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Bangkok

Luckily we came to Bangkok in the winter, when it is cold: only 95 and who knows what humidity.  By 11 o'clock it is virtually unbearable outside.  This is a place where you need to plan your day carefully and get an early start!  Having come from the cold of northern India, this was a shock to our systems.  And the locals are wearing sweaters! 

 

Wat Po and the Reclining Buddha

Wat Po is a Buddhist temple near the old royal palace.  It is quite famous for it's reclining Buddha.  Before you reach the Buddha, though, there are gardens and courtyards and statues and buildings to see.  It really is a feast for the eyes.  Each structure has color and sparkle and depth and height that dazzles the senses. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two Buddha statues in some of the many shrines within Wat Po.  People bring gold leaf to press onto the statue as an offering when they come to pray.  They also bring incense and lotus flowers and sometimes fruit or other foods.  When the wind blows the gold leaf flutters beautifully. 

   

 

The reclining Buddha has a building to himself.  He is huge - 46 meters long and 15 meters high.  (That's nearly 152 feet long and 50 feet high for those on the English system.)  He is gold plated and represents the passing of Buddha into nirvana.  (Apparently we can tell this because his feet are together and his toes are all lined up.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

< These are the soles of his feet, showing the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.

 
 

As we wandered through the temple looking at the front of the reclining Buddha we were aware of a strange clanging noise emanating from behind him.  We thought "Bells?"  When we got there we saw that people were placing coins into 108 metal buckets.  (Conveniently, you could acquire these coins from a monk right there.)

 

 

 

Wat Arun - The Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun is located on the other side of the river from Wat Po.  We took a ferry across, which cost us 3.5 baht each - about 44 in total.

Again there is a whole complex around the holy shrines.  This wat is made up of Khmer-style towers called prangs, covered in broken china, which was supposedly used as ballast on ships from China.  Once again, there is lots to catch your eye.

 

 

Tasha found a carved ball inside the mouths of many of these statues.  They can only have been carved of the same rock as the statue itself! 

The mythical guardians

 

Wat Phra Kaew and the Royal Palace

Oh my.  The sights at this wat are overwhelming.  Everywhere you look there is something calling for your attention.  It is also the home of the emerald Buddha, which cannot be photographed.  As this is the royal wat, it included a little piece of everything in the kingdom.  So there is a variety of styles on display, portraying the diversity of the kingdom. 

 

 

         

 

The mythical guardians


 

Anika practices her mythical creature poses.

 

 

 
 

Angkor Wat model - apparently the king attempted to have part of the temple in Cambodia moved into Wat Phra Kaew, as he had with other temples in his kingdom, but with this one he was unsuccessful, so he had a model of the entire wat built. 

 

Dusit Zoo

Why do we keep going to the zoo?  We have been to the zoo in so many countries...isn't it getting boring?  Actually, we enjoy seeing the differences in the various zoos, and seeing animals we haven't seen other places (like the different variety of peacock below).  But we have also found that in most places, the zoo is a nice casual place to learn more about the culture of the country we are visiting.  This is where locals are coming to hang out with their children.  Thus we enjoy our time in the zoos seeing the animals and watching the people. 

 

Look at this peacock!  The body and neck coloring are totally different than the peacocks I am familiar with, and the neck is much thicker! 

The Saros Stork.                                                                                                                                                                                                          The cassowary.

A monitor swimming                                                                 Anika's favorite huge white fish.  What kind is it?  No idea.                                        And a monitor sunning.
   

A friendly ostrich...actually, it was so hot, it sat there with its mouth open for a really long time.
A pangolin just for Hugo!
 
 

 

Around Town

Out for a paddle in our rubber ducky in Lumphini Park.

Going for a tuk-tuk ride.

  

Not the first image of hawking that jumps to my mind!  

At the airport - from here we flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

 


 

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Last modified: 06/13/08