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Hong Kong: A spiritual abode

india Updated: Jul 20, 2006 16:24 IST
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Bangkok the magnificent capital city of Thailand is more than a duty-free shopping paradise. The place is engulfed in a mystical magnetism through its many temples and heritage that dates back to the early 15th century.

It is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Tourist, especially people from the corporate world love to frequent Bangkok as it provides the best rejuvenation opportunity the world has ever seen.

One can enjoy the serenity of the place during the month of August and December, when the climate is at its best.

Once here feel the peace amidst the many ancient temples that has been in existence since 1782 and here the oldest temple is Wat Phra Kaew which is popularly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.                                 

The temple of the Emerald Buddha

The place is a visual treat that provides an aesthetic spectacle of the Grand Palace surrounded by over 100 brightly coloured buildings, golden spires and glittering mosaics.

The temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most sacred temple which houses the tiny Buddha all of 60 and 75 cms, made in the 15th century.

The uniqueness of the image is that it changes its robe according to the seasons during the summer season it adorn’s a diamond encrusted gold robe, during cool winter it wears a solid gold robe and when it is monsoon it is dressed up in a gilded monk’s robe, thus adding charisma and serenity to its talisman power.

Apart from this the temple houses many other images of Buddha in different postures and a cloister surrounds the temple that depicts an extensive mural of the great Ramakian, the Thai version of the famous Indian mythological story of Ramayana.

The compound of the temple also has some intrinsic dwarf version of the Cambodian temple complex of Angkor Wat.

The other ancient temple that is a must see which inspires the common mind is Wat Pho. It is famous for the huge reclining Buddha statue which is the largest in Bangkok and a star attraction, this holds a distinction of having the most number of images of the divine Buddha.

The exquisite gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 metres long and 15 metres high and was mainly created to narrate Buddha’s journey of life and the ultimate Nirvana.

The feet and eyes of the statue is decorated with mother of pearls that shows of the love, devotion and artistic acumen of the craftsman towards the deity.

The Wat Pho temple houses more than thousand Buddha images in its large grounds which represents the ruins of the former capitals of Ayuthaya and Sukhothai.

Since you are in Wat Pho, do take timeout from the exploration of the temples to indulge on some traditional Thai massage that is highly recommended by the locals and by the rich and famous who have experienced the heavenly pleasure of the foot reflexology massage.

Wat Suwannaram is the other notable temple that should be a must-see destination in any tourist diary, where murals dating back to the times of King Rama III can be seen.

Once here do visit Chinatown and enjoy the urban culture that Bangkok is famous for. Chinatown is presumably the oldest area in Bangkok that has a Chinese twist of affairs to it, and one of the main streets of this area is the Charoen Krung which is famous for its gambling culture.

But apart from its rich heritage a family can enjoy the history of the place by visiting the National Museum which is located in the Na Phara That road.

This fascinating museum exhibits the star inscriptions from the Sukhothai era. Also, one can browse through an impressive display of traditional murals, jewellery, gems and musical instruments that were used through the centuries.

Also, there are other recreational facilities like the amusement parks which are a huge hit with the children.

The Ancient City, Crocodile farm and Dream World spice up the adventure, making the holiday trip, a one big thrilling experience.

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