Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bangkok, Thailand - Through My Canon (Part 1)


Yeh! I did it. I did. I made it in one piece to Bangkok (Santa's Fast Food). My first ever travelling on my own lifetime achievement. On my own, believe me, at my 48 years I have been in this globe. A proud moment, don't you think so? Of course, I know so. Nevertheless, to tell you the truth, as much as I felt I have achieved millions, deep down inside me, I was literally shitting bricks. Fear! Fear and none else. Fear wouldn't leave me alone. Fear kept pounding my head so hard until my heart was rushing like nobody's business. The return of my anxiety panic attack supposedly being among all unknown people. But, after telling myself that since I have already made it this far, I managed to wrestle bravery out of me, I basically put bravery in front of me, for going with the flow, for the best, whatever Bangkok has to offer (Pathumwan Hotel & Chonburi). 

Hack aside to everything I reminded myself again and again as I eagerly awaited for the tour agent in the lobby (Pathumwan Hotel Part 1). On the dot he arrived, prior to me being driven to his office where I hopped into the coach alongside the rest of the tourists for this 1/2 a day Bangkok tour. Bangkok! Confirmed. Through my Canon. Bustling busy, crazily populated upbeat city, and speak about traffic jam which by far I know is the same scenario in other cities as well, including my born and bred Malaysia. Unveiled right in front of me as we journeyed to Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple and temple, packed back to back with locals and tourists. Notably, a good number of Indian tourists inclusive, and Westerners, you tell me, are they not a popular sight in Thailand throughout the year? They so love Thailand right? Wonder if Westerners ever work or life for them is all the time travelling? Whatever, I later once I stepped foot into Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple, it then kicked into my mind that this is the day. The day Thais are paying homage to god as a mark of respect for their King. King's birthday and tourists, not the Westerners though, are the result of year end peak holiday season and tagging alongside them children who are on school break.  
Right in front of the main alter, once tour guide briefed us on the significance of this white marbled and gold crusted, or gold plated or gold painted, shimmering in gold, also known as "Temple Of The Golden Buddha", maybe for, most or less 5 minutes, and also telling us that our time allocation is half an hour, we made our way inside. Viewing all of the Buddha statues, Sukhothai Golden Buddha Statue pure gold, weighting approximately 5 tons and dating back 700 years ago is definitely the main highlight, me simultaneously saying my prayers, subsequently I stepped outside and stood nearby the big bell for an overall view of Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple.     
                      




Departing from Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple, on our way to Wat Pho Temple, we passed by Yaowarat Street. According to our tour guide, Yaowarat Street, one of the Chinatowns in Bangkok is potentially a tourist crowd puller and where locals are seen shopping for all things Chinese related. Street stalls, eateries, gold smith shops, so and so forth, most of the business and land in Yaowarat Street, auspiciously meaningful, resembling a dragon body, is the reason why most of the land and business within its vicinity is own by Thai Chinese. Made sense. What made sense to me? Dragon and its fieriness for money making business acumen amongst Chinese. Even in Malaysia, our Malaysian Chinese look up to anything associated to dragon as the strongest business winner acumen.      
Yaowarat Street Chinatown by the way falls in the same category as our Malaysian China towns. Nothing anything special, traffic on the other hand crazily chaotic due to street's narrowness and lack of parking contributing further. Having said that, if you are a tourist like us being driven around, you shouldn't worry. Leave it to the expertise of the Thai drivers who will somehow or rather manoeuvre in and out for landing you on time and safely at your next destination. Hats off to our coach driver who did the same. He brought us in one piece within time to Wat Pho Temple. 
Wat Pho! One of the largest temple complexes and housing the largest collection of Buddha images. More than 1000 Buddha images in total from the ruins of the former capitals Ayuthaya and Sukhothai in its large ground. Famed giant reclining Buddha indeed is the central core attraction, additionally, there are 394 bronze Buddha images in the large bot (temple hall) and within the compound, 91 varying shapes and sizes Chedis, chapels, rock gardens, statues, inscriptions, bell towers and fortune tellers residence.    




Unquestionably, "Reclining Buddha” is the pride of Wat Pho Temple. Trust me. Sensationally attractive until you wouldn't budge from staring for the longest time. But, due to the number of tourists Wat Pho Temple draws throughout the year, most of them actually in fact will crowd around Reclining Buddha, I guess you won't want to linger on.   


Up next after Wat Pho Temple? Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple). The last temple on our visiting list, Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) is the other shining armour temple in Bangkok. Marble shimmering pureness. Not any ordinary marble, but Italian high quality marble and featuring traditional Thai religious architecture. One of the most modern, most beautiful of Bangkok's royal wats and built by King Rama V in 1899, Marble Temple's roof adorned by thousands of coloured glasses and glaring gold intricate structures splendidly contrasting against crystal white walls. Apart form the main bot containing a golden Buddha statue, there are various Buddhist countries and regions Buddha statues in the courtyard. Each statue carrying a plate for relating the meaning of the various poses. Stunning. Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) as a whole is god's house stunning beauty. Absolutely. I'm impressed.   





Up next after three temples seeing? Still early for me to return to my room. I definitely wanted to maximise my day. Hence, I asked the driver to drop me off in front of Siam Discovery. Why Siam Discovery? My game changer travelling point for my moment in Madame Tussauds. I badly wanted to do my first ever Madama Tussauds. Knowing is one thing and if you are already in Bangkok, experiencing shouldn't be discounted right? Of course. RM80.00 as entrance fee on the contrary didn't go down on well on me. But I guess since Madam Tussauds is such a  package, paying is the logical thing to do. Reluctantly I paid, before making my way into this figurine world. Figurines of famous popular people from all around the world. Picturing alongside Thai royal figurines is out of bound, but you sure can have it free and easy on whoever your idols are in Madame Tussauds. Mahatma Gandhi, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Obama, soccer heroes, intellectual heroes and prominent leaders, including our Dr Mahathir Mohamad.




Half an hour most to most, I have already achieved my mission in Madam Tussauds. All of it. Even the video seeing on figurine making and checking out the merchandise store. Bangkok day 1 done and over, I headed back to the hotel.

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7 comments:

  1. the temple looks so historical ms.nava great pictures!!

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  2. Beautiful write up, Thailand is one place I love to visit. I had a stopover there while traveling India. Not visited the Bangkok.

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  3. I need to convince Bill to take me to Thailand...such gorgeous temples and sites. Thanks for sharing your trip~

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  4. How lucky to be there for the festivities my friend :D
    This temple is stunning!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  5. A visit to Thailand is never complete unless one visits the temples as well. I love the intricate handiwork of the craftmen.

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  6. How beautiful is this temple you took amazing pictures very captivating.

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