THAILAND -BANGKOK

 

BANGKOK THAILAND

Welcome to the Kingdom of Thailand

Thailand is a Kingdom in South East Asia.

Fun Fact: King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been in power since 1946. He guided his people through the tumult that was the second half of the 20th century until today. His death will shake Thailand like nothing has in its modern history, and the Thai military wants to be firmly in charge when that happens. The people love him. 

Imagine that…..A country “loving” its leader.  See original image

So much that they want to show him everywhere, especially with local people when he visits a town or city.

He is on cars, on billboards, in all the stores, all over the airport and  in Hotels etc.  The people like him and they wear shirts saying “long live the king”   in  Thailand.

imageHere we are in front of the many pictures of the King.  There were  lots of cool stuff to see in Bangkok.  It sort of reminded me a little bit of New York city because it is so crowded and there is tons of cars and motorbikes in the streets.  My famliy coughed whenever we were on the streets because the air had tons of car smoke in it.

A lot of nights in Bangkok we went to the night markets.  They sell all sorts of stuff there and everything is really cheep.  They had a lot of “knock off” items.  A knock off item is where they make a jacket and put a company slogan on it like “GAP”.  People might belive its made from the real company and buy it. People sold everything imaginalble:  food, bags, wallets, clothes ect… these markets are different from all the shops in Bali, Indonesia because here everything had a set price and little haggeling.  In Bali, you had to bargain for every single thing and it is such a pain.  Plus in Bangkok no one is screaming at you to by stuff. It’s actually enjoyable. We walked each night at 5:00 and always ate street food here too.  It’s everywhere and its awesome and great prices.  Fruit, juices, chicken, hot dogs, fish, Thai food, waffles, and even bugs. Sawyer had to have his banana and Nutella crepe every day. image our favorite thing was the sliced pineapple in a bag for 50 cents ( 20 Thai baht) the exchange rate is very good for the US dollar.  imageimageimagePhad Thai made on the street for 40 Tahi Baht a plate.  That’s about $1.05  My parents ate this every day!IMG_1534

Mom and dad say that this country has progressed a lot.  They were here 14 years ago and they said that the roads were filled with moter bikes and Tuk Tuk’s .  Now there are more cars, hardly any Tuk-Tuk’s and little haggling for street merchandise.    It’s a very modern city in most parts. High rise buildings, traffic, shopping malls.. There is still the “old city” and most older, historical parts of Bangkok are located along the Chao Phraya RiverIMG_1469See original image

Fun Fact: The Chao Phraya river is called the RIVER OF KINGS because for thousand years every King has traveled the river from up North (where the Old Capital used to be) to the Grand Palace in Bangkok to be Coronated. It is Historical for Thailand. 

The We took the local ferry to visit the sights. Only 13 Thai Baht (about 15 cents per ride). It passes Temples and old neighborhoods and the Grand Palace. This was a nice ride with all local people. Of course, many people starred at us and took photo’s of Sawyer and I, especially the older people, and they still want to “touch” Sawyer on the shoulder and say “handsome boy.” This happens all the time.

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THE RECLINING BUDDAH

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The reclining Buddah was by far the best thing I saw in Bangkok.  In case you don’t know, a reclining Buddah is laying down on its side instead of standing up.  The reclining buddah I saw is the biggest in the world.

The reclining buddah is made out of gold leaf.  gold leaf is almost like a sticker that you stick on to things to make it look like its real gold when its not.  The recling buddah is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sawyer and I got to put gold leaf on to a smaller Buddah in another Temple we visited.

FUN FACT: the reclining buddah in Bangkok is the biggest in the world.  The buddah is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. ( That is 150 feet long and 49 feet high. pretty big right?!)  the reclining buddah in Bangkok is located at the wat pho temple and people still pray to it today. 

I was really amazed at how big the buddah was.  Its ear was bigger then me! speeking of the ear, I noticed that on all the Buddah there ears hang down really low and they have a piecing on it.  the weird part is that I just noticed that now while I was looking al the pictures.  LOL.  IMG_2534

I still don’t know if the reclining Buddah is a boy or girl? I wonder how the ancient people built something so big? Did they climb on top of the Buddah and put the gold leaf on? I also wonder how long it took to build?

FUN FACT: All reclining Buddahs in the  world have the Buddah lying down because it represents the Buddahs last illness before it dies.

FUN FACT: we do not know when the reclining Buddah ws built but resurchers say that it was founded during 1788 and reconstructed by King Rama. 

They said that the buddahs feet are one of the best things.  I did not get to see the feet because it was being reconstructed but I heard it has a bunch of jewels, opals and gems and some drawings of other buddahs. Here is a photo from the internet of the feet.

 Aside from the awesome reclining Buddah, there were other interesting things in the temple of Wat Pho.  The room that the reclining Buddah was in had beautiful paintings on the walls.  Every inch of the wall was painted over and the pictures went up all the way to the ceiling! The paitings had pictures of people and they were incredible with detail.IMG_2545

You can tell that the paintings have been re painted over because the paint looks new.

FUN FACT:  there are 1,000 buddahs in the whole Wat Pho temples.

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The rest of the Wat Pho temple had lots of miniature and large Buddah statues.  there were SO many!!! Most were covered in gold leaf and some were painted over in black and some had gems and more detail.  I wonder why there is so many buddahs? here are some pictures…IMG_2623IMG_2605IMG_2617Can you see Sawyer looking at the black Buddah statues?IMG_2637

IMG_2552Here we are putting coins into the wishing pots in the Temple. IMG_2639Look at all the Jewels…IMG_2641

 

I learned  the reason some of the buddahs have one hand up.  here is the story…

One time there were 2 neighboring towns and they had brothers living in them.  They were both Buddists and honorerd the lord Buddah.   One day the river that they used for water was drying out and there was almost none left.  The 2 towns that were once good friends were now enemies and went to war over the water.  Lord Buddah did not like what he was seeing and he knew that if this continued, one of the towns would be destroyed.  So the Lord Buddah walked on to the battle field and everything stopped.  He said “whats more important,  water or relatives?” He raised his hand, palm facing forward, and the 2 towns decided to share the water.  So, when you see a Buddah statue raising his one hand, it is a symble of peace!IMG_2582

We spent 5 days in Bangkok. We also took a small motor boat  one day to an Island in the River to bike around. Bang Krachao was the Island.  It is referred to as Bangkok’s “Green Lung” because of the scenery.   It was so hot this day, mom felt the heat the worst. The people here live a very simple life compared to the residents of the city. Here is something I found by the NY Times( June 13, 2013 paper) describing Bang Krachao.

Falling coconuts, papaya groves, Buddhist temples, nine-foot-long pythons and miles of bike-friendly elevated sidewalks snaking through the jungle:  Welcome to Bang Krachao, a smog-free, government-protected oasis of green that the mighty Chao Phraya River wraps around.IMG_2666

if you would like to email me feel free to do so at   rileymeckley@yahoo.com