Published: May 24th 2012May 23rd 2012
Glitter, gold, and glam
was not what I was expecting when I first saw the temples of Thailand, but, compared to Japanese temples, these are bedazzled. They are almost over the top, until you realize, hey, that's just how they do it here. I must say that Japense temples are mostly wooden structures, extremely old, and they are constructed in the most sensible fashion. But Thailand, man!! The colors, the glitz, the sparkle-- I felt conflicted whether I wanted to pray or have a dance party in some of these places.
Reasons behind it? I have no idea. I tried to research "bedazzled temples" and the search results on google were not promising. All I can say is that they were beautiful. Most of the temples are called "Wat____" (insert name after Wat). A wat is technically a place that has monks' quarters, a main temple, a different temple that houses an actual Buddha or an image of Buddha, and a room/building for school lessons for the monks. Most of the signs you see will say "Wat Pho" or "Wat Doi Suthep" (pictured in one of the photos here.)
While I was surprised by the alarmingly glittery and sparkly
Gold Headed Lion
Wat Phra Singh on the west inside of the gated city, about a 20-minute (1.5km) walk west from Montrara Happy House.
temples, the colors were absolutely amazing. The contrast between the dazzling temple and the somber monks' quarters was quite interesting; the images of the monks' drab orange robes hanging over the balcony from behind a ostentatious temple is one I will remember forever.
The best thing about these temples/wats? You don't have to look very hard to find them. It seemed like every street boasted an impressive assortment of old and new structures, all open to the public and free to wander around. The peaceful, contemplative atmosphere is found regardless of which one you enter, regardless of your own personal beliefs or faith.
There are more photos below