Tag Archives: Wat Phra Kaew

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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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

Visiting Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha): Thailand

I have been to Thailand before but for one reason or another I didn’t get a chance to visit one of the famous tourist attractions of Bangkok which is the Grand Palace. (Read about my previous trip here and here). So on our visit there this time, we made sure to go and see the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

One morning we had our breakfast at the hotel and left to catch a boat to the palace. I had read on the internet that we need to dress appropriately to go to the palace. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves — no tank tops and if you’re wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks .Women must be modestly dressed too; no see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc. So even though the day was very hot, AS was wearing his jeans and I was wearing a sleeved dress.

We caught a train from our hotel to the pier where we were to catch the Chaophraya Express Boat to the Chang Pier (Tha Chang). It was a quite easy to get there but it took us around an hour all up. Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (2) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (3)

Once we got off at the Chang pier, we needed to go through the market around the pier and out onto the plaza flanked by old shop-houses. It is easy to get distracted while you pass by these shops selling food and souvenirs.  As soon as we were out in the main street, I could see the white walls of the palace. There were a lot of tourists, busloads of them from everywhere.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (4)

We found the main door and bought our tickets. We had always used guided tours before but this time we took a chance and planned to explore the palace on our own. And I am glad we did as we had lots of fun and got plenty of time to look around and take photos.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (5)

The Grand Palace of Bangkok has buildings with a beautiful architecture and intricate details. The Grand Palace complex was established in 1782 and it houses not only the royal residence and throne halls, but also a number of government offices as well.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (26) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (27)

For almost 150 years, the Grand Palace was the home of the King and his court, as well as administrative seat of government. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace full time at the start of the twentieth century but the complex remains the seat of power and spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (30)

 As soon as we started our journey, we saw a Nepali handicraft shop. It was so nice to see that shop as I felt good that Nepali handicraft is so popular.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (6)

Within the palace complex, there are several impressive buildings including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which contains the small but very famous and greatly revered Emerald Buddha.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (17)

Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. This highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. The Emerald Buddha is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (18) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (11)

You have to take your shoes off to go inside the Buddha temple and cameras were not allowed. There were lots of people sitting on the marble floor and praying but we just went in, looked around and got out as it was too very busy.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (7) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (12) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (19) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (22)

We spent most of our time exploring the temple complexes surrounding Wat Phra Kaew. I was really impressed by a model of Angkor Wat. Every detail was covered and it looked really impressive.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (9) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (10)

The rich blues and greens, earthy reds and shining gold tiles covering every imaginable surface are stunning and the big balcony with columns that has stone inscriptions, the murals inside which tells the Ramayana epic in its entirety were very impressive. Each gate of the Balcony were guarded by the five-metre tall ‘Yaksa Tavarnbal’ (Gate-keeping Giants), the characters taken from the same epic and looked awesome.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (23)

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (1)

I loved the colours and patterns of the roof which are embellished with polished orange and green tiles, the golden colour everywhere and the pediments which were made of rich marble. The place was really clean despite of so many tourists visiting every day.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (14)

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (13)Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (16)Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (21)Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (8)

On our way out we dropped into the weapons museum inside the Borom Phiman Mansion. It was an interesting collection of weapons and AS was more excited than me, naming the weapons and comparing it to one another.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (29)Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (24)

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (15)

If you have time, you can spend the whole day there but as we had other plans for the evening, we caught a boat back to our hotel.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (25) Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew  (28)

Please click here for more photos.

Our Trip to Thailand Part II

This post is a continuation of my previous post Our Trip to Thailand Part I.

Krabi

Beautiful Krabi

We decided that we also need to do a trip to Krabi since AS’s cousin highly recommended it. As it was more remote that Phi Phi, she said it had even better view.

So we booked our trip through the hotel again. This trip cost us around AUD$80 p/p which also included island visit, snorkelling, lunch, afternoon tea and pick up/ drop off to our hotel.

 As on our previous tours, a van came to pick us up and then picked up a few other people on the way to the port. We were given a sticker and we introduced ourselves. This group was smaller than the one we went to Phi Phi with.

Karbi and Us

It took us more than an hour in the speed boat to reach Krabi but it was all worth it when I saw the magnificent view once we reached there. It was really quiet; only one other tour boat was there with us so I felt like we were in some remote part of the world, far away from civilization.

 We had time to relax and see the place while the lunch was getting ready. We went for a long walk .It was really nice to be with AS after being apart for so long. I got carried away and made a big heart in the sand and wrote A+ M. We had lunch and were off for snorkelling. It was great fun to swim so close to so many beautiful coloured fish.

