Tag Archives: Buddha

Our Story – Sawadeeka Bangkok – Part 20

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

As you can read from my post, we had a great time while were in Phuket. It was all about enjoying ourselves and enjoying each other’s company. We loved the place, the people and the food. The massages and shopping made our holiday even better. But as every other good thing in the world, it was time for us to bid farewell to Phuket so we caught a plane to Bangkok.

When we arrived in Bangkok and I could feel that it was so hot and humid. It was a quick dash to pick up our luggage and then a cab to our hotel.

Bangkok

The hotel, Chateau de Bangkok seemed like a nice big hotel. We always research a lot about the hotel before we book it and so far we have been happy with the result.

We were greeted with fresh orange juice when we arrived. Lucky for us, they upgraded our room to a suite so it offered a master bedroom with king-sized bed, plus a large lounge, fully fitted kitchen and spacious marble-clad bathroom with Jacuzzi. We felt happy and it was really a great start to our Bangkok trip.

That evening we were very tired so staying in seemed liked a great idea so we decided to order in and rest for our big trips ahead.

We ordered Thai style fried rice and a prawn dish. I loved the way they had our fried rice in a pineapple. Then we enjoyed some movies and also planned what we wanted to do for rest of our days in Bangkok.

The next morning, we woke up, showered and finished our breakfast before 8am. We had booked a Bangkok City and Temple tour so the guy came to pick us with a van and when we got on the van he informed us that we were only two people taking the tour that day. We both smiled as it was going to be a private tour for us and we loved it.

Wat Traimit

First stop was visit to Wat Traimit, the temple with world’s largest solid gold Buddha, 5 1/2 tons of solid gold 3 meters high Buddha . They charge an entry fee but ours was paid by the tour guide. He explained the history behind the temple.

Bangelore (1)

The Buddha status is made from pure gold and the statue is said to be worth millions of dollars at today’s gold prices. The Golden Buddha was cast sometime in the 13th century, and it survived until now because it was covered in plaster to hide it from thieves. It was discovered by accident when it was accidentally dropped as it was being moved, revealing, under a casing of plaster, a beautiful solid gold Sukhothai style Buddha. Pieces of the plaster are still kept on display at the museum.

On the way to the next stop we went around Chinatown and I was so amazed to see that Chinatown looked similar everywhere in the world. The place looked so much like the one I had seen in Malaysia.

Wat Pho

Next stop was Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha). This Buddha was 46 meters long and 15 meters high and it was almost impossible to take a photo of the whole statue in one shot. This Buddha holds the dual honour of having both Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha image and the most number of Buddha images in Thailand. It also had giant feet, 3 meters high and 4.5 meters long with mother-of-pearl soles.

Bangelore (3)

The Reclining Buddha was built during the mid-19th-century and is brick covered with layers of plaster and gold.

On our way out to walk around the complex, we passed a long line of bowls into which people were dropping coins.

Bangelore (4)

The guide explained to us that there are 108 bronze bowls (symbolizing the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha) and people drop coins in the bowls for good fortune and to help the monk maintain the wat. We also did our bit and it was fun 🙂

Bangelore (2)

By the time we finished this tour me and AS both were exhausted because of the humidity. The guide gave us a bottle of water to drink.

Live snake experience

While we were coming out from the King’s palace, there was a guy with a live snake around his neck offering photo opportunity with the snake for small amount. We both were excited and decided to give it a go.

Loving the snake

Loving the snake

I had done something similar in Malaysia before so I was not scared at all so we had our photo taken with the snake around our neck.

Wat Benchamabophit 

From, Wat Phra Kaew, we went to Wat Benchamabophit (marble temple). Wat Benchamabophit is a royal monastery belonging to the first class ranking of Rajavaravihara made out of Italian marbles. Our guide told us that the main statue of Lord Buddha sitting in the main hall was a copy of the famous “Phra Buddha Chinarat” in Pitsanulok province, north of Thailand.

Bangelore (5)

The temple is a prime example of modern Thai architecture. It is a four-sided structure with four-tiered roof and a corridor in the back.

Bangelore (6)

Wat Intharawihan 

Our last stop for the day was Wat Intharawihan (temple of Standing Buddha). The main features of this temple is a 32-metre high, 10-meter wide standing Buddha referred to as Luang Pho To or “Phra Si Ariyamettrai” (Maitreya).

Bangelore (7)

It took over 60 years to complete and is decorated in glass mosaics and 24-carat gold. The topknot of the Buddha image contains a relic of Lord Buddha brought from Sri Lanka.

Bangelore (9)

This temple also has a statue of the Hindu god Brahma.

Bangelore (8)

I was really fascinated by our tour of the temple that day. I can imagine now what tourists who visit Kathmandu feel like. They say Kathmandu is a city of temples and each temple is different from others.

Bangelore (10)

That was one of the many days we spent in Bangkok. Then there was my favourite thing to do in Bangkok and yap you guess it right, it is shopping.

Shopping

We caught a taxi to go to different shopping malls and markets every day. There are so many colourful taxis in Bangkok, you can easily have fun in traffic as well. You can’t believe some of the colours like baby pink, purple, yellow, red, bright green, bright yellow etc. They told to us that the colour is company coordinated so people know which cab they are in.

I knew by that time AS was shocked by the way I shopped in Phuket. So I decided that I would slow down a bit. We were still in the stage where we were getting to know each other better and definitely, I did not want to scare him 😉

Bangkok  is sometimes referred to as a “shopaholic’s paradise” so there was so little I could do to hide my excitement. There are variety of malls, markets, and everything in between and some of the best deals are even found late into the evening at trendy night-bazaars.

Just for this reason I took an empty suitcase from Sydney. We went to MBK Shopping Center, Siam Paragon, Pratunaum Market and many more. Every evening we came home with heaps of bags full of dresses shoes, bags, accessories. I used to weigh my suitcase every night to make sure I hadn’t gone over the limit. By the last day I was over 10kg of my allowed limit. This whole time AS did some shopping but was really happy for me to buy stuffs and he was getting used to my habit. 🙂

Spending time with AS was so much fun but our holiday was almost coming to the end. I will write what happened next in my next post. Till then take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to part 21

Advertisements

How to piss off a Nepali?

I was reading this article on www.matadornetwork.com and was laughing whole way through as it is so true. I can’t help but share this with you all.

So you happen to come across this brown individual at a party or at the mall and you start making guesses about where he or she is from. The worst way you can start off your interaction is by asking them if they are from India. Not a “So, where are you from?” But a direct “Are you from India?”

You’ve learned how to piss off a Nepali already. Although an incredibly laid-back lot, we can at times be quite sensitive about people’s assumptions or understanding of our country, and our nationality. Being sandwiched between two massive cultures doesn’t help — many an ignorant soul thinks Nepali culture and ethnicity is purely a mix of Indian and Chinese.

Here are a few more things you can say to further piss off someone from Nepal.

“Where is that?”

Just because you suck at geography, we have to go through a list of ‘Did you know?’ facts about our country to give you a sense of where in the world it is. If you know Mt. Everest, you should have probably put in the effort to look up where it is.

The point is that when it comes to our country and our nationality, Nepali people are, in general, a proud bunch. And when you tell us you haven’t even heard of the place or don’t know where it is, you’re bound to incite a frown or two.

“Oh Naples, of course!”

If you want to go one level higher, this would be the jackpot. Fake that you know what you’re talking about and then burst that bubble by telling us you know of a city that’s not even one of the best known in Europe, and think that it’s actually a country.

“Oh so you must have climbed Everest.”

Yes, Everest is in Nepal, but not in my backyard. And not all of us are Sherpas. In addition, it takes years of training and around $50k to ascend the highest mountain in the world.

In fact, a good number of Nepali people have never even seen Everest (thanks to the number of other massive Himalayan mountains that block our view), let alone climbed it. Would you assume someone from France or Italy must have summited Mont Blanc?

“So you speak Indian.”

Hindi, you mean. It’s called Hindi. And no, we speak Nepali because we’re from Nepal. The two are different languages even though they use the same script. English and German aren’t the same language just because they use the same alphabet, now are they?

“Buddha was from India.”

It’s a matter of grave distress to Nepali people when you mistakenly proclaim that Buddha was born in India. Yes, he did gain enlightenment and did most of his important work in India. But don’t make us take out the history books, or demand that you go to Lumbini in southern Nepal to visit the birthplace of the Enlightened One.

“So, you’re Buddhist.”

Over 80% of the population of Nepal is Hindu; only around 10% are Buddhist. But we might give you the benefit of the doubt on this one, because Buddhism and Hinduism are essentially the same religion in Nepal. Gautam Buddha was Hindu himself and is considered an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

“Momos…aren’t they the same as Chinese or Japanese dumplings?”

No! Dumplings may have been invented somewhere in the Far East. They might have come into Nepal through Tibet in the north. But they were perfected in Nepal and they are called momos. We will not even consider anything else for an answer.

These out-of-this-world delicious dumplings come with a sauce that’s even better and can be found basically anywhere you go in Nepal. Try them and your taste buds will be caressed by the rich flavors of the momos till all your tongue wants is more momos.

“It must be freezing over there.”

Yes, we’re situated among the Himalayas. But not all of Nepal lives at extreme altitudes. The southern parts of the country are as low as 300ft above sea level and can get plenty hot.

You’re gonna look pretty dumb in your winter coat on the back of an elephant in Chitwan National Park.

