Bangkok Temples & Palaces

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Kalboz, Sep 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Wat Traimit
    Housed safely in this unassuming Chinatown temple is the world's largest solid gold Buddha. Weighting 5 1/2 tons and standing over three metres high, its worth has been estimated at over USD 10 million.
    Address: 66 Hua Lamphong, Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok,
    Phone: +66 2 623 1226
    Hours: Daily from 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Wat Leng Noei Yi)
    Built in the 1870s as a Mahayana Buddhist temple in southern Chinese style, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat will come as a surprise compared to other Thai temples. Enter down a passageway from Chareon Krung Road and into a large courtyard. There, you'll find a shrine and a furnace for burning offerings. The temple buildings are made of wood and brick, with terracotta roof tiles and carved dragons creeping along the tops. Inside are altars to Buddha and Taoist deities. It is always busy with people making offerings and looking for good luck, and redolent with the smell and smoke of joss sticks.
    Address: Chareon Krung Road Bangkok, 10100
    Hours: Daily from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Wat Intharawihan​
    This temple holds the famous Luangpor Toh-the Buddha image standing on a lotus-petal base, with an alms bowl in his hands, blessing all beings. The statue stands 32 meters in height and 11 meters in width. The striking gold-colored image was built in 1867, during the reign of King Rama IV of the Chakri Dynasty of Bangkok. Other attractions in Wat Intrarawihan, the commoner's temple, include a meditation building, the Hall of Buddha images, the Hall of the 12-year cycle guardian angel, and the Ubosatha Hall, which houses a museum of ancient Buddha images, antiques and porcelain.
    Address: 114 Wisutkasat Road, Bangkok
    Phone: +66 2 628 5550
    Hours: Daily from 08:30 AM to 08:00 PM
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  1. NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Ah, someone else who seems to share my fascination for Temples, Shrines, Palaces & Buddhas! The last one I saw (twice because it's so great) and one of the truly awesome structures that exist is "Todaiji" in Nara, Japan (next to Kyoto). It is the largest purely wooden structure in the world that is the home of the largest Buddha statue in the world.

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    I will be in BKK in January, so thanks for whetting my appetite!
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    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    So the golden Buddha isn't in the Chinese temple next to the hospital on the way from the ROS to Chinatown? I'll have to find this!
    Kalboz likes this.
  2. Federicoita Silver Member

    Wat Pah Nanachat
    Bahn Bung Wai
    Warin Chamrab
    Ubon Rachathani 34310

    I am glad that the Honourable Kalboz has started a thread on Temples because, to me, they are a wonderful example of what amounts to a fascinating blend consisting of artistry, culture and strong community spirit. They are also very special sanctuaries providing shelter and respite to all and in particular the most vulnerable.

    This also brings me back to my very first expedition to Thailand. I was very naive and unprepared at the time and I thought that a short stay at the Wat Pah Nanachat, a Buddhist monastery in Northeast Thailand, in the Theravada Forest Tradition would be just the ticket.

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    Wat Pah Nanachat, it is nowhere near Nana BTS and chatting is a definetely a na na.

    Wat Pah Nanachat had been established in 1975 by the venerable Ajahn Chah as a branch monastery close to his own traditional forest monastery of Wat Nong Pah Pong, roughly 15 miles from Ubon Ratchathani.

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    The monastery aimed to provide English-speaking people the opportunity to train and practise the ancient lifestyle that the Buddha taught his monks in the forests over 2500 years ago. I thought that here I would learn how to quieten my mind.

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    For the uninitiated (like I was) eating and drinking while squatting can prove a challenge. Whoever came out with the idea of tables and chairs must have been a restaurateur.

    Alas, I failed miserably and after three days I decide to leave as it was not for me.

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    Please, do not get me wrong. I have the outmost respect for temples, monks and Buddhism and I would not joke about any of those but it turns out that I seem to have a mind for detail and while I can put up with being silent, with chanting, with the early rise and the one meal a day and the afternoon drink, I simply have far too many questions frequently popping in my mind with the same intensity of a popcorn machine turned on full power and, thus, I am afraid to say that it was not rocket science for me to decide that I would not prepare for ordination.

