Cherry Mobile invited us to join a media tour to Thailand and test out their new Flare S6 Selfie smartphone. We landed in Bangkok, but the highlight of the trip was Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let’s begin!
Isn’t it great to start the day with a fulfilling breakfast with Thai iced tea and milk on the side. A cold drink in the morning doesn’t upset my stomach, so this is fine.
We went to Ayutthaya on the second day of our three-day Thailand trip. It’s about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok — the nation’s capital. We had to leave early because it took us two hours to get there amid Bangkok’s infamous traffic jams. I just took a nap during the trip and woke up to our first stop.
Bang Pa-In Palace
The Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is a 46-acre property of the royal family of the Kingdom of Thailand. Since the main residence of their king is in Bangkok, the Bang-In Palace is for vacations. Due to its size, this leg of our tour involved long walks under the shade of lush trees.
The landscape of the palace is well-maintained with blooming flowers in every corner like this one.
Weather was really unpredictable, because while we were starting our walk, it started to drizzle. After a minute or two, the sun shone so brightly again. Take a look at how the phone struggled to keep the exposure of this selfie, but managed to produce a decent shot nonetheless.
Bodies of water are everywhere in the Summer Palace, although I’m not sure which of them are just man-made. Here’s a clear photo of one of the scenic bridges.
While crossing the bridge, clouds started to cover the sky again. It got pretty gloomy as you can see in the picture below. The camera wasn’t able to lift the mood of the surroundings, but it was able to take a decent still of the Ho Withun Thasana observatory.
As I continued to walk around, I stumbled upon one of the residential buildings inside the palace named Phra Thinang Uthayan Pumisathian, which translates to Garden of the Secured Land. Its design is more like a Swiss chalet, rather than the usual golden palace style.
It was a really hot day with some rain, and the long walk made me thirsty. Good thing there was a refreshments booth where I was taking a rest. Can you guess what drink this is?
Some buildings were off-limits and under renovation, so I didn’t walk any further. It was time to get back to the bus and head to our next destination: temples and ruins!
Wat Maha That
Buddhist temples and monasteries in Thailand are sacred, but also crowded. The first monastery we went to was the Wat Maha That or the Monastery of the Great Relic, which is a historically restored ruin. Here lies the famous head of a Buddha that got lost inside the roots of a tree. I wasn’t able to take a photo because it was surrounded by a lot of tourists.
While the head of a Buddha was trapped by the roots of the trees, there were a number of headless Buddhas around.
As I went further inside the monastery, I saw the ruin of the base of the main prang. Nature already took over what was left of the massive temple.
Wat Maha That was one of the most important monasteries of the Ayutthaya kingdom. It’s not an active place of worship anymore, but they still respect the relics which were left behind.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
From a historic monastery, we moved to an active temple called Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon or the Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory.
The temple is highly visible to anyone approaching the city. Its bell-shaped principal chedi sits tall on top of an elevated base. Anyone can climb up and take a peek inside — which I did. But first, here’s a selfie to show how big the structure is.
There’s not much to see inside. I was able to take this lone selfie since no one was willing to climb up so high. There was a small chamber showing Buddhist relics and a deep well, which used to have a number of old Buddhist books according to our tour guide.
The terrace of the temple has some great over-looking views of nearby structures like this one. Don’t mind the light pole; it wasn’t there many years ago.
Behind the main temple was a small garden with a great view and a sparkling white giant Buddha.
We then headed back to Bangkok to catch a live cultural show.
Boasted as Thailand’s must-see show, Siam Niramit has a number of positive reviews online, and it still managed to exceed my expectations.
We arrived quite early and had dinner prior to the main show. There were a couple of elephants to interact with, and sadly, they still offer back-rides which should be a no-no. Anyway, I was able to go around the small Thai village inside the complex for a quick rural experience within the city.
Surprisingly, the phone was able to do okay in low-light environments — both the front and rear. Lighting is intimate around the village, which makes taking a bright selfie quite tricky.
While I was walking around the village, a pre-show had begun depicting vivid combat scenes. Night photography takes a toll with the shutter speed of the camera, so I wasn’t able to take a sharp image of the act.
Inside the main theater was a massive stage. Photo and video taking were not allowed inside, so I can’t show you the amazing performance. You’ll have to watch it yourself and I promise, it’s worth it.
That wraps up our time with the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie. There’s more to see in Ayutthaya, but we’ll save that for another trip — hopefully!
24 Hours is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we showcase our travels through a smartphone camera’s perspective. It’s also a documented guide on things to see and do in a city in case you happen to plan a trip there.
[irp posts=”22191″ name=”Cherry Mobile announces Flare S6 series with Cherry OS”]
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