BANGKOK combines the most of the East and the West. Eastern traditions, values and way of life intermingle with the least of effort with the dynamics of a modern city complete with innumerable cell phones and visage of growth. We will see gleaming spires and soaring skyscrapers, all in one view.
Bangkoks more than 400 temples include:
Wat Phra Kaeo, in the compound of the Grand Palace, is a treasure house of Thai arts, and houses the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Three main buildings inside the temple form a glittering scene are the Golden Stupa, enshrining the relics of the Buddha; the Phra Mondop or the Library, housing the Tripitaka or a Buddhist scripture; and the Royal Pantheon which is a pavilion used for keeping statues of deceased kings of Chakri dynasty.
Wat Pho temple neighbors the Grand Palace enclave and contains a gigantic gold plated Reclining Buddha, some 46 meters long and 15 meters high, with beautifully inlaid mother-of-pearl soles. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first center of public education and is sometimes called Thailands first university. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple educated people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation and Thai traditional massage.
Wat Arun also called the Temple of Dawn is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The 79 meter high pagoda is uniquely decorated with
ceramic tiles and fragments of multi-colored porcelain, china crockery salvaged from a freighter.
Wat Mahathat houses the Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the two highest seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand and also offers meditation classes for foreigners.
Wat Suthat took 27 years, during the reigns of the first three kings of the Chakri Dynasty, to complete the construction, and noted for its 19th century murals. The Viharn (preaching hall) should be seen for its collection of gilded Buddha images.
Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) is an artificial hill topped by a gilded pagoda which is 260 feet in height from its base. Begun by King Rama III and completed in the reign of King Rama IV, the golden mount is one of the most celebrated landmarks in Bangkoks old area and offers a panoramic city view from the top.
Wat Ratchanatdaram, home of Loha Prasat, stands 36 meters high with 37 surrounding spires, is the only one of its kind left in the world.
Wat Trai Mit is known for its famous Golden Buddha. The beautiful image of solid gold is three meters high and weighs five and a half tons.
Apart from the temples, cruising the Chao Phraya river and the interweaving canals which made Bangkok the Venice of the East offer a glimpse of
traditional river lifestyle. Complete societies live on the river with all civic amenities such as banks, cafes, post offices, delivery, all on boats of different sizes.