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Thai Buddhas, and a Couple Other Things [Sep. 30th, 2010|07:01 am]
susan smitten

I was going to go with antivert to NYC to see one or both of those TMBG shows on September 26th, but our old friend, Payload Restriction, made that impossible at the last minute. So we went to Bangkok! I go to Bangkok about four to six times a year, which means I've been there maybe twenty-five times, but it was antivert's first time. He loved the shopping (everybody does), and we both loved visiting lots and lots of temples! Here are some of those. This is the first of two (or maybe three) entries. Hope you like it, because there will be more.

The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on Silom Road. This is right by where I stay when I lay over with work, but I never went inside until this trip. Too bad photos aren't permitted inside the temple.

The Wat Traimit temple, and the world's biggest solid gold statue.

It might be about 800 years old. For a couple hundred years, it was covered in plaster, and the gold inside was forgotten.

Walking Buddha.

Even the parts that aren't solid gold are super shiny.

The ordination hall of the same temple.

All the roofs of all the buildings of all the temples are beautiful and different.

Entrance to Chinatown.

Wat Pho, the temple of the Reclining Buddha, and a historic center of Thai medicine.

Another one of those pretty roofs.


There it is! It's 46 meters long, so it's hard to photograph with my wimpy little camera.

We got some other tourists to snap our pictures while we stood near the Buddha's feet.

108 bowls for 108 blessings. Lines of people throwing tiny coins into these bowls makes a delightfully musical sound that echoes through the temple.

Back of Reclining Buddha's head.

Chinese Marco Polo statue.

Lots of little Buddhas and other icons for sale outside Wat Pho. You can see a bigger version, if you want.

Wat Benchamabophit, The Marble Temple. It's built from Italian marble, and has lots of European accents.

Like stained glass!

And a grandfather clock with Buddhist motifs!

These are reproductions of Buddha statues kept around the world, from Cambodia to Pakistan.

[User Picture]From: aniika
2010-09-30 03:26 am (UTC)
awesome post! I'm looking forward to the next ones. :) I've always wanted to visit Thailand... some day!

I love the story of the forgotten gold statue, and the 108 blessing bowls look so charming. My favorite is the photo of all the little statues. Thanks for sharing!
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2010-09-30 03:35 am (UTC)
I thought about trying to record the sound of the blessing bowls, but it wouldn't have come across.

I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed it!
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[User Picture]From: joshdavis
2010-09-30 03:27 am (UTC)


We went to Bangkok and Phuket in 2000. Lots of Wats. Wat Pho and Wat Arun are the main ones I remember. Like your pictures of the giant, gilded, reclining Buddha.

I remember seeing the emaciated Buddha statue in the covered areas around the courtyard too.

Shopping! EEK! Did you guys go to the floating market? I missed out because I wasn't up to it. Plus, there was the very western-hemisphere mall which we didn't like.

Every 3rd taxi wanted to take us to the Gemological Institute (ISO9000) before taking us anywhere else. The drivers got 5L of petrol for each person they droppd off. EEK!

There were also so many motorcycles. It was neat to see them weave forward at the red lights, and then all take off before the cars on green.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2010-09-30 03:43 am (UTC)

Re: Thailand

I remember that you went, but I didn't realize it was so long ago! I lost touch with you between... what, early 2001 to late 2002? And somehow, I thought your Thailand trip was during that period.

Pictures of Wat Arun coming soon. (Poet, didn't know it.)

We didn't do the Floating Market! I wanted to. We were only there for two nights. However, when our boat to Wat Arun detoured into a canal, a guy motored up to us in a teeny boat. He sold Don a Pepsi, and sold a beer to the guy driving our boat, heh.

I loooove the mall, sry2say. I hit it once or twice every time I visit. I got a new tripod. Don got some LED-lighted magnifiers and about 13 Wii games. Notice how I've been to Bangkok twenty or thirty times, but had never been to Wat Pho, Wat Arun, etc? It's because I was always blowing my per diems at the mall!
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[User Picture]From: antivert
2010-10-04 04:44 am (UTC)

Re: Thailand

He actually sold *me* a beer for the driver of our boat! :)
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[User Picture]From: mcgillianaire
2010-09-30 09:15 am (UTC)
Wow, these pictures are amazing!!! I liked the first one the most. I knew there was a heavy presence of North Indian Hindu Gods in Thailand, esp Bangkok but I didn't realise they even had a Mariamman Temple. Only Tamils pray to Mariamman and we usually have one in every village in Tamil Nadu. She's basically a Goddess who fights Small Pox, which ravaged the countryside back in the day.

It's been over 20 years since I last visited Bangkok but one thing I'll never forget is the Floating Market.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2010-10-04 04:38 am (UTC)
a heavy presence of North Indian Hindu Gods in Thailand
I love this idea. :^)
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[User Picture]From: basaferetch
2010-10-02 07:23 am (UTC)

so many colours !

awesome photos.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2010-10-04 04:40 am (UTC)

Re: so many colours !

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing yours when you get back from Syria! (Oh, I have a souvenir of Bangkok for you. Don't let me forget.)
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[User Picture]From: dogsofeternity
2010-11-01 10:09 am (UTC)
I find myself missing you so much at times that I almost fall down and cry. Space-time can be a real bitch at times.
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