Daily Archives: January 17, 2008

bangkok: the grand palace & wat pho {the temple of the reclining buddha}

Thursday, January 17:  After our boat ride, we wander through a market and head to the Grand Palace.

Market outside of the Grand Palace

Market outside of the Grand Palace

First view of the Grand Palace

First view of the Grand Palace

Elephants greet us at the entrance to the Grand Palace

Elephants greet us at the entrance to the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings in the heart of Bangkok. The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782.  The king, his court and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), currently lives at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. (Wikipedia: Grand Palace)

Wats at the Grand Palace

Wats at the Grand Palace

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

at the Grand Palace

at the Grand Palace

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Construction of the palace began on 6 May 1782. Throughout successive reigns, many new buildings and structures were added, especially during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). By 1925 the king, the Royal Family and the government were no longer permanently settled at the palace, and had moved to other residences. After the absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932, all government agencies completely moved out of the palace.(Wikipedia: Grand Palace)

view from above

view from above

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

Ryan

Ryan

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

me

me

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

In shape, the palace complex is roughly rectangular and has a combined area of 218,400 square metres (2,351,000 sq ft), surrounded by four walls. It is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River at the heart of the Rattanakosin Island.

Rather than being a single structure, the Grand Palace is made up of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development, with additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning kings over 200 years of history. It is divided into several quarters: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, with many public buildings; the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthian Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings and the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently partially open to the public as a museum, however it remains a working palace as several royal offices are still situated inside. The palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. (Wikipedia: Grand Palace)

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

at the Grand Palace

at the Grand Palace

Ryan the warrior

Ryan the warrior

me

me

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

At the Grand Palace in Bangkok

We have lunch at a Thai restaurant, then we head to Wat Pho, commonly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

Lunchtime

Lunchtime

Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, directly adjacent to the Grand Palace in the Rattanakosin district.  The temple is known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.  Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. (Wikipedia: Wat Pho)

Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha

At Wat Pho

At Wat Pho

Ryan beats the gong

Ryan beats the gong

The Reclining Buddha

The Reclining Buddha

the Reclining Buddha

the Reclining Buddha

The Reclining Buddha

The Reclining Buddha

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

a Buddhist monk at Wat Pho

a Buddhist monk at Wat Pho

??, Johanna and Jennifer at Wat Pho

??, Johanna and Jennifer at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

at Wat Pho

We leave the complex and head back into the streets of Bangkok, where we encounter fruit vendors and the chaotic tangle of Bangkok traffic.

Fruit vendor

Fruit vendor

another Buddha

another Buddha

After dinner, Johanna, who has not been feeling well since we arrived in Bangkok, and I go for a relaxing foot massage.

At the foot massage parlor

At the foot massage parlor

Johanna waiting for a foot massage

Johanna waiting for a foot massage

Categories: Asia, Bangkok, Grand Palace, Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Thailand, Wat Pho | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

bangkok: a long-tailed speedboat cruise down the chao phraya river & canals

Thursday, January 17:  This morning, we take a long-tailed speedboat down the Chao Phraya River and canals (khlongs) of Bangkok.

a shrine we pass on our way to the dock

a shrine we pass on our way to the dock

King Bhumibhol

King Bhumibol

Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya River

me waiting on the dock

me waiting on the dock

Ryan and Denny

Ryan and Denny

the long-tailed speedboat

the long-tailed speedboat

along the Chao Phraya River

along the Chao Phraya River

along the Chao Phraya River

along the Chao Phraya River

We pass Wat Kanlayanamit, a relatively newer temple built in the reign of King Rama III (1824 – 1851).

Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Kanlayanamit

The river cruise would have been more picturesque if it wasn’t such a dreary day. Our boat heads off the Chao Phraya River and down the Khlong Phasi Charoen, a 30 km long canal in the western part of central Thailand.  Construction of the canal began in 1866 and was completed in 1872 (Wikipedia: Khlong Phasi Charoen).

We drift past stilted wooden homes, mobile shops, ‘floating kitchens,’ colonial mansions and colorful culture along the riverfront.

houses along Khlong Phasi Charoen

houses along Khlong Phasi Charoen

along Khlong Phasi Charoen

along Khlong Phasi Charoen

houses along Khlong Phasi Charoen

houses along Khlong Phasi Charoen

Long Live Our Beloved King

Long Live Our Beloved King

another small temple complex

another small temple complex

part of the temple complex along Khlong Phasi Charoen

part of the temple complex along Khlong Phasi Charoen

catfish in the canal

catfish in the canal

Ryan tosses breadcrumbs to the fish

Ryan tosses breadcrumbs to the fish

more of the colorful temple complex along the canal

more of the colorful temple complex along the canal

a modern looking house along the canal

a modern looking house along the canal

another colorful spot at the Khlong Phasi Charoen pier

the Khlong Phasi Charoen pier

along Khlong Phasi Charoen

along Khlong Phasi Charoen

along the canal

along the canal

lush greenery

lush greenery

houses along the canal

houses along the canal

relaxing on the front porch

relaxing on the front porch

another modern house

another modern house

temple complex of Wat Arun

temple complex on the way to Wat Arun

Eventually, we stop at Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn.  There are over 31,200 Buddhist temples spread around Thailand. In Thai these are called wat.  One of these, Wat Arun, is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. Standing tall on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun has an 82-meter high prang (Khmer-style tower), beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns (Bangkok.com: Wat Arun).  Chinese ships calling at the port of Bangkok discarded tons of old porcelain as ballast. The tower’s construction was started during the first half of the 19th century by Rama II and later completed by Rama III (Lonely Planet: Wat Arun).

Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn

This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought Buddhist practitioners. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism (Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn).

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Our next stop is the Grand Palace and other temples of Bangkok.

Categories: Asia, Bangkok, Chao Phraya River, Khlong Phasi Charoen, Temple of Dawn, Thailand, Wat Arun, Wat Kanlayanamit | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

~ wander.essence ~

where travel meets art

SterVens' Tales

Thee Life, Thee Heart, Thee Tears

Word Wabbit

Wrestless Word Wrestler

Cardinal Guzman

Encyclopedia Miscellaneous - 'quality' blogging since August 2011

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

life at the edge

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

Slovenian Girl Abroad

A blog about travel adventures written by an Slovenian girl living in Switzerland

Let Me Bite That

Can I have a bite?

Running Stories by Jerry Lewis

Personal blog about running adventures

Finding NYC

exploring New York City one adventure at a time

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

snippetsandsnaps

Potato Point and beyond

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

%d bloggers like this: