afterward (approximately in the reign of King Rama III or IV), the temple was restored by Phra Boriboonthanakorn (Pook Tan), a wealthy Chinese merchant, who married to Thai lady and settled down in Siam. He had the great gratitude to Siam and a strong believe in Buddhism that inspired him to renovate this monastery.
In the beginning Phra Boriboonthanakorn directed to construct the first building, Uposatha hall or chapter house. Inside this hall, there was an attractive Chinese style mural. Subsequently he managed to build a repository of Buddha images, Vihara or shrine-hall. Interior of this Vihara, there was a beautiful Thai style mural telling the story of the Buddha (“Return from Tavatimsa heaven” and “Victory over Mara or demon”). He also respectfully invited a principal Buddha statue from Sukhothai province to be enshrined here. The principal Buddha statue was cast from bronze in Mara Vichai style (Victory over demon style). This statue has a 7 heads great serpent over the head of the Buddha statue. The temple was named from this image. In Thai language, ‘Wat’ means temple, ‘Nak’ means the great serpent and ‘Prok’ means to cover. Wat Nak Prok is a private Theravada temple under Council of Elders (the Sangha Supreme Council) in Mahanikaya (the Great branch). It is located on 342 Toetthai49 Road, Pak Klong Pasicharoen sub-district, Pasicharoen district, Bangkok. Canals, school and another temple surround the temple. The north is adjacent to Wat Nak Prok canal. To the east of the temple is Wat Nang Chee. The south of the temple is Bang Wah canal, and to the west of the temple is Wat Nak Prok School. The total area of the temple is 4.884 acres.
On July 1, 2539 His Majesty ordered please. To HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. HRH The Princess Royal Kumari foundation stone laying ceremony of His temple Wat Phra Ram 9 Kan Karnchanapisek and on February 25, 2543 HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. HRH Royal Kumari. His style of traditional interment Eoouniamit.
Chao Khun Phra Aranyik was an expert in meditation and had once been the instructor of Somdej Phra Buddhacharn ( To ) of Wat Rakhangkhositaram, who initiated the construction of Luang Pho To, a large standing Buddha image. The construction of the image had reached only to the navel when Somdej Phra Buddhacharn died. It was completed in the reign of King Rama VII.
Luang Pho To is a statue of the Buddha holding an alms bowl. When the statue was completed, the temple held a three-day celebration on 4-6 March, 1928, and this festival has been held annually ever since.
King Rama VI renamed the temple Wat Intharavihara because the name was the same as Wat Intharam ( Wat Bangyirua Tai ) in Thonburi. People generally refer to the temple as Wat In, Wat In Bang Khun Phrom, or Wat Luang Pho To.
In the phra ubosot there are murals which were executed by artists of the First Reign. The murals on all four walls depict scenes from the lives of the Buddha. In front of the presiding Buddha image is a scenes of Marn Phachon. Highly praised is the scene of hell on the wall behind the presiding image, which appears very life-like.
Also of interest is the gallery running around the phra ubosot with 64 niches cut into the wall, each niche containing a standing Buddha image in the thawai netr pose. There were also murals along this gallery, but they have long since faded away. Outside the gallery walls there is a redented phra chedi decorated with plaster fish, mermaids and mythical elephant-like animals all around the base. It is commonly called the Chedi Pla or fish chedi. It is now in poor condition. There is also the old phra ubosot of Wat Phumarin Rajapaksi which, though small, is beautifully proportioned. On the gable in plaster is depicted Narai riding the Garuda and a peacock displaying its tail studded with colored glass. Another interesting structure is a rather small old phra vihara with a curved base in the shape of a junk.
Although most programmes are in Thai, there are some in English and the temple has become a popular place to learn the Vipassana Meditation (Insight Meditation). Classes are held daily from 07:00 – 10:00, 13:00 – 16:00, and 18:00 – 20:00. Time needed for practice will vary with each individual English-speaking monks assisting.
The temple was originally built to house a relic of the Buddha and one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. You can also have your fortune told inside the ‘wat’ (temple).
Just next to the temple, every Sunday is the Bangkok’s largest amulet market, where religious amulets, charms, talismans, and traditional medicine are spread on the ground to be inspected by buyers looking for one that will bring good luck or ward off evil. Different amulets are used for specific purposes; to bring money, restore health, deal with unrequited love or keep your enemies away. Choose carefully!
The ‘Siam Cultural Park’ over 18.8 i acres of land in Bang Phae district of Ratchaburi province is set in the pleasant ambiance of the beautiful park. designed to complement nature. The plants, the flowing brook and artificial cascade provide a wonderful retreat. It is also a research center for people who have a passion for Thai art and culture as well as the study of the traditional livelihood of the Thai people.On display inside Siam Cultural Park are fiberglass wax figures of such prominent figures as Khru Montri Tramot, Sueb Nakasatian, M.L. Pin Malakul, Mother Theresaand,Vietnam’s Uncle Ho, among others.The space around Siam Cultural Park is clearly earmarked for specific activities. The zone of the Three-era Buddha Statues, for example, features exquisite replicas of Buddha images from three different periods, namely Sukhothai, Chiang Saen and U-thong. Kuti Sangkha, the monks’ living quarter, comprises traditional Thai building and wax figures of highly revered monks from different regions including Luang Poo Mun, Somdej Phra Buddhacharn Tho, Luang Poo Wan and Khru Baa Sri Vichai. Traditional Houses from Thailand’s Four Regions reflect the ways of life and cultures of each region based on specific religious and culture orientations. Chuchok and Kanha – Charlie (the two royal children), an episode from ‘Phra Vejsundorn’ is a light and sound presentation in the simulated Chadok Cave; the show is designed to give the audience moral lessons and teachings on the merit of adequacy. Then, there is a large square dedicated to Phra Bodhisat Awalokitaysuan based on the art of sculpturing from China’s Song Dynasty.