Last week Samsung launched three cameras, the ST500, ST550 and ST1000, in Bangkok, Thailand. The next day we were given a camera and let loose on Thailand's Grand Palace.
All photos in this gallery were shot on a Samsung ST550. The raw images have been resized and sharpened to fit our page format, but colours have not been altered at all.
Derek Fung travelled to Thailand as a guest of Samsung
Behind the wall is the section of the palace housing the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). The Buddha itself is small, as far as Buddhas go, and actually made out of jade. No photos are allowed inside the temple.
In 1782 Rama I, the first king of the current Thai dynasty, moved the country's capital across the Chao Phraya River and began building the Grand Palace complex there. To the left of this photo is the giant Phra Si Ratana Chedi.
We initially thought that the towering structures seen behind this roof were skyscrapers off in the distance. In fact they're prangs, each one is finished off in small fragments of Chinese porcelain. There are eight of them along the palace walls, and each one represents one of the eight elements of Buddhism.
Built by Rama V in 1882, the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall (in the background) was originally planned to be his residence and throne hall, and was to be built entirely in the colonial style. This naturally caused some controversy in the court, so a Thai-style roof was added to the design, hence the nickname "the westerner in a Thai hat".
A note to anyone visiting the Grand Palace, a strict dress code is enforced, especially for the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Shorts, tight pants, mini skirts, see-through clothing and sandals are all forbidden.