You may also like:

* *Etiquette for travelling like a local *Mystery of the ancient kingdom discovered in Nepal

Namo Buddha : Nepal

Namo Buddha is about 40km away from the heart of Kathmandu City. It is in Kavre District towards the southeast of the valley. Driving from Kathmandu, it took us around 2 hours to get there. We left the paved road and drove on dirt road after an hour. After about 45 minutes we caught a glimpse of the temple through the clouds.

namo buddha  (1)

Namo Buddha is a beautiful place far from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, with no pollution, and the air is so fresh and cool. Situated at an elevation of 1750 m above sea level, Namo Buddha is a great tourist destination around Kathmandu valley. From the top of the hill you can see the snow-covered Himalayan ranges which look so pure and amazing.

namo buddha  (3)

From the Buddhist point of view, Namo Buddha is one of the most important religious sites in Nepal. There are three major Buddhist pilgrimage sites: Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Namo Buddha.

I went there with my parents and an aunty.Once we parked the car, we had to go through a big gate to reach the stupa. The stupa was not as big as Boudha Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa but has high significance.

namo buddha  (4)

According to history around 6000 years ago prince Great Being (Ngingdui Tshenpo Mahasatwo), found a tigress lying near a rock at the top of the hill, overlooking the jungle. Very quickly, he realized that she was going to die. Her five babies were still little and their survival depended on their mother. Ngingdui Tshenpo,  was a young man who had his own kingdom but he decide to give his life to the tigress in a bust of love and compassion. The tigress refused. When the tigress refused to eat him, he decided to cut his arm to feed his warm blood to the tigress. The taste of blood gave the tigress an appetite and finally she accepted the sacrifice from the prince. The tigress left only the bare bones of the prince which were brought back in the village and buried in a tomb which became the actual stupa of Namo Buddha. Some 3500 years later, the Gautam Buddha came to the village of Sange da Fyafulsa; he went around the Stupa three times and declared that he was the reincarnation of Prince Ngingdui Tshenpo. It was that moment that Gautam Buddha renamed this village and henceforth the name of Namo Buddha which means First Buddha.

namo buddha  (2)

My mum and my aunty bought the butter lamps and offered it to the Buddha and we prayed and went around the Stupa. There were a few kids begging money. At first I didn’t wanted to give money to them and spoil their habit but later I felt sorry for them and gave them 10 rupees each.

namo buddha  (18)

Once we were done, everyone was hungry at this point so we went to a local restaurant. Everyone had rice, dal, vegetable (meat is not available in the local restaurants as Buddhist doesn’t eat meat) but I ordered my favourite Wai Wai instant noodle soup. After lunch we all were recharged and went back in the car to go to the monastery.

namo buddha  (5)

namo buddha  (14)

The Thrangu Tashi Yangtse monastery looked really beautiful up-close. As there was specific time for the opening of the monastery we waited for it to open.  As we waited, we saw there were more people coming to visit the place.

namo buddha  (7)

The inside of the monastery was impressive but pictures are not allowed inside. There were about 10-15 painters working on hand painting the walls.  The walls and ceiling were very colourful with Buddhist paintings. The place is really silent and I could easily imagine why people came there to meditate.

namo buddha  (17)

As we walk out from the monastery, there are prayer wheels all around it.  We rotated the prayer wheels and walked around the monastery. A prayer wheel is a cylindrical “wheel” on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma).

namo buddha  (15)

From the monastery, we walked to towards the top of the hill. There is a big statue of the Buddha at one place made out of brass.

namo buddha  (16)

As we walked towards the top of the hill, we reached a stone sculpture that depicted Buddha himself feeding a hungry tigress and her cubs. It is believed that the place is where Buddha gave up his body.

namo buddha  (8) namo buddha  (9)

namo buddha  (10)

Following the ridge to another summit on the same hill, there is another small Stupa which is said to be the spot of the den of the tigress. There, we saw pilgrims lying down on the ground as if offering their bodies to the place. Pieces of cloth hung on the branches of the tree for protection. It was such a beautiful place to be at.

namo buddha  (13) namo buddha  (11)

When we reached the top of the hill, we could see the monastery and the view of the village. On one side we could even see some part of the Karve District forest. The top of the hill is surrounded by colourful prayer flags and there were a few people enjoying their picnic around the area.

namo buddha  (12) namo buddha  (20) namo buddha  (6)

I really liked this side of Kathmandu and it will be a great place for anyone to go for a day or more to enjoy the peace you can find so close to busy Kathmandu.

Till next post, take care!

M from nepaliaustralia

XOXO

P.S.: I am going to Bryan Adams concert tonight and very excited. I will update more soon. Happy weekend everyone!!!

You may also like:

*Manakamana Temple *Cheers to new year 2070 *Zoo visit in Nepal