Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bangkok, Thailand - Through My Canon (Part 1)


The start to my sightseeing in Bangkok (Pathumwan Hotel Part 1) after lunch (Santa's Fast Food)? Travel agent arriving by 1.30pm and me being driven to the agent's office, and where, alongside the rest of the tourists, plus the tour guide, let's say, all in all, the 15 of us hopping into the bus. Bangkok! My first ever time. Goodness me! Traffic jam in Bangkok? Bad shape. Nevertheless, you just have to put your trust at the helms of the bus drivers. They have it. They have mastered it for ensuring your safety and completing your tour within the stipulated time. Our this half a day tour? To the temples. The first temple we visited. Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple. Swarmed by hundreds and bustling busy. All walks of life tourists and locals as well due its a public holiday for ushering Thai king's birthday and year end school holiday.      

We walked in and at the entrance of the main altar, tour guide briefing us on the significance of Wat Tramit Wittayaram Temple, aka, "Temple Of The Golden Buddha". Admirable exterior and interior. In fact, like a shining armor. Armor of marble and gold, and we given half an hour for viewing all of the Buddha statues. The main pride Buddha statue in Wat Tramit Wittayaram TempleSukhothai Golden Buddha. Made from pure gold, weighting approximately 5 tons and dating back to 700 years ago. Furthermore, once you have viewed and said your prayers in the main altar, and once you step out from the left side, you will see the big bell and also as far as your eyes will guide you, an umbrella view of the surrounding area.         
                      




The next temple we visited. Wat Pho Temple and before that, passing by Yaowarat Street. One of the Chinatowns in Bangkok and supposedly a tourist crowd puller and also where locals shop for all sorts of things Chinese related. Gold, provision, clothes, food and what not, and we being told that due to Yaowarat Street resembling a dragon body, most of the businesses is own by Thai Chinese. Obviously right? Chinatown and businesses own by Chinese like other Chinatowns in other parts of the world? Also, when its dragon and its fire or fieriness, it must be associated to money making and business acumen amongst the Chinese? Even in Malaysia. Dragon is such a symbolic animal for Chinese and for your information, I am born in the year of dragon. Am I symbolic? You tell me.       
So much for Yaowarat Street and crawling in the jam while also pipping out of our coach, followed by stepping foot in Wat Pho Temple. 
Wat Pho! One of the largest temple complexes and housing the largest collection of Buddha images. In fact, more than 1000 Buddha images from the ruins of the former capitals Ayuthaya and Sukhothai in a large compound. Apart from the famed giant reclining Buddha, there are 394 bronze Buddha images in the large bot (temple hall) and within the compound, 91 various shapes and sizes of Chedis, chapels, rock gardens, statues, inscriptions, bell towers and fortune tellers residence.    




Without a doubt, "Reclining Buddha” is the central attraction. Darn 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 probably, you can't clog up the rather small area. Perhaps a glimpse for 5 minutes and prior to taking a circle around Buddha while also having a look at the rest of the displays.   


From Wat Pho Temple, we journeyed to Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple). The last temple for our tour and Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) known for its marble pureness. Not any ordinary marble, but Italian high quality marble aligned in tandem to the 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 is adorned by thousands of coloured glasses and glaring gold intricate structures splendidly contrasting against the crystal white walls. Apart form the main bot containing the golden Buddha statue, there are various Buddhist countries and regions Buddha statues in the courtyard. Each statue carrying a plate for conveying the meaning to their various poses. Stunning. Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) as a whole, is god's house stunning beauty. Utterly impressive.  





The end of my 1/2 a day tour, subsequently? I didn't want to return to my room yet. Still early anyway. Henceforth, for maximising my time, 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. Trust me, I honestly wanted to see. Never yet and Bangkok Madame Tussauds being one of it amongst the rest in other parts of the world.  Having said that, and all that excitement I was feeling, paying RM80.00 for entrance fee didn't go down for me. Expensive. Then again? I paid before walking in and throughout Madame Tussauds for an experience of the 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 with the rest of your idols. Those still alive or already in heaven. 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 had already achieved my mission in Madam Tussauds. All of it. Even seeing the video on figurine making and checking out the merchandise store as well.  Bangkok day 1 done and over, I headed back to my 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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