Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bangkok, Thailand (October 7-8, 2008)

The capital of Thailand since the late 18th century, Bangkok is a loud, crowded, sticky, often smelly and thoroughly exciting city to explore. Those who learn to love the honking horns and the overwhelming heat are rewarded with magnificent temples, colorful markets, delicious food and friendly people.

Swarms of cars, motorcycles (with as many as four people on a single bike), tuk-tuks and bicycles take over Bangkok's crowded streets. Between each massive street block is a maze of "soi" (lanes) lined with small shops, food stalls and apartments with laundry hanging from the windows. Just walking through the city is an adventure in itself, but for those who need a little more speed, a tour on the back of a motorcycle taxi is sure to provide that extra kick!

Wat Po, built in the 16th century, is Bangkok's oldest and largest temple and home to a renowned Thai massage school. Wat Po's Temple of the Reclining Buddha holds the country's largest reclining Buddha at 46m long and 15m high. Illustrating the passing of the Buddha into final nirvana, the impressive figure is finished in gold leaf with mother-of-pearl inlay on the feet and hands.
The enormous golden head of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po
A view of the Reclining Buddha from the bottom of its feet
Families drop good luck coins into a row of bowls at Wat Po
Chedi with blue sky at Wat Po
Another impressive golden Buddha at Wat Po

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