From Wikipedia: A wat is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Thailand or Laos. The word "wat" (Thai ÇÑ´😉 means "school." Strictly speaking a wat is a Buddhist sacred precinct with monks' quarters , the temple proper, an edifice housing a large image of Buddha, and a structure for lessons. The term is frequently used more loosely, even for ruins of ancient temples. --------------------------------- So for the first few days I was in Bangkok I chilled at my hotel. It had a great restaurant, good internet connection and a bunch of pool tables. I went sight seeing a little (May 7-9) but only a little and only in the evenings.
Here are photos of three of the temples I went to see Wat Suthat, Wat Intharawihan & Wat Po. I visited them all again in the daytime, you can see those pics in another entry. Bangkok has over 700 Buddhist temples, I saw about 8 of them. These were the ones I picked out of the lot, they are all famous for something and most are in close approximation to the Kings Palace which affords them a little more grandeur than the local neighborhood temples throughout the city.
for the huge red swing outside. The swing was used in ceremonies, but was taken down because of so many injuries. The structure that held the swing is still there though. When I visited this temple there was a service in progress. I stood in the back for a while, but then I found a seat and joined in staying for the rest of the service. Really beautiful temple. Here is more info on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Suthat
Wat Intharawihan has one of the more impressive Buddha images in it, er rather outside it. It's huge and though it isn't detailed and made with as much skill as many of the other Buddhas, the sheer size of it is really impressive. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/thailand/bangkok/
Wat Po is the biggest temple I've ever been to, it just keeps going and going. You walk around a corner and there is another football field sized area to tour. There are a whole bunch of different buildings, housing all kinds of different relics. I visited the Temple and the big reclining Buddha statue on these ground another day, but this day I saw a funeral service and walked through all the million (ok dozens) of stupas all over the grounds.
I've decided to use TravelPOD instead of this site for my blog. Sorry!
Here is the link to the active blog I'm using for Asia '08:
Former TravelPod Member: suzettesp
Joined: January 4th, 2008From: Massachusetts lives in New York,United StatesProfession: Internet Software Project Manager... full info
Wat Po - A funeral serviceNearing the end of the service the family gathered for this portrait. You can see the photo of the woman who passed on an easel in the center of the group.
After the portrait they all gathered on the other side of the temple and had a little bonfire of symbolic items all made out of tissue paper. I'm guessing that they are sort of things for her to take with her. They had a life-sized fridge made from tissue paper, a microwave, a vanity table, amongst other things. Also there were a few hundred envelopes made from tissue paper that were added at the end, I'm guessing that they contained some sort of written prayer to assist her in her travel. I took a video of the fire, I'll upload it when I can (probably in a few months when I get home)
Wat IntharawihanThe 32-meter (100-foot) standing Buddha of Wat Indrawiharn used to be visible from just about any place in the old city. Now its hidden behind the new buildings from Thailand's boom years. I visited it again in the day, but here are the night shots for now.
View of Bangkok from The Baiyoke Tower IIThis is the countries tallest building and has a restaurant and a lounge at the top. I went there with some folks from my hostel one night for drinks and we totally found ourselves in 'Lost in Translation' complete with the bad band trying to cover Western songs.
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baiyoke_Tower_II