3 Sites you must see in Bangkok

Bangkok...city of angels!

Bangkok…city of angels! Our view from The Banyon Tree.

I traveled to Thailand in March for a dive trip, and my daughter, Alexandra, joined me for a look at Bangkok, the City of Angels. We decided that there are 3 Sites you must see while you are in Bangkok!

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

The Grand Palace is almost too much to take in…I think you would need several days of exploration to do it justice.  A few hours gives one the chance to goggle stupidly at the splendor of it.  There are so many Buddhist images, depositories, and even the Monastery of the Emerald Buddha on the grounds.  The walls are painted with scenes of the Buddha’s life, birth, the Temptation, the Enlightenment and are absolutely intricate and stunning.  A study of every inch of wall would be worthwhile.  I could not begin to explain it all….an exact smaller copy of the Angor Wat of Cambodia, Chinese imagery, yogic statues, and gold….the gold is overwhelming.

Golden Wat

Golden Wat

North of the Royal Residence lies the Monastery of the Emerald Buddha, a venerated site in Thai Buddhism.  Once again, this statue had been covered in plaster, and discovered when the plaster began to flake off.  It is actually carved in Jade and Gold, not Emerald, but the name Emerald Buddha stuck.

The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha

Three times a year, King Rama IX changes the Buddha’s costume in a ceremony.  There are three seasons in Thailand, the summer, the rainy, and the winter.  The Emerald Buddha’s costume must change at each season.

Adjacent to the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Before the Reclining Buddha came to rest there, a school of medicine existed.  Medical texts are still there, and statues showing yoga postures are near the outside Bodhi Tree, a tree grown from the seed of the tree where the Buddha received enlightenment. Wat Pho has over a thousand Buddha figures, The Reclining Buddha is the centerpiece of the Wat. “The image of reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long with his right arm supporting the head with tight curls on two box-pillows of blue, richly encrusted with glass mosaics. The 3 m high and 4.5 m long foot of Buddha displays are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories.  Over the statue is a seven tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand. There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. People drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. Though the reclining Buddha is not a pilgrimage centre, it remains an object of popular piety.” (Wikipedia).  Alexandra and I bought our coins and deposited them in the bowls, making a wish each time we dropped a coin. My wishes were mostly for Randy, for his continued health and healing, and for my children, Alexandra and Wesley.

bk 14 wat pho recline buddha

These 3 sites are all in one area, so it makes it easy to see them all.  Every inch of ground is worth seeing at the Grand Palace.  I hope to see it all again, someday.

Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha

Protectors of Emerald Buddha

Protectors of Emerald Buddha

bk 14 gp yogi4

Yoga Statue for Health

Over 1,000 Buddha figures

Over 1,000 Buddha figures

Toes and bottom of Buddha's feet

Toes and bottom of Buddha’s feet

Here is a great blog about the Wats in Chiang Mai, a province north of Bangkok.  After reading this, I’ve decided I have a good reason to go back to Thailand!

Chiang Mai Wats

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (5)

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  1. Deb Bergeron says:

    Simply fabulous photographs and written descriptions, Tam! I “almost” feel like I’ve been there myself! Thanks for taking the time to share your journey.

  2. It’s been ages since I’ve been to Bangkok — almost 15 years. I still remember those giant feet of the reclining buddha. Looking through your pictures reminds me of what a beautiful sight those Bangkok places are. Seems like you had an excellent visit!

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