>Travel Pictures



Wat Pho temple

The first temple complex we visited, Wat Pho,  was about as overwhelming as they get. Passing through massive gates, we came upon statue-guards keeping a watchful eye on everything. The feel of the entire pavilion was much more "Chinese" than we'd expected, but definitely makes sense given the mix of culture and conquest that has marked the region. Even the Western top hat is represented on one of the statues - according to our information it is supposed to be Marco Polo!

The tile work was fantastic - little glazed pieces are cemented together for almost a "mosaic" look.

The pointy steeples contrasted with the greenery of the gardens and the serene yoga poses on the statues scattered around.

Every building and tower was covered with the ornamentation - and the grounds were huge - so we were stunned by the sheer effort that had obviously be expended in creating the setting.

Buddhism and Hinduism were both well represented at the shrines, although the overwhelming motif was the Buddha.
The kids had a great time running and climbing and exploring - just having open space was a thrill. The temperatures were perfect, and so it was a joy just to wander and see what was around every corner.

Of course, they did get a little upset when the guardian lions bit them...

But the scale of everything was overwhelming. We kept coming to "just one more garden" that took us back into a whole new compound.

With gorgeous ornamentation and groups of monks wandering around, the hues and colors almost stung our eyes.

We had a great time exploring the area - and being both a little silly and a little serious. Mom and the kids took careful heed of the pickpocket warning, and the kids put coins in the pots that ringed the room for the resident monks.

The centerpiece of the temple's collection is an enormous reclining Buddha. This is a motif that we hadn't seen before - but as we continued our travels around Thailand we came across it numerous times. This, however, was absolutely the largest (I believe the biggest in the country, if not the world).

Just for a frame of reference - a person's head will typically come to the bottom or middle of the toe above the red sign - so you can see how tall the feet are and how long the entire building is!  For the mathematically inclined, that's 46 meters long and 15 meters high! 

Wandering out we shook our heads at our good fortune to have come here...
Bangkok: Welcome to the big city - Up and down the river - Amulet market - Wat Pho temple - Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew - Wat Arun - Interesting shopping opportunities
Chiang Mai: Around town - Night Market - Traditional crafts - Doi Suthep - Hiking, rafting, and riding an elephant - Villagers - A day at the zoo
Krabi: beach and surroundings

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