Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bangkok, Day 3 (Part 1)- Temple Tour

For our first Saturday adventure, hubby and I went on a Temple Tour. We hired a tour guide and car for BHT2,000 each to take us through three of the most famous temples in Bangkok:

Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha

Thailand's Golden Buddha is largest golden Buddha Image in the world, made of pure gold. The image is unrivalled in beauty, measuring 12 feet 5 inches in diametre and has a height of 15 feet 9 inches from the base to the crown and it weighs approximately 5 tons. Now more than 700 years old, it is a valuable treasure of Thailand and one of the most famous tourist attractions in the country. The Buddha image is originally covered in plaster to conceal its real value from Thailand's enemies. They only discovered the treasure underneath in 1955 where the temple was renovated and the plaster was accidentally damaged, thus revealing the 5-ton solid gold image of the Buddha.

Here at the Golden Buddha Temple, you can be blessed by one of the monks with holy water and a symbolic string is tied to your wrist for good luck.

Our guide told us that for every corresponding day, there's a particular color that is considered as your lucky color. The king was born on a Friday, hence the abundant yellow colors around Thailand. There's also different Buddha position or "attitudes". Depending on the day that you were born, you pray to that Buddha. In the case of our guide, he was born on a Tuesday and he prays to the reclining Buddha. His lucky color is pink :-)

Wat Po, Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho is the one of the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres), and is home to more than one thousand Buddha images, as well as one of the largest single Buddha images: the Reclining Buddha. Made as part of Rama III's restoration, the Reclining Buddha is forty-six metres long and fifteen metres high, decorated with gold plating on his body and mother of pearl on his eyes and the soles of his feet. The latter display 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.
The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds bisected by Soi Chetuphon running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found. The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.
(From Wikepedia)

Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn

The famous Wat Arun, perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. It consists of a massive elongated prang (Khmer-style tower), and is surrounded by four smaller prangs. The prang is described by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as 104m high, while most other sources quote figures around 80-85m. It is decorated by bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China, a hallmark of the reign of King Rama III. The Wat had a brief period as host of the celebrated Emerald Buddha, which now resides in nearby Wat Phra Kaew.


The Temple Tour certainly is interesting and entertaining. Be sure to wear socks and easy to remove shoes since you'll be taking them off every time you enter the temples. I particularly like the elaborate decorations found on the temples themselves. I advice everyone who take this tour to always bring cold water with you. Daytime temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees centigrade. I almost fainted! Can you tell how tired we were by the pictures :-) he he he

By the time we reached Siam Paragon Mall, hubby and I were so famished, we ended up eating Mexican food at the food hall.
We had some make your own tacos (you choose the fillings) actually all three tacos were consumed by hubby, he he he, nachos with cheese, jalapenos and guacamole, chicken quesadillas and cake!


1 comment:

ericbau said...

Cant wait to go back to Siam Paragon mall! And to tour outside of Bangkok City!