Palaces and Pagodas

After checking out Wat Phra Kaew, it was on to other parts of the compound. The Grand Palace used to be the living quarters to the King, but is now only used for ceremonial purposes. Our tour guide alluded to the fact that the residence was vacated due to a lack of air conditioning. Instead of installing air con, they just built an entirely new palace… totally reasonable. Aside from the roof, the palace is a very classical European design, which is an interesting contrast to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha that is right next door. Like all historical sites in Bangkok, the devil is in the details, so take your time to check out all of the intricate handiwork.

     

Another site you should see is Wat Pho, which is a temple famous for housing the Reclining Buddha. This is located only a ten minute walk from the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. The entrance fee is about 100 baht and for a guided tour about another 200-400 baht. The Reclining Buddha is a massive 46 meters long and is the most popular site within Wat Pho. It is also worth taking a look at the rest of the temple, where you can see hundreds of other gilded Buddhas, beautifully decorated chedis, and even grab a traditional Thai massage as well.

     

If you would like a little luck, you can purchase a bowl of 108 coins. For those who don’t know, 108 is a very important number which refers to the 108 positive actions that led Buddha to perfection. You drop one coin in each bucket all while making a few wishes. Even if they don’t come true, the 108 pennies goes to the monks who are constantly restoring and preserving the temple.

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