Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a jewel in Chiang Mai’s crown

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

If you’re ever in Chiang Mai and can only choose one temple to visit, choose Wat Phra That on Doi Suthep. Doi Suthep is the mountain West of Chiang Mai, the smaller of the two in that area. The other being Doi Pui and together make up the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Although I haven’t been to every single temple in Chiang Mai, I have been to several and what makes Wat Phra That so special? It’s reportedly the temple that has a Buddha Relic, a piece of his shoulder, if I heard correctly. Now I didn’t get to see the Relic but this wat, to me, has a tranquil/serene “feel” to it, more so than any of the other temples I’ve been to in the Chiang Mai region. I truly lack the words to describe that feeling. No, it’s not like a life changing OMG Hallelujah kinda feeling…it’s more like a peaceful at ease feeling. I imagine “resting in peace” would feel like this. I’m not particularly religious but I do believe in certain principles from different religions. Yes, I’m a “confused child” haha.

Back to the Doi Suthep and one of Chiang Mai’s crown jewels, Wat Phra That. I’ll just do what the locals do and refer to the area as Doi Suthep. So how can one get to Doi Suthep? There are a number of ways both public and private. If you choose the private way, have a read of my post “Did I get scammed in Chiang Mai” for my recounting on private hire fiasco/scam that was run on me whilst going to a different “must see” Chiang Mai crown jewel. The most convenient way is to take a red songthaew to Doi Suthep. It can be as easy as flagging one down anywhere around the old city. A songthaew is a pickup truck with the back converted to bench seating. They operate like a public bus/shared taxi but with negotiable fare. The way to get a ride is you flag one down (like flagging a taxi) or they will honk at you, in which case just wave back if you want them to stop. Before you hop in, you have to negotiate your fare. The price will depend on where you’re going, how many passengers already in the songthaew and probably the way you look. So the better dressed you are, the less they will be willing to drop the prices. The number of people already on board will help decrease the price as well and/or if there’s no one already on board, you can pay a bit more and the driver will not pick up anyone along the way to your destination. Trips within the old city are $30-$40 TBH (as told to me by the hotel staff and $30 TBH is written on all the red songthaews (I can’t read Thai so don’t know what the context is) but as soon as you get outside the walled city they will start at $100 TBH (at least that’s always been the starting point whenever I asked). There are also different marked songthaews, the markings will indicate which attraction they are going to, so you can look out for those as those may have people in them already going to the same place making it cheaper for you to tag along (or at least you won’t be “forced” to pay the full single rider fare). If you prefer to hire out a songthaew (have it all to yourself) you can probably negotiate a price for him/her to wait for you and give you a ride back. If not, there are a lot of songthaews waiting up there to give passengers rides back into town. The only drawback is that they will not leave until the songthaew is full with 8 passengers so if you’re first on, there may be a wait. For me, I was lucky, I was the 8th. As I was about to pay the driver, 1/2 the other passengers started to negotiate a lower fare but to no avail so ya that’s something to consider too. Just to give you an idea, hiring out a songthaew cost me $350 TBH, I needed to get there as fast as possible but coming back only cost $80 TBH. The other public way are guided tours. Your hotel lobby will have info and be able to help you out, or you can find tour agent kiosks everywhere, seriously you can’t walk a block without seeing one. These are convenient if have minimal time and need a guide to show you around and/or rush you plus you won’t have to worry about haggling prices everywhere, where to go to the ticket booth etc. The private vehicles are in the form of metered taxis although you have to specifically book one from somewhere as they are nowhere to to be found on the streets. The only time I saw any were at the airport and twice in town dropping guests at a hotel. I’m pretty sure they will be the most expensive private car option with Grab taxi being the second most expensive. The least expensive is the non grab, private hires which the hotel can arrange for you and the tuk tuk’s (they look like motorized rickshaws) which you can flag on the street. Note: if you get motion sickness then take some motion sickness pills if you plan on taking the songthaew or tuk tuk. Also try to get on a newer model vehicle or at least one that doesn’t look beat up as that will affect the bumpiness of your ride as well as the amount of exhaust (if any) you’ll be subjected to.

Stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Local tribes girls on the stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Local tribes girls on the stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Local tribes girls on the stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Stairs leading up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep adorned on either side with giant King of Nagas’

Now that transport is sorted out and you’re at the drop off point of Doi Suthep, there’s two routes you can take up to the temple but first, there are shops/markets by the road side you may want to check out. If not, make your way to either the steps with the big archway (the left most stair case as you’re facing the mountain) if you’re looking to walk up to the Wat. If walking up stairs is not your cup of tea, take the path on the right where you can see ticket booths. That’s where you can buy tickets to ride the gondola up. I didn’t take the gondola so I can’t comment on the fees nor the ride. Taking the stairs isn’t that bad. you go up a short flight of stairs and it opens up to a plaza of sorts with statues to see and more shops and restaurants. From this plaza you can see the flight of stairs leading up to the Wat, kind of steep but not scary steep. If you see adorable little kids dressed in (I’m guessing) traditional attire of their culture, it’s ok to take photos but be prepared to offer a donation. They won’t be shy in asking for it. Although I had sniped a few shots of them from afar, pretty much without them knowing, as they were busy posing for other photo’s, I still walked by and gave them each a tip. I couldn’t help but feel sad, I didn’t notice their parents around and they were just hanging out, walking around the stairs. When you reach the top of the stairs you’ll be at the entrance to the temple area (not the temple grounds itself) and you’ll have to detour to the right because that is where the ticket office is and a snacks shop in case you need to buy a drink. Entrance fee is $30 TBH. Having taken care of the entrance fee you can enter the premises of where the actual temple is, you can see the stairs into the Wat in the photo below. The premises is quite big with lots to see and you can walk around with your shoes on but if you want to enter the Wat grounds, you have to take off your shoes at the designated area about a hop, skip and a jump away from the Wat’s entrance. No big deal, it’s relatively clean, as in free from debris as you can kinda see in the photo below. There’s more than enough room for shoes on the racks but there’s shoe lockers behind the benches too, just don’t forget where you put your shoes.

