Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It is most definitely Grand.

Bangkok's Grand Palace is a jaw-dropping, fairytale-like complex of ornate temples and chedis, buddha statues, and manicured trees. It's no wonder it draws a crowd. And when I say crowd, I mean camera-toting tourists by the busload pouring through the gates. I would guess about 2000 per hour, easy. It's incredible.

Every inch of every towering chedi and buddha-housing wat is encrusted with colourful ceramic, glass, or gold tiles, and the effect is mesmerizing. From a distance what might appear as a uniform tone is actually a quilt of colours and textures up close.

For much of it's life, the Emerald Buddha had been encased in protective plaster; it wasn't until a fall in the 15th century, that it's emerald statue was revealed. And now, the relatively small buddha (just 66cm high), sits high atop a magnificently ornamented and brilliantly gold alter, rising nearly to the roof of the temple that surrounds it.

On the palace grounds is a new museum built by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, dedicated to the preservation of Thailand's textile arts. It has some fascinating exhibits about the role and production of silk, and the Queen's journey around Thailand to find samples and artists to keep this important cultural tradition alive.

Near the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, known for the massive reclining buddha that seems too big for the temple he lives in. At 46 m long, and 15 m high, this giant makes the Emerald Buddha look especially tiny!


  1. Your pictures and tales are blowing my mind! I love to see the up close textures and the distance shots too - that's just what I would do, so I feel even closer to the action. I wish you could take a photo of the smells! :)


    1. :) You would love it here, SV! There is so much see, and then see closer, and closer, to fully appreciate. Things aren't what they seem at first. And yes, once they perfect smellovision, I'll be sure to send some scents your way!