Vacationing to Bangkok with family and join the tour, although there’s also a day with my brother exploring alone while my sister, her husband and her mother-in-law shop.
Bangkok, a view from our hotel
My time here highlight 3 places for a must see touristy places and first timer in Bangkok.
The first visit is to see a wat (Thai: วัด) or Buddhist temple. Wat Pho (Thai: วัดโพธิ์) is located at Rattanakosin Island (Thai: เกาะรัตนโกสินทร์), Phra Nakhon (Thai: พระนคร) district. Wat Pho is one of the oldest and largest temple complex in Thailand on 80,000 square metres land. Wat Pho is one of the first university for Thai medicine and credited as the birth of Thai massage.
Admission fee: 100 Baht
The entrance to the Phra Vihara of Phra Buddhasaiyas main hall with Chinese guardian statues
The main etiquette for entering the temples and prayer places is that visitors need to dress politely, no shorts or short skirt. If a tourist wear shorts or skirts, they are asked to wear sarong or long cloth.
This Buddhist temple house the Reclining Buddha (Thai: พระพุทธไสยาสน์, Phra Buddhasaiyas) as long as 46 m and 15 m height. It was made from brick and stucco, lacquered and gilded with gold. Unfortunately, his feet is under constriction so we can’t see the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha.
The story goes that the reclining Buddha was in his last moment, the “Lion Sleep” position, before crossing over.
Currently, Wat Pho also hosts a largest collection of Buddha images.
Mural Paintings in Phra Vihara of Phra Buddhasaiyas
Another representation of Buddha
Visitors may drop coins in these bowls. There are 108 bronze bowls to represent the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha for good fortune.
Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn. The tall spire pagoda reach to 42 m.
The Pagodas decorated with Chinese colour-glazed tiles.
Sum Pratu Song Mongkut, one of the 16 entrance gates.
Phra Mondob, or Hor Trijaturamuk, the Scripture Hall. It hosts the mural paintings of Ramayana
Bell tower (Thai: หอระฆัง; ho rakhang)
On the second day of our trip, my brother and I then decide to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.
From our hotel, we took the BTS (Bangkok Train System) Silom line and get off at Saphan Taksin station (S6). We toke a boat tour ride with the Blue Flag Chaophraya Tourist Boat (CTB) to Maharaj Pier.
Wat Arun (under construction at the time)
The Grand Palace
Wat Phra Kaew (Thai: วัดพระแก้ว, Temple of the Emerald Buddha).
Entrance admission: 500 bath
Wat Phra Kaew is a temple, part of the Grand Palace complex. It was built in time of Chao Phraya Chakri (Rama I) and housed the statue of Emerald Buddha. The whole complex settled on a 94.5 hectares, with more than 100 buildings in Rattanakosin style.
The subsequence Kings later add more buildings and renovations like the main temple of the Emerald Buddha, Phra Mondop, Royal Pantheon, Phra Si Rattana Chedi and model of Angkor wat.
There are about 8 prangs (pagoda) representing the 8 elements of Buddha in various colours.
Decoration inlay with gold with marble based and 2 elephants guardians.
Murals decoration around the compound walls with the story of Thai National Epic (Ramakien form) Ramayana in 178 panels.
The story of Ramakien is about the heir of Ayodhaya, the prince Rama. Rama and his wife, Sita and his brother, Lakshman went to exile for 14 years. When the king of Longka, the demon king Tosakan, kidnapped the lady Sita, Rama ask for help from Hanuman, the mongkey king.
The army won and Rama killed Tosakan. They returned to Ayodhaya and Rama was crowned king.
Phra ubosot (Thai: พระอุโบสถ), the main temple of the Emerald Buddha in Ayodhaya style
Garuda, the Krut battling naga serpent
A fierce guardian that looks like a Rakshasa (Sanskrit: rākṣasa)
The pillars are inlaid with marbles and golden mosaic
The Emerald Buddha (Thai: พระแก้วมรกต Phra Kaeo Morakot, or พระพุทธมหามณีรัตนปฏิมากร Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon) is considered as the symbol image of Thailand. Its height is as tall as 66m. The Emerald Buddha is made of green jade or jasper, with gold clothing. The clothing changes according to the season. The season at the time is ‘summer’ gold.
Gandhara Buddha Chapel (sorry for the finger)
Decorated with glazed ceramic tiles favored in the 19th century
Boromphiman Throne Hall Mansion (Phra Thinang Boromphiman) was built with western style by King Rama V for his son.
Chakri Maha Prasat hall was built by King Rama V in 1882 with the architect John Clunich, a British who was living in Singapore. The entire building is a mix between western structure (Italian renaissance) with Siamese motifs roof.
The building is nicknamed farang sai chada, (“Westerner wearing a Thai hat”)
A stationed guard (it didn’t show in the photo, but he’s standing on a box)
Details of the roof top with the Chakri dynasty emblem, a 3-bladed sword (ri) with the handle (chak)
Details on the western window pane. The frosted glass has the Chakri dynasty emblem, a 3-bladed sword (ri) with the handle (chak)
Aphornphimok Pavilion, a small changing area for the King. Behind it, the Dusit Maha Prasat. The throne hall built by King Rama I in 1790 with Ratanokosin-style.
The Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are considered the three biggest tourists places in Bangkok, hence the visitors, especially on the weekends, are the worse crowded places I’ve been, baring China. We can’t really enjoy the buildings’ architecture when people are pushing and posing for selfies/wefies around the places. But for the first time in Bangkok, they are okay.
Source: Wat Pho official website, Bangkok SkyTrain (BTS), Chao Phraya Express Boat, The Grand Palace, The Grand Palace official website
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