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May 5, 2012

Bangkok: The Temples


Wat Arun Rajwararam (“Temple of Dawn”)

Finding temples in Bangkok is not hard.  Situated on the  Chao Phraya River’s flat flood plain, Bangkok’s horizon line is mostly defined by its buildings.  Modern steel and glass structures identify the modern business district.  Further north along the river, large temples become the local landmarks.  The temples are perhaps the easiest to find tourist attractions in Bangkok.  For us, staying near Wat Pho, Bangkok’s temples were also the easiest attractions to visit.

Bangkok’s temples share common features; a central temple spire or prang symbolizing mythical Mount Meru is commonly surrounded by four smaller towers.  The style emphasizes repeating patterns and symmetry.  But beyond the common motifs, the details vary.  Every temple is different.   Some temples are ornate to the edge of being gaudy while others have a clean and peaceful style.  Each temple in Bangkok warrants its own exploration.  Each temple warrants its own discovery.

After a few days in Bangkok we viewed each new temple we saw as a mystery waiting to be unraveled.  Invariably at each temple we’d see another unseen shrine a few blocks away.  What lies within the next temple’s walls?  We had to walk over to find out.

Working our way from temple to temple we hopscotched through Bangkok’s busy streets.  We were driven on by the lure of the next religious structure that appeared within our view.  This wasn’t the way we planned to see the city but perhaps we should have.  An inadvertent temple tour is a good way to see Bangkok!

———————

On our random walk temple tour we found a Space Invader.  We had forgotten to check Invader’s site to see if Bangkok was invaded before we left.  As a result of the Invader find near the Giant Swing we rejoined our international search further for Space Invaders but only found one more.  Bangkok is a hard place to find the mosaic tile Space Invaders!

A Space Invader spotted near the Giant Swing

Wat Arun Rajwararam or the Temple of Dawn viewed from the Chao Phraya River

Steep stairs

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1 Comment »

  1. For my blog I take pics with a small Jenoptik camera. It is marvellous how clear and sharp your pictures come out. Also you have a very good eye to catch interesting angles. Super!

    Comment by broboniface — May 6, 2012 @ 8:42 am


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