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    To have stayed as an eight-precept layperson for about one month with a view to become a white-robed postulant (anagarika, a 'homeless-one', in Thai known as a 'pa-kow') would have been near to impossible for me.

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    However, there are those more mentally robust fellows that can make a formal commitment to the eight precepts, and begin to train in the general monastic rules. After about four to six months, they proceed to request the Going Forth (pabbajja) as a novice (samanera).

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    Novices wear the same saffron robes as the monks and train in almost the same ways as the monks, but their explicit code of rules is much smaller and less detailed. At Wat Pah Nanachat novices start studying the monks rules, and also acquire various basic skills of monastic life such as chanting and making robes and other requisites.

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    Had I stayed longer than three days I would have had to shave my head and eyebrows. There was no charge for visiting or staying at Wat Pah Nanachat but donations could be made. Electronic gadgets like mobile phones, portable computers, cameras, were locked away in the monastery safe. However, I was able to take a few photos before leaving.

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    To feel "Bien dans sa peau" and mine is in shirt and trousers by the looks of it

    It was not a wasted three day experience, however, and I did have the opportunity to learn about the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path as well as the Law of Kamma and despite being a Roman Catholic I have retained a good impression of this non-theistic religion that is Buddhism and which does not worship a God and I seem to have a better understanding for Buddhism is realistic in that it faces up to life's many imperfections, and optimistic in that it offers a practical solution: enlightenment, or at least piece of mind, in this very life.

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    Normally on my last day I look less happy but on this occasion this did not seem to be the case. I accept, though, that it was down to me to adapt and my comments are not intended in a disrespectful way.

    To these days, I remain appreciative of the temples that I have had the good fortunes to visit and I continue to read a little on Buddhism.

    Love and light to you all
    Giorgio Federico
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  3. Federicoita Silver Member

    Wat Tang Sai
    Bankrut

    When I want to escape Bangkok, one of my favourite destinations is Prachuap Khiri Khan. The province’s name means the ‘land of many mountains” and although the mountains are not higher than 1,500 metres, it is true to its name. The coast is dotted with pretty fishing villages and this temple is located at the north end of Ban Krut beach on Thongchai Mountain near Ban Krut.

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    This is without doubt a superbly developed site dedicated to the King and Queen of Thailand, very popular with Thai tourists. Although it is not well known to foreigners other than those staying in the vicinity, it is, nevertheless, a magnificent temple.

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    You can find Wat Tang Sai temple by looking up for a large sitting golden Buddha which is visible from far away. The Buddha’s face is directed straight into the Gulf of Thailand and it greets the sunrise every morning with blissful tranquillity and golden shine.

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    Behind the Buddha are two beautiful sculptures of Thai giant demon guardians, in Thai called “Yak” – these are characters from the Ramakien Thai national epic tales.

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    Although in the West we tend to associate world demons with evil, these giants are a force of good power often guarding religious sites and temples.

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    Wat Tang Sai temple complex is called Pramahatart Chedi Pakdepragard. This name was chosen by the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhunibol Adulyadej.

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    The construction of the Pagoda started in 1996 to honor 50 years reign of the King.

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    The name of the temple means the cremated bone relic of the Lord Buddha and the life of the King of Thailand who is very much loved and respected by Thai people.

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    On the roof there are 9 small pagodas, one main pagoda in the middle and 8 small pagodas around, which represent the current King, His Majesty King Rama IX.

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    My words cannot express the beauty that opens up from the top of this temple.

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    It is pretty as a picture and at first sight I thought I was in a dream because from this viewpoint Bankrut suddenly becomes a mesmerizing fairy tale place with green hills, yellow sand and blue sea as far as the eyes can see.

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    To get to Wat Tang Sai you can take Highway 4 from the North or South then route 1029 from the North or route 1050 from the South and head for Ban Krut, you can’t miss the site once you reach Ban Krut.

