Saturday, November 3, 2007

elephants in bangkok

Before I flew to Bangkok, Thailand for a 4-day Halloween vacation, I packed my Series 12 Animal Be@rbrick, a mini representation of an elephant carrying an apple at the end of its trunk.

You see, I meant to take a nice pic of it within the capital, as the elephant is a very important symbol of the Kingdom of Thailand. During the 18th century Thai-Burmese war, the King rode it to fight for his country's honor and glory. Since then, it has been acknowledged as an animal suited only for royal duties. In fact, a white elephant in particular is a gift fit for a king, and for him to acquire one is supposed to bring prosperity and happiness to his entire kingdom. It is customary for a monarch to own many (even as much as nineteen white elephants) during his reign.

Years ago, domesticated elephants in Bangkok were commonplace and served as an attraction to Western tourists that were hungry for exotic imagery. But many accidents and complaints later, the law prohibited them from entering the city.

Today, the most visible elephant around is the Tuk Chang (Elephant Tower) in the Chatuchak district. See pic below. The yellow protrusion on the right is supposed to be the tusk. It's easy to spot the eye and the ear, of course. However, the thick trunk isn't very recognizable. Nevertheless, I give it high marks for 'effort'. A multi-storey concrete elephant – not many builders will even bother to come up with a idea as 'big' as this!

(Elephant building pic and info from neatorama.com. Elephant info from chiangmai-chiangrai.com & circleofasia.com)

10 comments:

johnybravo said...

did you manage to get the levi's x be@rbrick x artist in bangkok?

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Johny, checked out three Levi's stores and there weren't any. :-/

warrior scout said...

nice post and i loved the elephant references. i wonder if there were elephants in any of the places you visited that everyone tried to avoid noticing...:p

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Warrior Scout: LOL, I remember seeing one pooping along the road in the Silom area a long time ago (during one of my first trips to Bangkok). People did try not to look, you know... :-)

mtan said...

There are illegal mahouts that bring elephants into the city, I nearly walked into one late at night on a market street. Poor animals are forced to live in the city, stressed out.

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Mila, it must have been quite a scare! LOL

Thereyoucome said...

haha, you're very thought ful, to carry them world around.

wondering is there bear building? must be too complex

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Thereyoucome, If I hear of one, I will surely blog about it... :-)

crown lanta koh lanta said...

That building is unique indeed. I admire the architects who designed this Elephant Building creatively.

Shawn Boey said...

like to check if there is any bearbrick shops in bangkok?