Monday, November 29, 2010

Loy Krathong

One of the most popular and wonderful festivals in Thailand is this " Loy Krathong Festival ".
It's a Thai traditional event and taken place on the night of full moon in the middle of November every year. This year was on 21st. November.
"Loy" means "to float" and "Krathong" is a lotus-shaped boat decorated with banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks and so on.
This day is really very crowded along the King River.

Even you can see flowers on the swimming pool...

What Pho

This temple is located just in front of Temple of Dawn. You must cross the King River. To do this you could take a taxi or take a ferry. On ferry it takes fewer than 5 minutes. it costs an average of 10 Baths.
To came into the temple you must pay 50 Bth (almost USD 2)
This temple is quite famous due to its Reclining Buddha. It is really a beatiful master piece, its size is 46 meters long and 15 meters high,. Before you came in the temple you can hear the sound of coins wich people fill in vessel.
To came into any Temple you must take off your shoes.

The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.
You can see more pictures of reclining Buddha, Wat Arun, here.  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wat Arun

War Arun also known as the Temple of the Dawn (its name come from Aruna, the Hindu god of the dawn) is one of Bangkok’s most striking landmarks. The temple is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. A temple has occupied the site for hundreds of years, but the name and design of the temple has changed a number of times over those years.

The temple is an architectural reproduction of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. The four corner prang, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforce the symbolism.

Wat Arun is one of the few Bangkok temples predating the Chakri dynasty, the current rulers of Thailand. When general Phya Taksin crowned himself king in 1769, he moved the capital across the Chao Phraya river to Thonburi. Wat Makok temple fell within the area intended for the king's new palace along the riverbank. The young king designated it the royal temple and changed its name to Wat Jaeng—the Temple of Dawn, a name thought to commemorate the founding of the new dynasty. King Taksin treated the monks badly, expelling them so that he could worship privately in the temple.

Monks were allowed to return during the rule of Rama I, the first King of the Chakri dynasty, who disestablished Wat Jaeng as the royal temple when he moved the capital across the river to what it today downtown Bangkok. His successor, Rama II, renamed it Wat Arun Rajtharam and renovated the temple. He planned to raise the central spire (called a prang) beyond its original 16 meters, but he died before the project was realized. His successor, Rama III, completed the project in the years 1842-1847. The prang was raised to an astonishing 67 meters, making it the highest one in Thailand even today (Oriental Architecture).

There are two temple guardian figures in front. Characters from the Hindu epic Ramayana, the white figure is named Sahassateja and the green one is known as Tasakanth.

The entry is on the west side, facing the river.


The central spire it is decorated with hundreds figures. 




The temple is decorated with broken pieces of Chinese porcelain.


Tourists can climb up the central spire halfway, but the stairs are extremely steep.


In the picture: the roof of the grand palace and the King Rama VIII bridge.

Gardens outside the temple.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bangkok by night!

The Golden Mount is a 'must do' destination for many tourists visiting the capital city of Thailand.  This place is located relatively close to democracy monument, Grand Palace and khao san road -a road frequented by backpackers.  So, it is possible to go to those places by walking. Find out more here and here.

Democracy Monument. If you take a bus from the suvarnabhumi international airport to Bangkok city, you will pass by this monument.  This monument -as I stated before- is really close to Golden Mount, khao san road -a road frequented by backpackers.  It is also possible to go to the Grand Palace by walking, there are many interesting things to see on your way to Grand Palace.

A panoramic view of the Grand Palace.  The Grand Palace is both the most important and sacred Buddhist place and the most visited place by tourists passing by Bangkok.  Find out more here and here.

King Rama VIII Bridge is an amazing piece of engineering work. I took this picture from an nice and romantic-environment restaurant located close to the bridge, at the bank of the King River. See more about the bridge here