Pavilion area provides shade and benches for rest and removal of shoes.

SO MUCH GOLD!!! Was my first reaction as stepped through the entrance into the wat. I don’t know if it was gold leaf, gold paint, gold plated or what but boy was it impressive. Pretty much in the center of the temple grounds is the gold stupa with the prayer path around it. There are flowers you can buy and hold as you walk and pray on this path and then offer them to an altar of your choice. This prayer path is in between the stupa and a stone fence that has opening at the corners for entering and exiting the prayer path. On top of this fence, on two of the sides, are various statues and religious relics. Lining the walls to the temple complex are altars, prayer halls, statues and other religious artifacts. There are monks walking around doing various duties as well from what I saw when I was there such as “monk chats,” blessing ceremonies, sweeping of the grounds, putting up decorations etc. Along the walls that define the Wat grounds are open air but sheltered corridors with religious statues and artifacts and enough space for visitors to pray in front of. These corridors are sometimes broken up by rooms housing religious statue(s) with all the prayer amenities like kneeling mats, incense pots etc. There is also a larger prayer hall which more detailed and ornate and is where the monk chats/blessing were held. If you want the on location tourist shot, look for the golden tree/umbrella statue. This is the designated spot where an “in house photographer” will take the “tourist shot” that all the marketing shots were taken. The spot features a golden umbrella (or maybe it’s a bamboo tree), under which you’ll stand with the golden stupa in the background and hopefully a blue sky with a fluffy cloud or two. There will be assistants walking around that area trying to drum up business. If you don’t want to engage their services you can just wait until the umbrella is vacant and go get your shot. Although I planned to photograph everything, I kinda forgot to or maybe just too “taken in” by beauty, splendor, calmness and serenity of this place I really don’t have the words so here’s a few shots:

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

Inside the Wat Phra That temple grounds on Doi Suthep

When you’re done inside the Wat, have a look around the grounds. There’s a huge hall, gift shop (the usual items that you’d find in a temple’s gift shop are cheaper here than in any other place that I’ve been to), café type eatery, prayer bells, prayer halls, large statues, defunct museum (well that’s what it looked like to me) and a very ornate pavilion that over looks the valley. If you walk to the railing you will see the city of Chiang Mai and the airport, it’s quite a view if the weather is clear. I visited in early May and got ok weather, a bit too smoggy for detailed images but still a spectacular view. There were not many people so I was able to set up my tripod for some panoramic shots however I did get interrupted by a tourist who came right up next to me to shoot her panoramic shots, so I took some candid profile shots of her instead of landscape shots for a minute or so, lol. There also a very beautiful, colorful and well landscaped flower garden. It wasn’t until I was looking through the photos back at the hotel that I realized the flowers were fake.

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

Walking around Doi Suthep just outside Wat Phra That

I spent 3 hours at Doi Suthep not including travel time but could have easily spent hours more. I didn’t visit any of the markets or explore any of the areas not part of the temple grounds. I was there around dusk and the sunset sets behind the mountain but with the smog/haze/clouds it wasn’t that ‘wow’ Perhaps sunrise would be better as it would rise over the city when you’re viewing from the pavilion.

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16 days in Chiang Mai’s Old City

pedestal with the map of Chiang Mai’s old city on top

Chiang Mai’s “Old City” is the area, roughly 1.6 km by 1.6 km, surrounded by a moat and at one time walls. There’s not much left of the original walls, only the bastions on each corner and at remnants at the 5 gates. All look like they have been mostly restored, you know they look old but not as old as they should look according to how old they are supposed to be. Also some look too straight and symmetrical for that time period. Anyways, Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city nestled in a valley next to the Ping River. Thailand’s highest peak is about an hour or so drive away which is one of the tourist attractions of Chiang Mai. It’s call Doi Inthanon if you’re interested in checking that out. I tried, it didn’t work out, more on that in my post entitled, Did I get scammed in Chiang Mai? Chiang Mai is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage candidate list has been granted the title of Creative City by UNESCO. Not really sure what that means, but it sounds cool.

So what is it that makes Chiang Mai such a hot tourist destination and blogger destination? I’m really not sure. Maybe its the cost of living being so low coupled with the adequate internet Wi-Fi service? Maybe its the allure of potential legal marijuana? The flower farmers were opium poppy farmers before so you know they have the know how to grow stuff. As for the tourists there are a ton of things to do in Chiang Mai from temple visiting to mountain hiking, a water park in a canyon, river rafting, atv riding and taking cooking classes, paintballing and zoos. Then there are tours on Segway’s, bicycles and mopeds/scooter in addition to the bus/van tours. If you’re not into tours, you can rent cars (need an international drivers license), mopeds/motorcycles, bicycles or those electric skateboard things with the handle. The more unique activities would be the elephant sanctuaries and tiger sanctuaries. I’ll let you decide for yourself whether they are “good or bad”. I personally don’t mind them if the animals look well treated but I never got around to going. What I’ve listed is probably only a drop in the bucket as to the amount of activities there are judging by the display of brochures I see in the shops. The reason why I went to Thailand, this trip, was because I needed some dental work done and I was informed that Thailand’s dental practices were top notch and inexpensive. I chose Chiang Mai over Bangkok because Chiang Mai was cheaper both in dental prices as well as accommodations. If you’re interested to know more, here’s my post about it, Dental Holiday in Chiang Mai. Wait what? SERIOUSLY?!?! Overall, I found Chiang Mai to be less ‘hustle bustle’ and less traffic than Bangkok but more “touristy”. What do I mean by that? Well, many Thai people in Chiang Mai, can speak Mandarin. I thought it was because of the amount of Chinese tourists at first until I was kind of forced on a hike (Details in my upcoming failed Doi Inthanon excursion), on which I had to pay for a local hills tribesman to guide me on, told me (in very broken, sporadic English) that people on the mountain speak Mandarin because of their proximity to the border. He tried explaining it in Mandarin to me but I can’t understand Mandarin. Although I tried to reason it out, I couldn’t. The northern borders of Thailand are Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, I didn’t think they spoke Mandarin there. Anyways, I was quite startled to be spoken to in Mandarin by customer service staff in many, many shops/restaurants I visited. Another indication of the large number of tourists are the sheer number of shops offering tour packages, it’s like there’s one every 10 shops as you walk down any street. If you’re interested to visit the Hills Tribes people, there are plenty of tours. The “Golden Triangle” tours will take you to the area/river delta where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Don’t worry if English is your only language, I’ve found that speaking English in Chiang Mai isn’t an issue as everyone could understand me and for the most part I could understand them. The only time I had a language barrier was the time I had a tour guide, yup, I don’t understand that either.