    Giorgio Federico
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    No, it is housed in a newly-built temple (2010) near Chinatown's Odean Gate
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  4. Federicoita Silver Member

    Wat Rong Khun
    Chiang Rai

    Located about 15 kms outside the city of Chiang Rai on highway #1, this white temple is an outstanding and wonderful creation, the brain child of Chalermchai Kositpipat. If you do not have your own transport then you can hop on a public songteaws and alight at the temple.

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    It is an ongoing project, which started at the end of last century and it is expected to be completed by 2070. The artist refers to it as an offering to Lord Buddha and his beloved country. He continues to puts his religious belief and desire to enrich Buddhism in Thailand into his contemporary art design...well that is what he told me.

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    The artist (on the left) meets another international celebrity...it was a little embarrassing when he asked me for an autograph!!

    Khun Chalermchai wishes Wat Rong Khun to become a learning and meditation centre for people to practice Dharma.

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    There are no entrance fees to visit Wat Rong Khun but donations are always accepted which will contribute to the ongoing construction costs.

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    As you walk over the long bridge, you cannot fail to notice the sculpture of reaching arms, symbolising desire.

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    You then enter the temple where instead of the traditional Buddha life scenarios, the artist has painted contemporary scenes representing samsara (the realm of rebirth and delusion).

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    There also images such as a plane smashing into the Twin Towers and, oddly enough, Keanu Reeves as Neo from The Matrix...Neo from the Matrix?? Are you serious?

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    The toilets are finished in gold to trick the casual visitor into thinking they are looking at something more important than the temple itself...and they are free!!

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    Midway upon the journey of our life
    I found myself within a forest dark
    For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Canto I, Inferno

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    I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
    So full was I of slumber at the moment
    In which I had abandoned the true way. Canto I, Inferno

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    Through me the way is to the city dolent;
    Through me the way it to eternal dole;
    Through me the way among the people lost. Canto III, Inferno

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    Before me there were no created things,
    Only eterne and I eternal last.
    All hope abandon, ye who enter in! Canto III, Inferno

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    That is the lowest region and the darkest,
    And farthest from the heaven which circles all.
    Well know I the way; therefore be reassured. Canto IX Inferno

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    Upon the margin of a lofty bank
    Which great rocks broken in a circle made,
    We came upon a still more cruel throng. Canto XI, Inferno

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    The place where to descend the bank we came
    Was alpine, and from what was there, moreover.
    Of such a kind every eye would shun it. Canto XII, Inferno

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    The margins were incrusted with a mould
    By exhalation from below, that sticks there,
    And with the eyes and nostrils wages war. Canto XVIII Inferno

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    And she there, who is covering up her breasts,
    Which thou beholdest not, with loosened tresses,
    And on that side has all the hairy skin. Canto XX Inferno

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    When he who all the world illuminates
    Out of our hemisphere so far descends
    That on all sides the daylight is consumed. Canto XX Paradiso

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    Silence imposed upon that dulcet lyre,
    And quieted the consecrated chords,
    That Heaven's right hand doth tighten and relax. Canto XV, Paradiso

    Selected Terzine from La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri

    Giorgio Federico
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    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Wow - from a distance it looks beautiful, but up close I think it would give me nightmares for days!
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    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Now I think I saw it from across the street and didn't realize I could go inside. Would I have seen it on the right side walking from the ROS to chinatown just around the Gate?
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    You are so strong ... that's a long walk!
    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    The temple is short walk away from the Hualampong MRT station:
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    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Okay that's the one I saw- next time I'll cross the road and investigate. Thanks
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    My good friend Cindy @worldtraveller2 just visited Thailand and has an extensive look at Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) in Bangkok with some great photos: http://www.pointsandtravel.com/temple-dawn-bangkok-thailand/
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  5. cc1972 Silver Member

    Beautiful temples... but I have to admit that the reaching arms are a bit creepy.
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    • Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Modeled after Dante's Inferno!
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  6. NYCUA1K Gold Member

    As it turns out, I just arrived in BKK yesterday, after 5 days in Bali, and it all feels like the Purgatory!;)
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    • Original Member

    worldtraveller2 Silver Member

    Kalboz, thank you so much for mentioning my post regarding the Temple of Dawn. You are my inspiration for going to Thailand and I am very grateful for that!

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