Last June, I took an incredibly exciting 2 week trip to Thailand with my friend Laura.
First on our travel agenda was Bangkok. Bangkok is the capital city and is more modernised than some areas of Thailand, yet still filled to the brim with Thai culture and history.
One of the first things we did was take a long tail boat down the Chao Phraya river which allowed us to see some stunning scenery and temples and get a real feel for Thailand. I do recommend getting a water bus though if you would like to travel by boat as it will work out much cheaper for you than hiring a private long tail boat like we did.
Thailand is home to many Buddhist temples and Bangkok is no exception with some breathtaking buildings to be viewed.
Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a temple complex and is one of Thailand’s oldest and largest in Bangkok.
Of course, this complex houses the 46 metre long, gold plated Reclining Buddha which is probably the main attraction of this temple. A reclining Buddha is said to be a representation of him reaching ultimate Nirvana in his last moments of life. This is a must see as the the immensity of this Buddha cannot be shown in photo form. It is massive!
Around the Buddha, there are 108 small bronze bowls to symbolise the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. For good luck, you can buy coins and drop one in each bowl.
Wat Pho grounds are scattered with chedis (Buddhist commemorative monuments usually housing sacred relics of Buddha) covered in bright, colourful tiles making the ground very aesthetically pleasing.
There are 4 maim halls, or viharas, to visit when you are here – all just as spectaular as each other.
This includes the Ordination Hall, surrounded by large Buddha statues.
Inside the Ordination Hall is wonderful, just like every temple I came across on my travels. Intricate detailing from roof to floor make Buddhist temples the most amazing buildings I’ve ever visited. The Ordination Hall displays a gold plated Buddha for Buddhists to worship and make offerings to.
Close by is the Grand Palace, where the Kings of Siam/Thailand lived from 1782 – 1925. Although, this is no longer the King’s residence, the palace is still used for official events and royal ceremonies. The palace grounds is quite substantial with lots to be viewed.
In the palace grounds you will find the Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This is a royal chapel found within the walls of the palace and is regarded as the most important temple in Thailand. Here, the Phra Kaew Morakot (Emerald Buddha) is enshrined. The Buddha figure is made of a single block of jade, hence the name.
Like other temples, you must have your shoulders and knees covered upon entry to the temple. Since this is regarded as the most important temple, these rules are even stricter.
The Royal Pantheon, which was originally meant to house the Emerald Buddha but was disregarded due to its size, can also be found in the palace grounds. Surrounding this building are large statues of mythical guardians called Kinnarees.
So there are some of the highlights of my travels. My time in Bangkok, Thailand was a very educational one and an adventure I will remember forever. I would go back to visit in a heartbeat!
On my holiday, I also went to Chiang Mai and Koh Samui so keep an eye out for a post on my adventure there!
Have you ever been to Thailand? Do you want to go?
Thanks for reading,