Friday, August 19, 2011

The rain won’t stop us now

Day 67: Group templing in the rain

We allotted today to walk around and see the sites around Bangkok, so we started up in the morning and walked to our first stop: the Jade Buddha and the Royal Palace. The grounds of the temple were majestic, and everywhere you looked, there was beautiful traditional architecture to see. Inside the main temple, we saw the Jade Buddha, which is actually called the Emerald Buddha because it was originally thought to be made of emerald instead of its actual jadeite. The Royal Palace was nice, but we weren’t allowed to go inside because a funeral was going on, so we only saw it from the outside. It was raining while we were there – the first time it has rained on our trip when we were doing an activity (we secretly blame Kyung for this, since our luck has been really good so far)!

After this, we walked over to the next temple, where a man suggested we go visit two other temples first. So we took his suggestion and went to see a few other Buddhist temples in town, which were quite nice. One of the temples was quiet and peaceful, without the throngs of tourists, and held a beautiful white marble Buddha, which we were happy to have seen. Our tuktuk driver asked if he could bring us to a few shops for foreigners, where if we purchased something, he would get a commission. We obliged, though we didn’t buy anything so unfortunately, he didn’t get anything either.

On our way back to town, it started pouring heavily, so we sat down for lunch at a restaurant across from our next stop, and had a little break. When the rain subsided a bit, we walked over to a temple with an enormous Reclining Buddha. It was huge and just magnificent. We walked around the temple grounds, where all the inner and outer walls were lined with tons of Buddha statues everywhere. It was quite the sight! So far, the temples in Thailand have been beautiful, especially compared to Bali, mainly because we could actually see the statues!

By the time we were done, the temples had all closed so we walked back to our hotel and tried to plan the rest of our stay here. After a short rest, we walked around the market in our area, had dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel, and just enjoyed being in the centre of all the action.
 Statues along the edge of the temple

Jade Buddha

Marble Buddha

 Reclining Buddha

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