Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bangkok, Thailand - Through My Canon (Part 1)

I made it. I did. In one piece to Bangkok (Santa's Fast Food). What a major achievement. For the first time ever in a new country, though admittedly, I was literally shitting bricks. Fear kept pounding by constantly pressing my panic button. Naturally, I was still dazed due to coming to terms that I am alone in Bangkok amongst all unknown people. Then again, since I have already made it this far, I told myself that I must brave my heart and go with the flow for the best of Bangkok (Pathumwan Hotel & Chonburi). Hack aside to everything I reminded myself over and over again as I panic 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 along the rest of the tourists for this 1/2 a day Bangkok tour. Bangkok! Affirmed. Through my Canon. Bustling busy, crazily populated upbeat city, speak about traffic jam which by far I believe is the same scenario in other cities as well, including in my born and bred Malaysia. Eye and brain unveiled while we were on our way to the massively crowded Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple. Oh-no! It then kicked in my skull that Thais were ushering their King's birthday. Obviously, by offering prayers, right here in Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple, Notably, swarmed by aplenty tourists like us too, more were slowly making their way in as well.     

1/2 an hour allocated, we walk up the staircase in this eye soothing, white marbled and gold crusted, or gold plated or gold painted, whichever, confirmed its the shimmering gold, temple, also known as "Temple Of The Golden Buddha"), for viewing the pure gold, weighting approximately 5 tons and dating back 700 years ago Sukhothai Golden Buddha Statue. Thank god not so crowded at this juncture, I made sure I whispered my prayers to the other Buddhas too, before existing and standing outside, nearby the big bell for an overall view of Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple. Undoubtedly, I was impressed. Well, what do you expect upon visiting the first Buddhist Temple in Bangkok?   

On the road again for journeying to Wat Pho Temple, once we routed via Yaowarat Street, our tour guide unfolded the significance of this street, which I kept looking at from the window. The oldest street of Bangkok, already branded as a popular tourist destination, Yaowarat Street is said to resemble dragon's curved body and because dragons to the Chinese are associated with auspicious meaning, most of the land and businesses in this street are owned by prominent Thai Chinese business people. Makes sense. Chinese money making business skills. 
However, I am not an alien to Chinatowns. We have aplenty in Malaysia. Almost in every city or town. Its actually a norm in Malaysia. Yaowarat Street is no different. Pretty much Chinese stalls and shops lined on both sides, shopping, food and what not, but, mind you, in Yaowarat Street, you need buckets and buckets of patience for driving. Regardless, let leave the Thais alone. Honk, speed and overtake. Our coach driver too was quite a hero. Armed with his driving survival kit, he safely landed us in Wat Pho Temple. 
One of the largest temple complexes that houses the largest collection of Buddha images, including the famed giant reclining Buddha and containing more than 1000 Buddha images in total within Wat Pho's large grounds from the ruins of the former capitals Ayuthaya and Sukhothai. Additionally, you will see a large bot (temple hall), enclosed by 394 bronze Buddha images and a massive 91 other Chedis of varying sizes, alongside chapels, rock gardens, different types of statues, inscriptions, bell towers and resident fortune tellers.   

Honestly, I doubt if I really gasped the whole lot of Wat Pho as narrated by our guide. I was only keen in "eyes and canon camera" seeing. "Reclining Buddha” unquestionably blew me up fantastically. So meaningful. You can just stand and stare at Reclining Buddha for the longest time, but considering that there were many other tourists crowding around, I took a full turn around Reclining Buddha before walking out. 

One more, the third and last temple we visited for the day was Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple). Marble. High quality marble. White marble from Italy, inter designed and intercepted along traditional Thai religious architecture. Marble Temple is the most modern and is also one of the most beautiful of Bangkok’s royal wats. Built by King Rama V in 1899. Make sure you look up at the roof, adorned with thousands of coloured glasses and glaring gold intricate structures for contrasting against the crystal white walls. The main bot in Marble Temple contains a golden Buddha statue, whereas in the courtyard you will see various Buddha statues representing various Buddhist countries and regions, each statue carries a plate explaining the significance of the poses. Marble temple in a garden setting is splendidly stunning. What a way to end our tour in Bangkok. 

I however was still geared up for sightseeing. I didn't want to go back to my room. Still early anyway. So, I asked our driver to drop me off in front of Siam Discovery. As blur as I was, some how or rather, I made my way to Madame Tussauds. My eyes balls almost popped out when I had to pay RM80.00. What? So expensive? No choice. I paid, prior to entering. Potentially, most of them are here, not as in the real people though, but figurines. Figurines of world known, popular, those who have impacted me, those I have heard of, some already in heaven whereas others are still alive and kicking. Photographing with Thai royal figurines is out of bound, you sure can though capture as many pictures along the others. Thanks to the staff for capturing me, I sincerely felt so good standing and holding Mahatma Gandhi, George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Took me only least than half an hour for walking from one section to the other, right before I left, I stood for a while for a tiny bit of knowledge on how these figurines are moulded mounted, I did also check out the merchandise outlet, off I left.

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

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

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

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

    Choc Chip Uru

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

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


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