19.04.2012 - 19.04.2012 37 °C
Noel and I decided to pay for tour to see the main sights of Bangkok. This was because it has been so hot and we couldn't bear trawling the streets to find all of the sights, plus we would have a guide to tell us the information that would be good to know.
The first part of the tour was a canal boat trip winding its way around the old part of Bangkok. Bangkok is actually known as Krung Thep Mahanakhon by the Thai people. Its real name is:
Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharat Ratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit. (The worlds longest city name!)
The tour showed us the old floating houses, floating supermarkets and temples etc. The river itself is full of catfish and salamanders. We even got to buy some lovely fried banana and papaya from a little Thai lady.
The Grand Palace
We then arrived at The Grand Palace following a lovely little lunch on the Chao Phraya River with our guide, Jimmy. I really cannot say much about The Grand Palace other than that the name says it all! There are no words to discribe how utterly magnificent and stunning the whole complex is. Everything is huge and adorned with glittering tiles from floor to ceiling. If its not glittering its shimmering from gold leaf everywhere. Below are just some of the highlights. The main thing to say is that there are lots of gifts (statues and temples with Chinese, Indian, Cambodian and Laos influence to show Thailand's strong and friendly connections to its neighbours.
Sahassadeja, the giant, guarding the palace
The Golden Stupa (King Rama IV era)
Inside is the Buddha's relics
The Emerald Buddha (The most reputable religious icon of Thailand)
Wat Phra Kaew (Phra Mondop and Suwan Chendi)
(Houses the Tripitaka)
Phra Nakhan (Angkor Wat-Angkor Thom)
This is very impressive. Long story short, Angkor Thom actually is a real temple in Cambodia but back in the day was in the Kingdom of Siam which was part of Thailand. King Rama IV heard of this temple in his massive kingdom so sent two america photographers to take photos and bring them back for him to see. he was so amazed that he wanted a replica built in the Palace of the Emerald Buddha. It is an exact replica to scale 1:1000.
Years later, the ruler of Cambodia visited Thailand and saw the replica of his temple in the palace. It was so perfect in detail that pictures were taken back to Cambodia for the restoration of the real temple. NOTE: this replica was built in 1866 from photos and drawings of the real one hundreds of miles away, by hand!
Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklaram Rajwaramahaviharn
Here is where we saw the amazing reclining Buddha. 15m high and 48m long. It is gold coated and its feat are inlayed with mother of pearl representing 108 images with rowles in the middle, according to the descriptions of Buddha's great characteristics. There are 108 bowls along the edge of the Buddha which you throw 1BHT in following a prayer. After 108 prayers you are closer to Buddha and Nirvana.
The Temple of Dawn
Our last stop of the tour before Chinatown. This has the tallest stupa of its style.
Sahassadeja, the giant, guarding the northern entrance of The Temple of dawn.
Sorry for the long long entry but it really was amazing and if I dont blog, I will forget what it all is!!!!
More to come people xxxx