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Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:32 am
by Ruud
It is quite likely that before the end of the year I will pay a visit to Bangkok. Beside exploring the place and generally playing the tourist, I'd also like to pick up some Dhamma books. So I'd like to ask for some advise from those who have been there (or maybe even are there now):

Do any of you have advise where I could find a bookstore with an English Buddhist collection?

Will what is available be only Thai Ajahns, or will well known Sri Lankan (e.g. Ven. Nanananda) or Burmese (e.g. Mahasi and Ledi Sayadaws) teachers also be available?

Any tips on (hard-copy) books that are hard to come by in the West, and teachers that are not that well known but are must-reads?

By the way, if someone has general tips about must-do's or must-avoid's, I’ll be also interested to hear those.

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:00 pm
by LG2V
Hope you have fun. I don't know much about finding dhamma books, but Bangkok is full of great wats and monks. I didn't see a lot of Burmese or Sri Lankan teachers there when I went two months ago, but I am a newbie and mostly went to the big tourist areas.

Based on my experience, I would say to check out Wat Saket and The Grand Palace's Emerald Buddha. Bring flowers to both for puja. Just ask a tuk-tuk driver to take you to a nearby flower store before hand. There's one that has some fantastic bouquets that you can negotiate to buy for cheap.

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:24 am
by Kare
Here is a list: ... ngkok/1983

When I was there (10 years ago) the Buddhist Bookshop in Phra Sumeru Street (in Thai: Thanon Phra Sumen), directly across from Wat Bovornivet, had a good selection of Buddhist literature. More than 30 years ago I bought the full Tipitaka in Pali there, in 45 volumes - I did not then know that everything would be available online ... Enjoy your trip!

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:46 am
by Ruud
Thank you very much LG2V and Kare!

Kare, that list of bookstores looks very useful. I’ll definitely check the one you mention out, sounds quite like what I’m looking for.

LG2V, when mentioning Burmese or Sri Lankan teachers I was more referring to books written by them instead of actual teachers. I’ll look up the sites you mention, thank you for the tips (and I won’t forget the flowers).

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:12 am
by chownah
In getting around bangkok I recommend using the water taxis whenever possible. They run on the Chao Phraya river and on some of the canals. They are cheap and often/usually faster than travel on the streets.....also fun. Most of them run fairly frequently so the wait time is not too long. You might try to find an internet resource explaining how they run (different colored flags for different routes) or just figure it out when you get there.....even if you take the wrong one it is easy to get back to where you were. Just before sunset if you can manage to be on the chao phraya river on a water taxi opposite of the royal palace (the river is west of the palace) which is south of sanam luang (I think it is near the tha chang pier) and if you are lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, the gold leaf covered western face of the palace will reflect the golden sunlight from the sunset and it is really incredibly spectacular. I saw this just by chance one day long ago and I audibly exclaimed "wow!"......I always figured that if I ever had some money to blow and was not pressed for time while being in bangkok that I might hire a boat just to chase after that vision.

Also there is a wat(edit: not a wat, some kind of temple thingy) on a hill in bangkok which is a long climb with a great view.
Edit: If you are into seeing beautiful temples you might consider going to Luang Prabang, Laos.....I know this is not bangkok but I don't know what all your plans are and what your time constraints could arrange a visa in advance but they are easily obtained at the border if you go overland.....I don't know if you can get a visa on arrival if you fly...probably you can...check it out before.

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:14 am
by Ruud
Boats....check, added to the list (both as transport and to enjoy) . Your description already makes it sound a little ‘wow’, you make me want to chase it too.

Regarding going to Luang Prabang, I’ll definitely have to make a note somewhere to remember that for a next time. We’ll be there only for a week, also with my 2.5 year old daughter, so we decided to stay in and around Bangkok this time.

Anyway, thank you for your tips, very much appreciated!

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:17 pm
by gavesako
The best place is the BiA - Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives at Suan Rotfai, near Chatuchak market.

Re: Visit to Bangkok

Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:45 pm
by Ruud
Thank you very much Bhante.
I’m not as familiar with Ven. Buddhadasa (I heard of some of his more famous books), butI’ll look into the place you recommend.
Regarding books, will they only have those of Ven. Buddhadasa and his students, or will they also have for example other forest Ajahns?