Aside from the abundance of non Thai speakers everywhere, so are the local forms of transport, songthaews and tuk tuks. Songthaews are pickup trucks with the bed converted to benches on either side and a roof. The red ones service the general vicinity of the old city and the yellow ones travel further out, although you can hire a red one to take you wherever you want provided you can agree to terms on the price. I’ve also seen black ones and maroon colored ones, but have no clue where they go. Songthaews operate like shared taxis, anyone can flag one down, negotiate a price and hop on. Usually, the more riders, the cheaper the fare gets. Although all the red ones have $30 TBH fare written on the side in English, the rest of the wording is in Thai and I’d like to think it means minimum amount because every time I’ve flagged one to ride in the vicinity of the old city, the first amount the driver would say was $100 TBH. For some reason I was always flagged the empty ones. Note: I always check the price on Grab before I try to flag a songthaew, so if I can’t get a ride on a songthaew for significantly cheaper, I just book the Grab taxi. Having said that, I only rode the songthaew’s two times in the 16 days I was there. There were a few occasions when the songthaew was $20-$30 TBH cheaper than the Grab but I took the Grab anyways because I didn’t want to deal with the heat, sit on a bench in the back of an enclosed pickup truck (the small little side windows didn’t help much, and the exhaust smell ain’t that great either) and I got motion sickness the two times I rode in the songthaews plus it gets so tedious to negotiate a price every time. I tried taking the tuk tuk’s (motorized rickshaw) too, the motion sickness for me was not that bad, much more ventilation and the driver doesn’t stop to pick up passengers. Tuk tuk’s are usually more expensive than songthaews which puts them in the Grab taxi price range, unless you’re really far from the old city. You have to negotiate a price before you get in too. Thank goodness for Grab because while exploring on foot, I found myself in many places where I didn’t see any songthaews or tuk tuk’s around. If you do plan on using Grab keep in mind that you can’t use the funds in your Grab wallet to pay for your ride because it’s not available at the time of this writing. Almost forgot, there are metered taxis but the only place where I saw them was at the airport and only once, in town, that was dropping off tourists at a hotel.

Hailing a songthaew, then negotiating the fare with the driver.

View from the inside a songthaew

Neon lit Tuk Tuk’s available for hire

Metered taxi

Languages and transport aside, I found Chiang Mai to be abundant in artistic stuff like paintings, drawings, carvings, crafts. I even found some graffiti! There are many night markets that open up on the streets/sidewalks in different areas around Chiang Mai and they all start around 7pm and you can watch them start setting up around 6pm. You’ll find a lot of hand made stuff along with all the art stuff. The big nightly street market is the Night Bazaar which is East of Tha Phae Gate, lots of stuff to see there. There are a handful of vendors at Tha Phae Gate too but mainly just handmade souvenirs and an artist or two. On Saturday’s just outside the Chiang Mai Gate (also called Pratu Gate) is where, from what I was told, the silver smiths peddle their works. I went there once didn’t see much silver. Saw a lot of street food vendors though! If you’re into silver jewelry, there are plenty of shops all over the place, good prices too. On Sunday’s is the mother of all night markets. They close off streets within the Old City to facilitate this night market, it’s pretty awesome, I got to see it three times! Prices are low and then you can bargain if you so choose to, they kind of expect you to anyways. It gets really crowded but civilized. For the most part people try not to bump you and give an apologetic gesture if they do. The vendors aren’t pushy and genuinely nice, IMO. Never did I feel threatened or mobbed by a bunch of kids asking for money, nor were there homeless/less fortunate people sitting/lying around unlike Bangkok. Most of the less fortunate were actually trying to earn instead of beg by playing a musical instrument, dancing or singing.

Street artists selling his drawings in front of Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you’re into seeing/visiting temples, then Chiang Mai is for you. They have big ones, small ones, new ones, centuries old ones, and nationally recognized ones. It’s impossible, I think, to walk 10 minutes in any direction and not see one. After a week and a lot of walking, I thought I saw them all which I later learned was a mistake. One evening as I was returning from one of my walk abouts, the front desk clerk asked me how my trip was thus far. I told him it was awesome, I loved all the temples and stuff and now that I’ve seen them all, didn’t know else I should do. You should have seen the wide eyed look on his face as he said, “all 300?!” You should have seen the wide eyed look on my face as I said, “300?!?!” I think I visited maybe 30ish. In my defense, I was only looking at the ones with stupa’s and missed a lot of the smaller ones because I just didn’t see/notice them. So upon further “inspection” on my walk abouts, I don’t know if there really are 300 temples but there are a lot, some are really, really small as in just a small shack or two housing a statue or two and a space for prayer. Anyways, it became an adventure of sorts. Speaking of adventure, there is also an area where excavations have yielded ruins of temples. You can take a buggy ride, for a fee to visit them all or you can try to find them all by yourself. If you do try to find them all yourself, please, please don’t walk! I tried didn’t get very far, plus there are loose dogs (don’t know if they were wild or not), a lot of them not too friendly, had to fend a couple off with my tripod once. I did find a few pretty cool looking ruins though, made it worth it for me coupled with being able to see how the local people live because these ruins are scattered in residential areas (found horses in some yards too)! Wish I had more time to go back and take the buggy ride though. If you’re interested in that area, it’s called Wiang Kum Kam, I’ll make a separate post about it soon.

