Saturday, July 18, 2015

3 DAYS IN THAILAND - Day 3; The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

To say that our one and only day in Bangkok was busy would be an understatement in the least. We saw so many wondrous and beautiful sights, but the most elaborate of all had to be the Wat Phra Kaew or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple is located on the grounds of the Grand Palace which was built in 1782 and occupied by the King until 1932 . 

We took over 200 photos of the Grand Palace and Temple complex. It is so hard to see the detail in these small photos. When you have finished reading the post (and I was very brief because of all the photos) click on the pictures to enlarge them and enjoy the detail of the architecture.
Walking to the Grand Palace grounds and past a side gate.

Our greeting upon entering the grounds.

The temple complex is seen from the grounds entrance.

My first impression was awe. I was in awe of the detail, the opulence and the sheer magnitude of the amount of small intricate handwork on such an immense scale. Darryl said it was magical, "Like Disneyland, only real". 

There are dozens of structure on both the Temple grounds and the Palace Grounds. To read more about the Emerald Buddha I recommend this site. It has a great but brief explanation of the Buddha, it's history, rituals and explanations of the surrounding structures

Above is one of the Golden Stupas and below is one of the Temple Libraries.

Looking at the Royal Pantheon

The front of the Royal Pantheon ( I think)

What looks like tiles on the walls are actually tiny, glittering pieces of glass, ceramic and metals hand placed in mosaics to look like tiles. It was incredible!

Below is the side of the Royal Pantheon.

A small door leading to a private area. The door is really "normal" sized, but compared to everything else it seemed small. The guilt work was beautiful!

The sides of the Royal Pantheon was covered in beautiful blue tiles and each pillar was decorated with tiny mirrors about 1" square in gold and silver.

One of the Guilt covered Stupas, a solid monument built to house a religious relic. 

The base of the Stupa

The beautiful Galleries with murals all along the walls depicting the Ramakien and Thai Life. 

To see the artwork and other up close professional photos of the buildings, tile work and beauty of this place, click here.

The entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Enlarge these pictures and look at the detail in the work on the walls, doors and ceilings.

The Emerald Buddha is a 2ft solid piece of green stone carved into a Buddha in the 14th century. It is the most revered Religious Symbol in all of Thailand.

Mother of  Pearl Inlaid doors made during the First Reign of  Bangkok. The intricacy of this work is breathtaking.

The Bronze Lion Door Guardians made during the Reign of  King Rama I, 1784.

One of the Libraries.

We walked from the Temple complex to the Grand Palace Complex.

The Grand Palace was the residence of the King from 1782 until 1932. Nowadays the Grand Palace is used for important ceremonial occasions and is open to the public for tours.

Unfortunately Darryl and I didn't have time to tour the interior of the palace, but there was enough to see on the exterior to keep us busy.

The main Balcony where the King would often appear to the people.

With the buildings being so magnificent it is hard to notice the grounds and topiaries.

The Receiving porch. The steps end about 4 ft. off the ground because that is the height Palanquin (Litter) that carried the King on the shoulders of 4 or more bearers.

The marble steps going up to the porch.

The ceiling of the porch.

It is hard to imagine the wealth it must have taken to build such grandure.

It was an amazing day full of wonderful sites and unbelievable beauty. I will never forget it and hope to return someday. 
Good-bye to the Wat Phra Kaew and The Grand Palace. 

 We went back to our hotel and caught a train to the Chatuchak Park Market that has over 8000 vendors. They say if you see something you want you had better buy it right then because you will never find the booth if you leave and try to go back. This is the place where Darryl and I saw our first ever huge, Asian Sewer Rat. It was just like a cartoon. He scurried along the bottom of a closed shop with a piece of food wrapper in his mouth and right under the grate where the trough led to the sewer. His body was well over a foot long so from nose to tail I would say close to 20”. Ewwww… I figured I had now seen the real Bangkok!