After that it was a long ride back to the port and then to the hotel. Once we had shower and rested for a while we went for our pampering session. We had massage and I also had manicure and pedicure.  It was great to be able to relax at the end of the day.

 Bangkok

After our splendid stay in Pukhet we took a plane back to Bangkok. In Bangkok we were booked at Chateau de Bangkok. Once we were in the hotel, we were informed that they had upgraded us so we had 1 Bedroom Apartment which had a king-size bed and bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. It was really a great start on our

Our room service

Bangkok trip. That evening we were very tired so decided to order in and rest for our big trips ahead.

We ordered Thai style fried rice and Prawn dish. I loved the way they had our fried rice in pineapple then we enjoyed some movies.

The next morning we had booked a Bangkok City and Temple tour. It is a must if you are in Bangkok as it covers lots of sightseeing and is worth it. Luckily enough , we were alone on this trip so we had the guide to ourselves all the time.

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 entry fee but ours was paid by the tour guide. He explained the history behind the temple and took some photos for us. The Golden Buddha was cast sometime in the 13th century. On the way to the next stop we went around Chinatown.

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 shot 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 with mother-of-pearl soles.

Wat Pho

The guide explained to us there if we want to donate the money, we can buy the coins and put in the bowl around the Buddha. It will bring good luck to us so we did.

While we were leaving for our next stop, on the way we saw many colourful taxis. You can’t believe the colours like pink, purple, yellow, red, etc. The guide explained to us that the colour is company coordinated so people know which cab they are in.

Bangkok

The next stop was Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. It had lots of holy buildings, statues, and pagodas. The Buddha itself was green in colour made out of a single piece of jade.

Then we went to Grand Palace which was built by King Rama VI. It has impressive interiors and big halls with lots of antique furniture.

While we were coming out from the palace, there was a guy with live snake around his neck offering photo opportunity with snake for small amount. AS and both were excited so we had our photo taken with the snake around our neck.

Bangkok Standing Buddha

Our next stop was Wat Benchamabophit (marble temple). It was really nice temple made out of Italian marbles. Our guide told us that the main statue of Lord Buddha sitting in the main hall was the copy of the famous “Phra Buddha Chinarat” in Pitsanulok province, north of Thailand.

Our last stop for the day was Wat Intharawihan (temple of Standing Buddha). The temple has tall standing buddha which is 32 metres tall. This temple also has a statue of Hindu god Brahma.

It was really long and informative day. We again ordered room service and enjoyed some movie.

Floating Market, River Koi and Kanchanaburi

Floating market

Next morning we had a trip book to Floating Market, River Koi and Kanchanaburi. We waited for our van to pick us up to go there early in the morning.

The van took us out of the city and we were in Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi Province, about 105 kms from Bangkok. As soon as we were in the canal area, I saw lots of floating boats some with tourists and some selling colourful souvenirs, fruits and other items. It is a traditional way of selling and buying in Thailand and really nice.

Loving the snake

We were asked to hop on to one of the boats and we had a guide who took us around the 32 km canal. We had some time to look around by our selves once we finished our boat journey. I ended up buying lots of souvenirs like floating boat, a tuk tuk, a hat and a beaded earring.

Then we were back in the van to our next stop River Koi. We headed to Kanchanaburi province. Once there we went to the war museum and there were lots of information about World War II.  Then we went to the bridge over the River Kwai which was built-in World War II.

There we had lunch and visited a few shops. I ended buying a few beautiful brooches.

Up close with the tiger

The last stop was Tiger Temple and it was the highlight of our trip. It is a Buddhist temple where there were many monks, lots of tigers and few other creatures.

For around a few hundred dollars, we were allowed to be up-close and personal with the tigers. It was really unique experience and I was a bit scared but then it was all good as there was a guide with us all the time. I patted the tiger and he didn’t eat me 🙂

Bangkok Taxi

We also saw a cub on the way back and we were allowed to take pictures and pat it. It was a really nice experience.

After coming back from holiday, I did some research about the place and I found lots of negative things . I am still confused on what to believe.

Also if you are going there make sure you wear a covered dress as they will not allow you in otherwise.

By the time we got back to Bangkok both of us were tired and ready for bed.

The next day we went shopping. There were so many shopping malls in Bangkok that you will be overwhelmed with choices. I end up buying a few shoes and so many dresses. AS also bought a few shorts, t-shirts and some other items. We also bought gifts for our family and friends.

I really wanted to shop more but we were meeting AS’s cousin that evening so we went to the hotel to pack up and check out from our hotel.

We met his cousin and his Thai wife. They were really nice and we spent the  last few days with them exploring the local markets and eating traditional Thai food. We also had opportunity to go to AIT (Asian Institute of Technology).

For more photos on Thailand please click here.