An ornate white and gold stupa with a cloudy blue sky in the background

Chiang Mai’s famous bar street has a lot of bars and happy ending massage shops (you can tell because you can’t really see into the shop and there are plenty of girls trying to entice you inside) on both sides of the street. The other massage shops that are on the up and up, in case you’re wondering, has people, usually female that just greet you or just smile and nod as you walk by. You can see into the shop and you’ll notice it’s an open area, many times not even curtains to separate the patrons. So you can be pretty sure there’s no “extras” in those. Back to the bars, on the weekdays, it’s really, really quiet like I’m one of 5 guys walking around and there aren’t many customers in the bars either, maybe 1 in 5 bars and the few bar girls around won’t even bother to look up. The weekends aren’t much better although there are more bar girls hanging out in front of their shops and more enthusiastic about trying to get patrons plus the music is louder. There are days when there’s Muaythai bouts held in the boxing ring which is located down this sort of alley lined with bars that opens up to a sort of cul de sac in which the boxing ring is in the middle surrounded by more bars. Those days make it more interesting although you have to pay an entrance fee but since some of the bars have a back entrance off a side street, you could enter those, buy a beer and sit close enough to see the action thereby skipping the entrance fee to see the fight. As much as I love beer, I didn’t see any bar that was interesting enough to drink in. It was much more fun sitting in a restaurant facing the street near Tha Phae Gate and watch the tourists or head into the Night Bazaa where there’s this area like a huge outdoor food court and beer stalls. Much, much more people here than on the bar street. They have live bands too which (I don’t mean this in a mean way) perform covers in the local style English which I found very weird yet interesting. Some people get up and dance when they hear their jam, so that’s fun to watch too.

Muaythai Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium.

There are (as far as I saw) 3 shopping malls, two modern ones with global brand name shops and one older, more local one. I went to one of the newer ones, called Central Festival, to extend my phone plan since the sim chip that I got from the airport was only good for 8 days (there’s one kiosk selling sim chips where the luggage belts are and one after you exit customs). Central Festival was pretty new looking and prices were not local prices, I checked out some camera gear and it’s pretty much the same price as in Singapore. The local mall, named Kad Suan Kaew, I literally just walked into it without knowing it at the end of one of my walk abouts. Most of the shops were closing up so I didn’t get to see much. The local shops prices looked reasonable, the recognizable, global brand names were the usual price so really nothing special about the shopping malls. I much prefer the street markets.

One of the newer shopping malls in Chiang Mai

Local style shopping mall in Chiang Mai

The more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that Chiang Mai is my favorite destination thus far I think Chiang Rai has something to do with it too. I’ll post a write up of Chiang Rai soon too. So consider following me for updates to find not only my other travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry. The only thing I have to “complain” about is that, to me (and don’t flame me for this) I found that in general, it’s all about the money in Chiang Mai. What I mean by this is when you’re going about paying for your songthaew/tuk tuk ride and don’t give exact change, don’t be surprised if they don’t give you your change unless you ask for it or remind them what the agreed upon fare was. I’ve had this happen when buying food or souvenirs from street vendors too. In the temples I found the sheer number of donation boxes somewhat of a let down. Some temples have an entrance fee too with different prices for locals and tourists. It’s my theory that your attire will have an impact on pricing as well and be aware of this in the shops that don’t have price tags on their items. Grab drivers may try to offer you their services for your other trips which is good, but the prices may not be. Best to know where you want to go and a general idea of how much it would cost via other modes of transport. Almost forgot, if you take pictures of locals who look dressed up in cultural garb, chances are they will ask you for money afterwards, especially the kids. If people offer to take your picture, they’ll ask for a tip afterwards. The amount of the tip they ask for depends on what they do to get  you a nice shot (more on this in a later post). Don’t be put off by this though, it’s just a part of life, I suppose and happen everywhere too.

I love Chiang Mai mural by the roadside at night

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans but also photography related news/reviews and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

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The Signature Hotel @ Thapae Review

Signage at the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae

The Signature hotel @ Thapae (in Chiang Mai, Thailand) was the perfect hotel for me because it was only a 3 minute walk from the dental clinic that I had chosen to have my treatment done at. Check out my dental vacation post for more info on why I chose to have my teeth fixed in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My online search for accommodations was actually really frustrating as I was juggling the cost of a 16 night stay with proximity to the clinic balanced with cost as well as safety/security and cleanliness. There are a lot of accommodations around Chiang Mai’s Old City ranging from hostels to 3 star hotels. The four and five star hotels are further out from the Old City. After having walked around and seen much of the area, I consider myself very fortunate to have chosen The Signature Hotel @Thapae.

I basically skipped over the hostels, even if they offered private rooms. These hostel are really inexpensive. I’ve never tried staying in one but considered it at one point until I realized I needed somewhere safe to store my camera gear while I was at the dental clinic. So I started looking into 3 star hotels because the lower starred ones, I think, were also the hourly ones but don’t quote me on that.  Plus a lot of the reviews on cleanliness wasn’t flattering at all for many of them. There were quite a few 3 star hotels in the area around the Tha Phae Gate, where the dental clinic I went to, Dental4U is located (just a hop, skip and a jump away).  I had a difficult time choosing one but I finally settled on The Signature Hotel @Thapae because it had the least amount of negative reviews (well, negative in terms of what I wouldn’t tolerate). What I mean by that is the complaints of neighbors being too loud is something I chalk up to as “normal” and things like “room was too small” don’t really bother me because I only use a hotel room to sleep and I don’t need much room for that. The reviews that do bother me are the cleanliness ones and safety/security ones. Another major consideration for me was vicinity to food. With my many food allergies I wanted to know where some major fast food outlets and their distances to the hotel. There was one that I was seriously looking into because there is a 24hr McDonald’s on the premises but the cost is significantly higher per night than the Signature Hotel plus I got a really good discount booking it via Expedia. The great thing about booking through Expedia is that you pay the hotel via Expedia so there’s less opportunities for checkout shenanigans like what happened to me at the Datong Hotel in China. Oh, the fast food joints are within 10 minutes walking from The Signature Hotel @Thapae.

