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Another famous landmark: Wat Pho, Bangkok, Wed 10/28


Road Scholar had our one day in Bangkok all planned out.  After the most delicious breakfast I've had in years from the hotel's extensive buffet (that any foodie would adore), we were in the bus and on the road early, so we could be at Wat Pho to hear the monks chanting at 9 am.  And the A/C on the bus was already churning out cool, dry air ... whew!  As you can see by the photo below, the city clean-up crew was still working on the sidewalk.




Here's Jimmy standing inside Wat Pho with a rather fierce-looking Chinese Stone Doll -- one of The Temple's Gate Guardians. In days of yore, these figures were used as ballast to stabilize ships returning from trade with China, and then placed as decorations in the temple. 


This opulent beauty is what we saw everywhere in Wat Pho!


From inside the Scripture Hall, where, to the left, the monks began chanting promptly at 9 am.  Shown on the "altar" is Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn, which means "the Buddha built by heavenly beings." It is the main Buddha image in the Hall. The lighting overwhelmed the camera from every angle, but I did want to include this in the photo gallery.  We sat on the floor (shoeless), and made sure our feet were not pointing at the Buddha.  Chairs were placed on the far right for people who couldn't sit on the floor.  After yesterday's hike, my legs cramped up sitting on the floor.








The Hall is surrounded by the temple boundary walls, and inside each corner of the courtyard was a soaring cement obelisk with gilded figures. 




These are a component of the structures around the Scripture Hall ... a double structure that runs around the Hall in four cardinal directions and houses major Buddha images.  The inner colonnade contains 150 Buddha images and the outer one 244 images.  Wat Pho has restored, lacquered and gilded all the images.  They're cast in bronze, displaying fine forms and features, and are a sight to behold. 


Jimmy and Krish with another (friendlier?) stone Chinese Stone Doll.




Entrance gate to the Great Pagodas of Four Kings, made in Thai-Chinese style and decorated with incredible color-glazed tiles.  


The four huge pagodas, each one a stunning 138' high, standing on a notched-rim base and topped by a tall spire furbished with colorful mosaics.






Shoes off again, at every temple.  Wished I would've remembered to either wear or bring sox....  This Reclining Buddha blew everyone of us out of the water.  It's one of the most well-known and popular cultural icons in Thailand.  The image is made from brick and stucco, is lacquered and gilded, and measures (ready?) 150 ft long by almost 50 ft high (from base to topknot).  The Buddha in this position is said to be a lion reclining.  The soles of Buddha's feet are of particular interest, but we didn't see them as Wat Pho was in the process of restoring them. The Reclining Buddha is acclaimed as the finest among large reclining Buddha images and is greatly revered by all Buddhists.


I've shown you a fraction of what we saw, a few pictures of the many I took, and it was all powerful.  By this time, however, we were all thirsty (and overheated!) ... so we stopped for a water break before leaving this grand Buddhist Temple Complex.  Next up is the Grand Palace!

2 comments:

  1. I also took a gazillion photos of the Reclining Buddha, another favorite. I loved the feet. In addition to the temples, what I remember best about Thailand was the tiny bananas, incredibly sweet, and the best watermelon on the planet....deep ruby red and always perfect...and the sweetest pineapple I have ever had. Those three were always at breakfast, along with the dragonfruits and other wonders. I haven't had watermelon that perfect since our trip to Thailand.

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  2. WOW! what a fantastical place.

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