Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bangkok Day 2. Wat a Day!

Day 2 started so much better as we headed back to the river, this time with a map!
We boarded the water taxi and headed up river to Tha Thien - although the Chao Phraya Express seemed expensive in comparison to the Star ferry at 65p each!


Stilt houses on banks of Chao Phraya

A short walk through the local traders selling everything from pirate DVDs (as in illegal not 'of the Caribbean' sort) to second hand 1980s Bakelite phones to guns to fake Guccy(!!!) handbags brought us to Wat Phra Kaew, 'wat' being the Thai word for temple.

What a place! Amazing.
Well it was after Amy had to go and hire a sarong as her leggings she wore especially to be 'respectful' were deemed 'too tight'

The disrespectful one

The amount of gold and jewels adorning the temples and chedi was breathtaking.

More bling than Mr T

The main attraction in Wat Phra Kaew is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is one of the most venerated sites in Thailand and brings just as many Thais to the site as tourists. The Emerald Buddha is in fact made of jade and stands (or in fact sits) just 45cm tall.  He was discovered in the 15th century and was brought to Wat Phra Kaew in the late 18th century by King Rama I.
And being the sacred Buddhist Temple in Thailand means no cameras, so if you want to see the little Big Man - google it!

Officially not good enough

Behind Wat Phra Kaew is the Grand Palace complex including Borom Phiman Mansion the official home to the King of Thailand (currently Rama IX). But he doesn't like it so lives elsewhere.

I would too - far too small.

Reasonable party venue

Next door is the Chakri Maha Prasat, where King Rama IX hosts official state functions, and the Dusit Maha Prasit Hall which is used for the annual Coronation Day celebrations and for Royals to lay in state.  Lots of stone guards patrol the complex - it seemed rude not to...

Hard guard

We left the little big man, the bling, the guard statues and the sarong behind and headed to Wat Po.

Big big man

Wat Po is home to the largest reclining Buddha in the world at 160ft long, as well as hundreds of other golden Buddhas, decorative chedi and peculiar statues.

More bling


If anyone is still reading, then to make this a little more fun, here is a spot the difference competition. 
Answers on a postcard.  The prize is a trip to Bangkok courtesy of yourself. 

The day ended in rain - really heavy rain, so to keep dry we shopped!

PS  - sorry we are a bit behind!!

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