When the taxi driver dropped me off in front of the hotel I was like, “what the heck? Where is it?” The driver pointed down this lane looking walkway and I thought, “aw **** what did I did I book this time….” Once out of the taxi I had to cross the road, although it was a one way street it was pretty busy and in between the vehicles there were mopeds, scooters and motorcycles zipping and weaving about. Walking down the path was pretty nice actually. It was mid afternoon and an employee was spraying water on the plants on either side of the walkway and wetting the pavement in an effort to cool the area down. Once seeing the hotel at the end of the path, I was relieved, it looks good, clean and well maintained as opposed to some of the ones I’ve seen on the way there in the taxi. I walked through the door and was greeted cordially by the front desk employee who was checking in other guests at the time. When it was my turn to check in, he apologized for the delay and proceeded to get me checked in but couldn’t match the name on my passport to the name I used to book. When I told him to look under ‘Ray’ he exclaimed “OH! It’s you…we upgraded your room, for free of course, because the room you booked is too small to stay in for 16 days!” All I could say was, “awesome!” After getting my room key and a printout map highlighting where the local areas of interest were as well as “good” restaurants he remarked that 16 days was a long stay and that I must really like Chiang Mai, I chuckled and told him this is my first time here and that the dental clinic that I was here for needed 14 days to complete my treatment he looked surprised/shocked and wished me well and pointed to a stack of binders with tour info in them that I could peruse if I wanted. I thanked him and went up to my room. It’s worth mentioning that everyone I’ve come across in the hotel could converse with me in English and every single one was polite and courteous…every single time I saw them. It was quite refreshing especially the days when my mouth was sore/sensitive and those time when I was hangry (angry when hungry) because I couldn’t eat yet. Be sure to have some cash when you check in, as there is a $1000 TBH deposit fee refundable upon presentation of the receipt at check out.

Narrow driveway leading to the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae in the morning.

Narrow driveway leading to the entrance of The Signature Hotel @Thapae at night

Below are some photos of the room. As you can see, the room is quite nice! Well, I’m impressed, I’ve been in worse and certainly not expecting this nice a room for the price I was paying. So awesome! There’s a bathroom, a closet, a full length mirror on the wall, a safe, a mini fridge, a night stand and a desk and a huge bed with a cushioned step (I have no idea what that’s for. I used it to put my phone on). Also plenty of outlets for me to plug my devices in. The only thing fixed so that you can secure your laptop on with a laptop cable lock is the metal bar to hang your clothes on in the closet. Not really a problem for me as my laptop (more like a netbook) will fit in the safe. I do use a laptop cable lock to secure my rolling suitcase for when I have to leave some camera gear in the room. Basically I loop the cable through the closet’s metal rod and the tumbler section of the lock goes into my suitcase and I use the built in zippers TSA lock mechanism to lock the zippers. The space between the zippers has just enough room for the cable to fit through. The room had no odor, the toilet was clean, as was the shower stall (I read a review that the shower stall was really dirty, so I brought slippers and never used them) and a large sink. The sliding closet door also doubles as the bathroom door, meaning when you close the closet, the bathroom is open and when you open the closet, the bathroom is closed. No biggie, only me in the room so I never have to close the door while in the bathroom. House keeping comes everyday and replenishes/changes what you’ve used, like the soap, shampoo, sanitary pads…at one point I had like 8 of them because I kept putting them on the shelf under the sink along with the other stuff I don’t use. Anyways, they finally noticed and stopped giving them to me. On the days, I was too tired/sore/lazy to get up and requested not to have my room cleaned, they’d tie a plastic bag on my door handle with two bottles of water. I’m not a big water drinker but there in Chiang Mai OMG it feels like I’m in a desert and along with those 2 free bottles of water a day, I consume 2 bottles of Gatorade and at least one more bottle of water! It’s SOOOOO HOT THERE (late April to mid May)!

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Room 202 at the Signature Hotel @Thapae in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The only thing that I wished were better at the Signature Hotel @Thapae is the food. Why? Because there isn’t any. The restaurant was “permanently closed” but the seating is still there. No vending machines either. Not that big a deal I guess, as there are street vendors, restaurants and a 7-11 within a minute’s walk. Speaking of restaurants, there is one called Ratana’s Kitchen a few shops down from The Signature Hotel, the food there is good and the prices are lower than any of the restaurants up and down the street though not tourist prices they are higher than the mom and pop shops. What else is up and down the street? Of course there are massage shops, as far as I can tell, the legit ones, as there aren’t any curtains or barriers so any “extras” will be seen by all. There are quite a few jewelry stores (silver), some art shops, tour agencies and a coin op laundry mat which was well lit and very clean! A packet of detergent costs $10 TBD as does a packet of softener. The washers and dryers are a bit small and costs $40 TBD each. Takes about 2 hours to get a load washed and dried. I had to do laundry twice because everyday my outfit will be sweat soaked! The hotel did have laundry service but I figured it was more expensive, plus it was a great way to use up the $10 TBD coins that were getting pretty heavy.

NOTE: when I went to checkout with my luggage, I took the elevator down and noticed that there was a sign indicating that some snacks and drinks were available for purchase at the front desk, don’t know how I missed it but I did (you can’t see any drinks or snacks at the front desk either).

Some final notes on the Signature Hotel: It’s very close, as in walking distance, to many of the touristy stuff as well as the night life. I didn’t see any real parking areas on the premises, just enough space around the entrance to fit 2 vehicles or one vehicle and maybe 5 or 6 mopeds/scooters/motorcycles so if you’re planning on renting something, keep that in mind. Also note the width of the path, it’s just barely wide enough to fit an SUV. Oh, a few more hangers would have been nice too, I only had three.

