Friday, November 8, 2013

Golden Buddha and Other Temples

Today we decided to just explore on foot. We walked from our hotel a few blocks to the river and caught the river taxi (15 baht each, or 50 cents). We got off at N4, the fourth pier north of central station in Krong Tunburi (where we got on). The river taxi is fun, fast, cheap, and easy.

From the pier, we walked for a few minutes through what seemed like an auto parts mecca. If you need your moto fixed, they have the piece you need right there. Our destination was just around a corner: Wat Traimit, or the Temple of the Golden Buddha.

We paid our entrance fee, which was about 2 dollars each which goes to maintaining the site, and went straight up to see the Buddha. It's up a few flights of stairs.

The statue is made of over 5 tons of solid gold and is currently valued at over 240 million dollars! Crazy, right?

The complex is pretty small, so the Golden Buddha is pretty much the only thing to see, other than this cool carving on the first landings up the stairs.

From here, we walked straight up Yaowarat Street, which is Bangkok's Chinatown. It starts with this gate, which is famous enough to merit its own image on our little map. So I'm putting it in the blog.

It was kinda fun to see, but not as cool as New York's or San Francisco's, and definitely not as cool as a hutong.

At the end of Chinatown, we meandered through side streets to see various wats (temples) that are not tourist attractions. These are my favorites. Thailand has so many temples, most with active monks residing in the complexes, and they're free and open to the public, and they're magnificent. The structures and details are ornate and interesting, and everything is so picture worthy. And the best part? There's hardly ever another tourist there. It really allows you to feel how sacred and special the place is, without the commotion and distractions of a herd of people.

Wat Chakrawat

Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchabophit

Wat Ratchapradit

There was a friendly dog in this complex.
*Note: Isa's eye for details and close-ups is way better than mine. Check out her post of much more interesting shots from those temples by clicking here.

Our last stop was Wat Pho, which gets it's own post.

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