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April 2009
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Bangkok

I had to go to Bangkok for a day of meetings and since we had never been there, Tanya and I decided to spend the weekend there before my Monday of meetings. These are all photos from Sunday. We found a parade forming on the street just outside our hotel and then went to visit some of the most famous sites of Bangkok.

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We took the elevated train to a boat station and a boat down the Chao Phraya River. It’s quite a scenic ride, between other boats of all descriptions and temples along the shore.

Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Kanlayanamit

Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn

Long-Tail Boat

Long-Tail Boat

When we got off the boat, we took a taxi to Wat Traimit to see the Golden Buddha. This temple was constructed especially to house the Golden Buddha after it was revealed in 1957. The Buddha is almost ten feel tall and reportedly weights more than five tons and is made of solid gold. It really is quite impressive and we sat there for maybe a half hour just drinking in the atmosphere.

The recent history of the statue is quite interesting, too. It is believed to be 900 years old, but its early history is really unknown. It was apparently covered in plaster to hide its value when the Burmese sacked the city of Ayutthaya, then the capital of what is now Thailand. Obviously, the ruse worked, since everyone forgot about the inner Buddha until they attempted to move it to Bangkok in 1957. If fell, the plaster cracked, and the gold shone forth.

The Golden Buddha in Wat Traimit

The Golden Buddha in Wat Traimit

And for good measure, me with the Golden Buddha, too

And for good measure, me with the Golden Buddha, too

After the Golden Buddha, we went back to the riverside to the Royal Palace, and Wat Phra Kaew, where the Emerald Buddha is kept. It’s a very impressive complex, and we wandered around there for several hours, despite the blazing mid-day sun.

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew

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