I’m really impressed with this hotel, some of the fixtures and things look pretty new, especially the elevator which uses touch buttons like on your smart phone, I found it kinda annoying because my fingers sometimes aren’t able to ‘activate’ the sensor (on my phone too) and so I have to press/touch repeatedly to get things to work, I ended up just using the stairs as I was only 1 flight up. The aircon unit the room is the split type and the outside section is right outside the window so if you’re not used to hearing aircon noise or you’re a light sleeper, it may disturb you. I only really noticed the aircon when I first get back to the room and turn it on then it quickly just fades from my mind.

Elevator touch panels inside

Elevator touch panels outside

My overall impression of the Signature Hotel @Thapae is that it is more than adequate for a family vacation hotel. The price was great for the quality of room and the service/staff was awesome too. When I go back to Chiang Mai, I will definitely be staying there again.

I will be posting more about my shenanigans in Chiang Mai. Consider following me for updates on this Chiang Mai trip or to find not only my toys and collectibles posts but also my travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans posts, photography related news/reviews posts and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

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Collectibles: Transformers Power of the Primes – Jazz

I love toys! There I said it! I’m not talking about big kid toys like electronics, and such. I’m talking about figurines of my favorite super heroes, Transformers, anime characters etc. Truth be told, I don’t hold a figure in each and make fight sounds as I bash them together, like I used to. These days, I just display them on shelves and every once in a while I’ll change their position or posture for a different look or I’ll use them as photo props. Some of my favorite toys are still in the original packaging! Anyways, I thought it’d be helpful for those of you who, like me, score a lot their loot online because it’s just way to hard or not possible to find them in stores anymore. Maybe extra images or my ‘take’ on the toy, will help you decide if it’s worth adding to your collection or not.

Hasbro’s has introduced this remake of the Autobot Jazz as a Deluxe Class figure in the Transformers – Combiner Wars toy line in 2015. He is now a part of a ‘combiner team’ consisting of Sunstreaker, Prowl, Iron Hide, Rodimus and Battle Core Optimus. Together they combine to form Optimus Maximus. Not to be confused with the red and blue Optimus Prime combiner that forms Ultra Prime with four other random bots, of which Jazz isn’t a part of. I didn’t even know there was a white colored Optimus until I went looking for a torso bot after seeing and impulse buying my two childhood favorite vehicular autobots, Jazz and Mirage. After months of looking/waiting for something “cool” enough to complete my version of Optimus Maximus, I settled on Moon Racer and Nova Star, my first female bots. Rodimus is a Legends class figure and is the optional chest piece of Optimus Maximus. You don’t have to get it I suppose, but I find the torso really, really ugly without something in the chest. If you don’t like a red chest piece, or can’t get Rodimus, you can use the Decepticon Blackjack as it’s the same toy mold as Rodimus. Other bots that can fit the torso, I’ve seen is MP Bumblebee, Legends Pipes (and the other variants).

Jazz’s white and blue color scheme looks good as does the Lemans style race car vehicular mode, I think the vehicle mode is still based off a Porsche model like the original Porsche 935 Turbo Jazz, but don’t quote me on that. The paint job on my figure is good, I haven’t spotted any issues. I really like the vehicle mode, very Porsche-esque. All for wheels touch the ground making it a very easy roll around your desk. Just thought I’d let you know, that I tested the rolling of the car, just for you. I definitely wasn’t racing it around my desk. If you flip the car over, Jazz’s face is, bam, right there. If this bothers you, you can rotate the head 180 degrees. There are two ports, one on either side of the car, just in front of the rear wheels. The port will fit both the weapon and the hand/foot attachment. The hand/foot attachment has a port that will fit the post just in front of the rear spoiler, which looks better than off to the side. Like most Deluxe Class vehicles, Jazz will fit inside Ultra Magnus’ trailer. This is where all the good things end with this figure…

Straight out of the packaging, you can feel that this figure is rather thin and light. You can’t really tell from looking at him in the packaging, well, I couldn’t lol. The panels feel really thin and brittle although nothing has broken yet. Jazz’s head is on a swivel and a hinge joint at the neck (to allow the head to move out of the way in limb modes). The arms are hinged and swivelled to allow for a shrugging and full arm rotation. A ball joint at the elbows finishes off arm articulation. The waist is on a swivel as are the thighs. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and pop off rather easily but easy to pop back on. Finishing off the leg are joints at the knees as well as the foot, specifically to allowing the toes to flip down to form the foot. Overall I’m quite pleased with the way this figure looks but maybe I’m biased because Jazz is one of my favorite characters and Porsche is my favorite car maker. I feel I should mention that all the joints and swivels range from the snug to loose so there’s a fair bit of flip floppery on my figure. If you’re looking to get this figure, the prices have dropped significantly, making it worth it but then again, I’m a bit biased.

SPECIAL NOTE: Not all deluxe class figures are the same height when in limb mode which makes a difference when used as legs, as in my case. Mirage and Jazz are different heights. You can check out my write up on Mirage here.

What makes the combiner teams special is their ‘ability’ to merge into one giant robot. This means that each member of the team will have a third transformation mode, one that’s specifically for the giant robot. The groups will typically consist of five members, one of them being larger than the others (Voyager Class figure) and will transform into the torso/head of the giant robot. The other four will transform into a limb, either an arm or a leg and you can place them however you like. NOTE: Some combiners, whose 3rd transformation is a limb, (when sold/purchased separately) only come with the hand attachment (Prime Armor) which means that the foot attachment will then be included with the torso figure. Since Combiners from the Combiner Wars and Power of the Primes toy lines are interchangeable and not all of them have the same hand/feet pieces you’ll have to really look at the included pieces if you’re planning on mixing and matching to create your own Combiner team. Battle Core Optimus DOES NOT come with any hand or feet attachments and 3 of the 4 limb bots that I bought had Prime Armor attachments so I had to look for solution for the feet attachments. What I found online was something called a Perfect Effect upgrade kit. They make a whole bunch of different kits for Combiners. Some are just hands and feet, others have weapons, chest plate add ons and limb widening add ons. Some of them look really awesome and I’m considering a couple of kits, however, they are quite pricey. While searching I also found some cheaper, different styled, different colored sets that were not from the Perfect Effect brand. I ordered the least expensive one I could find. It was a very pleasant surprise that both the hands and the feet can be transformed into weapons. The feet can transform into a really big double barreled blaster or separated into two blasters while the hands transform to something like a rifle. In foot mode, the tips of the barrels can be removed so that they don’t protrude from the back of the foot. I think the feet look better without the protruding barrels. The peg for the leg port is on a swivel for better posing stability but is a very tight fit.

