Temples, Budda's, Tours, Fortune telling and more!

Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today Shelley and I are up and ready, showered and fed!  We are going to have a full on day of exploring temples, tourist attractions and then something exciting that we have read about!!!

So we take a tuk-tuk and visit the Grand Palace.  On arrival we are greeted by a guy whom says he is the manager.  He informs us that the monks are praying at the moment and so we need to come back in a couple of hours.  When we do we shouldn't buy clothing from any of the shops as they can provide it.... this is because our legs and shoulders are exposed and when entering should be covered!!!

He then arranges a tuk-tuk for 60 baht (local currency) to take us on a tour for 2 hours!!  Our first visit is a temple where the guide tells us all about it, he is interesting and its a nice temple although we are unable to go inside.

Our tuk-tuk driver as part of the price drops us off at various "tourist" shops, a jewellers, a tailor and the main reason for this is each time he does he is presented with a coupon that allows him  to be given some rice to feed his family.   The prime minister brought this is so that everyone benefits.

The tailor is an experience and although it would be a nice thing to do... both Shelley and I are thinking the long term... weight wise and therefore just look.

Our next destination is a jewellers where you can watch them make the jewelery before entering the rather large shop.   I did buy a ring with my birth stone in it which is pretty and a nice reminder of this fab adventure Shelley and I are experiencing.

We then make it back to the Grand Palace... already the shop owners are calling us over to buy shorts, shirts or sarongs so we can cover up... Shelley reminds me that the manger said we didn't have to buy and so we enter the grounds and leave a deposit and can choose a shirt and sarong.... hmmmm both of us are laughing so much people are beginning to stare!!!

The shirt and sarong is well..... look at the pictures!!!  I don't think we will buy anything that looks like this!!!

The Palace served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand (I want to type Leon!) from the 18th century onwards. Construction of the Palace began in 1782, during the reign of King Rama I, when he moved the capital across the river from Thonburi to Bangkok. The Palace has been constantly expanded and many additional structures were added over time. The present King of Thailand, KingBhumiboi Adulyadel, however, resides at the Chitralada Palace.

When King Budda Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) decided to move the capital of Siam from Thonburi on the west to Bangkok on the east of the Chao Phraya river he decided to build a magnificent new palace as a place of residence as well as a centre of government. The area chosen was however occupied by Chinese merchants, whom he promptly asked to relocate (to the present day Yaowarat area).The tower of gold began construction on 6 May 1782.

At first the palace consisted of several wooden buildings surrounded on four sides with a high defensive wall of 1,900 metres in length, which encloses an area of 218,400 square metres. Soon the King ordered the building of the Temple of the Emerald Budda as the Monarch’s personal place of worship and royal temple. Once the palace was complete the King decided to undergo a coronation ceremony to celebrate in 1785.The plan of the Grand Palace followed closely that of the old palace in Ayuttaya.  The Palace is rectangular shaped, with the western side next to a river and the royal temple situated to the east side, with all structures facing north. The palace itself is divided into three quarters: the outer quarters, the middle quarters and the inner quarters.The palace became the centre of the Rattanakosin government and royal court for most of the early Chakro Dynasty until the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who preferred to stay at the Dusit Palace, but still used the Grand Palace as an office and primary place of residence.

This practice was followed by his sons Rama VI and Rama VII who preferred their own palaces. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) moved into the palace full time after his return from abroad in 1945. However after his mysterious death a year later in one of the palaces inside the complex, his brother King Bhumibol Adulyadei (Rama IX) who succeeded him decided to move permanently to the Chitralada Palace. The Palace is however still very much in use; as many royal rituals are performed here by the King every year. Other royal ceremonies celebrated here are coronations; royal funerals, marriages and state banquets.

The palace is beautiful and it nice to see where Royalty live.

From here we took a short drive on another tuk tuk and arrived at the Wat Pho temple, this is one place that I really wanted to see.  A buddist temple.  Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest Wat's in Bangkok (with an area of 50 rai, 80,000 square metres), and is home to more than one thousand Budda images, as well as one of the largest single Buddha images: the Reclining Buddha . The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds bisected by Soi Chetuphon running east–west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found. The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.A reclining bronze Buddha from  Thailand, brought back by local Horsham explorers Charles and Emma Henderson who travelled to the Far East in the 1880s and 1890s,  is displayed in the Ethnography gallery in Horsham Museum back in the UK where I live!!!!  Maybe that's why I was so drawn to it!!

The temple is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue it houses. At 20 acres large, it is the largest Wat in Bangkok, and is technically the oldest too, as it was built around 200 years before Bangkok became Thailand's capital. However, today the Wat today bears virtually no resemblance to that originally constructed, as it was almost entirely rebuilt by Rama I when the capital was moved to Bangkok. It holds the dual honors of having both Thailand's largest reclining Buddha image and the most number of Buddha images in Thailand. The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.

I think only when you stand next to it do you realise just how big it is!!

Within the grounds there are many areas under restoration including roof tiles which for a small fee you can write on, a fab thing to do where Shelley and I added our little mark... so forever in Thailand we will be!!!!

Since Shelley and I were last together in the USA we visited a psychic in New Orleans and we both wanted to visit one again here.  We had read an article by a guy whom had visited three psychics here in Thailand and all 3 had said one of the same thing to him but he felt that the best was the one that Shelley and I were about to see.

OMG all I can say is we were both amazed at the accuracy and Shelley was even moved to tears!  The guy was just amazing.  We had another guy who was translating for us. He started off the reading by our birth date and the information just from this was outstanding.  He then read our palms (with a magnifying glass) and then a tarot card reading.

What can I say?!!  Some things are quite personal and I cant share but the other bits included him telling me I'm a very independent person... charming, and people are drawn to me and open up to me.  He said that I was strong minded and work best on my own particularly in my own business.  He said I was going to be a millionaire and famous world-wide and that everyone will know who I am.  That I would marry a successful independent handsome tall man who will support me and we would have 2 children (Hmmmm sounds like my man in Bali!!  Hope this bit is not true!!) 

He said I was very young looking and would look young all my life and that I am Miss Universe very pretty. 

The feeling this guy gives you is like nothing we have ever experienced before..  feeling high we left and made our way back to the hotel where we got ready for dinner and a visit to the Sky Bar.

The sky bar is just magical, it overlooks the city and is an open air bar on the 63rd floor... it just oozes luxury and star quality. 

A lovely ending to an amazing day......

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