Friday, 6 January 2017

Sunday 24th July 2016 (Bangkok Day 2)

We had a great breakfast at the hotel again - this is the dessert part of my breakfast! The blue rice and fried coconut stuff was lovely!

Gorgeous coloured lychee juice in the hotel reception.

The kids next to the pool area.
We spent the morning in the pool again, before heading out.

Hotel foyer.

Harry matching the taxi in his new T-shirt!
We got two taxis and went to Wat Pho, a big Bhuddist Temple complex across town.

Before going into Wat Pho, we got some street food.

Coconut ice cream in fresh coconut halves, with scrapings of coconut and peanuts! Yum! 40p!

Some passing Buddhist monks.

We also got some chicken on skewers.

We then went into Wat Pho. It was very hot still, but we wore long trousers, as that is expected attire for the Bangkok temples.
The temple site is one of Bankok's largest and oldest, dating from the 1700's. The complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand (over 1000), including a 46m long reclining Buddha. It's considered the earliest centre for public education in Thailand, and it's known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, which is still taught here.

We took our shoes off, and went in to see the reclining Buddha first. The chapel and Buddha were built in 1832, and it represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The figure has a brick core, which was modeled with plaster, then gilded.
I loved the intricately painted walls too.

Along one wall was a series of metal pots in which to put coins. You bought a pot of coins, and the boys took delight in not evenly distributing their coins!

A sock selfie!

Beautiful chedis (the Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn) which are dedicated to the first four kings of the Chakri dynasty (the current ruling house of the Kingdom of Thailand). I love the ceramic flower details all over them!

Buddha images in the cloister.

There were lots of smaller chedis dotted around the complex too, containing the ashes of members of the royal family. The building in the picture is a Medicine Pavilion

Stone ball carved into the dragon's mouth!

The Cryer Family shoe rack!

We went into this building for part of a ceremony led by the Buddhist monk on the left. It's the Phra Ubosot and is the ordination hall - the main hall used for performing Buddhist rituals, and the most sacred building of the complex. It was dedicated in 1791. The building is raised on a marble platform, and inside is a gold and crystal pedestal with a Buddha, over which is a nine-tired umbrella representing the authority of Thailand.

There were plenty of classes being taught by monks, throughout the complex.

This building is Phra Mondrop, it's the Scripture Hall, containing a small library of Buddhist scripture inscribed on palm leaves. In the niches beside the gate are figures of giants called Yak Wat Pho, which guard the entrance.

The large building below contains the reclining Buddha.
We had a really good wander round the complex - it was just so different from the architecture we usually see, and so colourful. It was also very hot and humid!

Next we walked a little way to the Chao Phraya River, to get a river taxi to another temple complex on the other side.
Typical mishmash of buildings and stalls on the way.

We walked through a shopping area on stilts over the river, to get to the taxi.

Harry with another coconut ice cream, waiting to get on the boat.

Going across the river with a view of where we just came from.

We got off the boat and were immediately at the entrance of the Wat Arun temple complex, dating from the 1600's.
The front entrance of the 'Ordination Hall', with its two demons - or temple guardians.

I don't know what this building was called, but I've now named it 'The Laura Ashley Temple'.

I just loved the mix of crazy over the top gold and jewels, along with the pretty painted florals!

Tom seemed to have acquired some sunglasses!

More cool kids...

And their not-so-cool father...

Wat Arun was relatively quiet, and we had fun walking through the separate temple areas, which were surrounded by cloisters, stone and marble statues, big stone pots with water lilies, and golden Buddhas.
This guy was doing some lovely wood carving.

A delightful Snapchat from Lucy!

Jack face-swapping with a statue!

The large central 'prang' had scaffolding around it when we were there. It symbolises Mount Meru of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, which is considered to be the centre of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes.

There was also lots of Chinese influence at Wat Arun.

We watched the river for a bit before getting the water taxi back.

We could see the roofs of the Royal Palace across the river, which is now part of the Royal Thai Navy headquarters grounds.

Going back up the rickety wooden gang plank.

Scott negotiating taxi fares back to the hotel!

This is pretty typical of driving through Bangkok - lots of wires!

We then headed out for a walk to the nearby shopping centre for tea. This is the junction just down from our hotel.

We got KFC, had ice creams for pudding from a little stall, had fun looking at all the products in Tesco Lotus ( - finally managed to find some new socks for Harry. No luck with any underpants yet though!), then all spent time choosing pens in an awesome stationary shop!!

Back at the hotel the kids immediately hit the pool, and I went for a 15 minute hand and arm massage in the hotel spa.

Waiting for my massage.

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