Another nifty thing about combiner teams is that some Legends Class figures have an alternate mode for use in combiner teams, either as a chest plate or a weapon. For example, Optimus Maximus officially uses the Combiner Wars, Rodimus as a chest piece. You don’t have to use Rodimus because the Decepticon Blackjack is the same mold and used as Menasor’s chest piece. I’ve also seen Thundercracker, Wind Charger and Power Glide used as Optimus Maximus’ chest piece although I kept my Power Glide as a fan mode, chest piece (officailly he’s Superion’s weapon). As for my Optimus Maximus since I have to use Drag Strip I might as well try to find Blackjack too.

Pictured below are the Prime Armor and original feet attachments. The Prime Armor is a gimmick designed to induce more sales of toys, in my opinion. It’s an add on weapon/shield/engine part or whatever you make it out to be, and meant to accommodate a Prime Master. A Prime Master is a little figure that transforms into a ‘spark mode’ to fit into a compatible component, like the Prime Armor. This transformation is as easy as folding it in half to make it look like a cube. It is sold with an exo suit which just opens up to fit the Prime Master inside. This exo suit transforms into some kind of weapon (different Prime Masters have different exo suits). I included this info because some Combiner teams don’t have a large weapon for the merged figure so I got some of these Prime Masters to use in weapon mode. The foot attachment is from another figure that I wanted to show just as an example of roughly what some of the older hand/feet look like. The older ones are also dual purpose, they can be either hands or feet. The original one should look similar but have a Prime Master port, a swivel peg and cannot transform into a hand. Just make sure to look for a peg that sticks out from the top. That’s the peg that inserts into the leg.

Original Hand
(Jazz’s is black)
Original Foot

The moral of this story is, if you’re like me and collect toys based on how much you like the toy, set, theme or whichever and whatever, then you’re probably going to mix and match. If you do, please make sure you are set on parts as mentioned above and that the figure you plan on using for the torso is actually capable of that third transformation. For example, just because the figure is from the Combiner Wars series doesn’t mean it is a Combiner. I made that mistake…now I have two Ultra Magnus’! Lucky he’s one of my favorite characters, so I don’t really mind. If you have older Combiners using the older feet (like the one picture above), you can use the hands for feet then the Prime Armors for hands, that way you don’t have to buy an upgrade kit.

Official Build:

Autobots Merge into Optimus Maximus
Battle Core Optimus Prime Transforms into Torso
Sunstreaker Transforms into Right Arm
Mirage Transforms into Left Arm
Prowl Transforms into Right Leg
Ironhide Transforms into Left Leg
Rodimus Transforms into Chest Plate

My Build:

Autobots/Decepticons Merge into Optimus Maximus
Battle Core Optimus Transforms into Torso
Nova Star Transforms into Right Arm
Moon Racer Transforms into Left Arm
Mirage Transforms into Right Leg
Jazz Transforms into Left Leg
Rodimus Transforms into Chest Plate

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed making it. Have fun with your toys !!!

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other toys and collectibles posts but also my travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans posts, photography related news/reviews posts and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

Portfolio
Blog
Fine Art



Collectibles: Transformers Combiner Wars – Mirage

Combiner Wars, Autobot Mirage

I love toys! There I said it! I’m not talking about big kid toys like electronics, and such. I’m talking about figurines of my favorite super heroes, Transformers, anime characters etc. Truth be told, I don’t hold a figure in each and make fight sounds as I bash them together, like I used to. These days, I just display them on shelves and every once in a while I’ll change their position or posture for a different look or I’ll use them as photo props. Some of my favorite toys are still in the original packaging! Anyways, I thought it’d be helpful for those of you who, like me, score a lot their loot online because it’s just way to hard or not possible to find them in stores anymore. Maybe extra images or my ‘take’ on the toy, will help you decide if it’s worth adding to your collection or not.

Hasbro’s has introduced this remake of the Autobot Mirage as a Deluxe Class figure in the Transformers – Combiner Wars toy line in 2015. He is now a part of a ‘combiner team’ consisting of Sunstreaker, Prowl, Iron Hide, Rodimus and Battle Core Optimus. Together they combine to form Optimus Maximus. Not to be confused with the red and blue Optimus Prime combiner that forms Ultra Prime with four other random bots of which Mirage isn’t a part of. However, it is the Drag Strip that replaces Mirage, same toy mold, different character, just like the Optimus torso. I didn’t even know there was a white colored Optimus until I went looking for a torso bot after seeing and impulse buying my two childhood favorite vehicular autobots, Mirage and Jazz. After months of looking/waiting for something “cool” enough to complete my Optimus Maximus, I settled on Moon Racer and Nova Star, my first female bots. Rodimus is a Legends class figure and is the optional chest piece of Optimus Maximus. You don’t have to get it I suppose, but I find the torso really, really ugly without something in the chest. I think I might use the Decepticon Blackjack (same toy mold as Rodimus) for color balance because I may have to swap out Jazz for Drag Strip. More on the reason for that later, for now, here’s the details for Mirage.

Mirage’s white and blue color scheme looks good as does the F1 style race car vehicular mode. The paint job on my figure is good, I haven’t spotted any issues. I think vehicle mode looks best even though the front wheels are just slightly too high making them not touch the ground. Just thought I’d let you know, that I tested the rolling of the car, just for you. I definitely wasn’t racing it around on my desk. All four wheels do roll though. There are two ports, one on either side of the car, just behind the front wheel. The port will fit both the weapon and the hand/foot attachment. The hand/foot attachment has a port that will fit the post just above driver’s seat, which looks better than off to the side. My only other vehicular mode quibble is that the rear spoiler is too small. Anyways, on to robot mode. Mirage’s head is on a swivel and a hinge joint at the neck (to allow the head to move out of the way in limb modes). The arms are hinged and ball jointed to allow for a shrugging motion as well as for a full arm rotation. There is a bicep swivel and elbow hinge. The wrists are hinged for the sole purpose of hiding the fists when in vehicle and limb modes. The waist is on a swivel as are the thighs and the only other joint is at the knees. Overall I’m quite pleased with this figure maybe I’m biased because Mirage is one of my favorite characters. I feel I should mention that all the joints and swivels range from the snug to tight so no flip floppery on my figure. There is one thing to note that can be a deal breaker for some of us and that is the height of Mirage in leg mode. My mirage figure in leg mode is taller than my Jazz in leg mode. I couldn’t tell which one was the “off” one so I pulled a leg off Superion (Air Raid) and a leg off my version of Sky Reign (Blot) and it is Mirage that is taller (If you’re interested to see my version of Sky Reign it’s here Primal Reign). As you can imagine having one leg taller than the other makes standing straight not possible so you must pose it for it stay balanced and not fall over. An easy fix to this problem is to make Mirage an arm instead. A not so easy fix is to find a bot whose leg mode is the same height, such as the Decepticon, Drag Strip. Since they use the same toy mold they should be exactly the same height. Plus it’ll make the whole bot look a lot more symmetrical.

What makes the combiner teams special is their ‘ability’ to merge into one giant robot. This means that each member of the team will have a third transformation mode, one that’s specifically for the giant robot. The groups will typically consist of five members, one of them being larger than the others (Voyager Class figure) and will transform into the torso/head of the giant robot. The other four will transform into a limb, either an arm or a leg and you can place them however you like. NOTE: Some combiners, whose 3rd transformation is a limb, (when sold/purchased separately) only come with the hand attachment (Prime Armor) which means that the foot attachment will then be included with the torso figure. Since Combiners from the Combiner Wars and Power of the Primes toy lines are interchangeable and not all of them have the same hand/feet pieces you’ll have to really look at the included pieces if you’re planning on mixing and matching to create your own Combiner team. Battle Core Optimus DOES NOT come with any hand or feet attachments and 3 of the 4 limb bots that I bought had Prime Armor attachments so I had to look for solution for the feet attachments. What I found online was something called a Perfect Effect upgrade kit. They make a whole bunch of different kits for Combiners. Some are just hands and feet, others have weapons, chest plate add ons and limb widening add ons. Some of them look really awesome and I’m considering a couple of kits, however, they are quite pricey. While searching I also found some cheaper, different styled, different colored sets that were not from the Perfect Effect brand. I ordered the least expensive one I could find. It was a very pleasant surprise that both the hands and the feet can be transformed into weapons. The feet can transform into a really big double barreled blaster or separated into two blasters while the hands transform to something like a rifle. In foot mode, the tips of the barrels can be removed so that they don’t protrude from the back of the foot. I think the feet look better without the protruding barrels. The peg for the leg port is on a swivel for better posing stability but is a very tight fit.

Another nifty thing about combiner teams is that some Legends Class figures have an alternate mode for use in combiner teams, either as a chest plate or a weapon. For example, Optimus Maximus officially uses the Combiner Wars, Rodimus as a chest piece. You don’t have to use Rodimus because the Decepticon Blackjack is the same toy mold and used as Menasor’s chest piece. I’ve also seen Thundercracker, Wind Charger and Power Glide used as Optimus Maximus’ chest piece although I kept my Power Glide as a fan mode, chest piece for Superion (officailly he’s Superion’s weapon). As for my Optimus Maximus since I have to use Drag Strip I might as well try to find Blackjack too.

Pictured below is the hand/foot attachment for use when Mirage is in limb mode. This style of attachment can transform to be either a hand or a foot as opposed to the Prime Armor that can only be transformed into a hand. The purple attachment below is an example of a Prime Armor. Colors for these attachments varies making it another consideration when mixing and matching limb bots.

Original Hand/foot attachment

So, the moral of this story is, if you’re like me and collect toys based on how much you like the toy, set, theme or whichever and whatever, then you’re probably going to mix and match. If you do, please make sure you are set on parts as mentioned above AND that the figure you plan on using for the torso is actually capable of that third transformation. For example, just because the figure is from the Combiner Wars series doesn’t mean it is a Combiner. I made that mistake…now I have two Ultra Magnus’! Lucky he’s one of my favorite characters, so I don’t really mind. If you have older Combiners using the older feet (like the one picture above), you can use the hands for feet then the Prime Armors for hands, that way you don’t have to buy an upgrade kit.

Official Build:

Autobots Merge into Optimus Maximus
Battle Core Optimus Prime Transforms into Torso
Sunstreaker Transforms into Right Arm
Mirage Transforms into Left Arm
Prowl Transforms into Right Leg
Ironhide Transforms into Left Leg
Rodimus Transforms into Chest Plate

My Build:

Autobots/Decepticons Merge into Optimus Maximus
Battle Core Optimus Transforms into Torso
Nova Star Transforms into Right Arm
Moon Racer Transforms into Left Arm
Mirage Transforms into Right Leg
Jazz** Transforms into Left Leg
Rodimus** Transforms into Chest Plate

** I may swap Jazz for Drag Strip and Rodimus for Blackjack depending on if I can find/acquire them for reasonable prices.

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed making it. Have fun with your toys !!!

Consider following me for updates to find not only my other toys and collectibles posts but also my travel bloopers, blunders and shenanigans posts, photography related news/reviews posts and the occasional contest entry.

All the photos (unless otherwise noted in the post) were taken by me and are available for sale. If you’re interested in buying an image or three, 😃 please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details. Thanks in advance!

Comments & Critiques are always welcome, as are upvotes and resteems.

Thanks for viewing and best wishes!

PS. If you want to check out my other ‘works’, you can find them here:

Portfolio
Blog
Fine Art