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Bangkok's Grand Palace


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Overview

The Grand Palace Complex is the must see place when you go to Bangkok. Claire and I saw it on our last trip and it still is as impressive as it was 33 years ago.

The complex is a large walled area of downtown Bangkok which houses the King's Palace, a number of administrative buildings, plus the Wat Phra Kaew, a separate temple complex enclosed by its own wall. This is the place everyone comes to see and photograph... even Buddhist monks.

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In this complex, all the buildings are in close proximity, so any shot of one, often includes others as well... but what may look chaotic in pictures looks beautiful in real life. In the above picture you see 3 spires, they are the 3 main buildings on the Upper Terrace.

An other real life difference is the heat and light reflected off the beautiful gold structures; it can be intense.

Guardians of the Gate

There are 6 pairs of Demon Guardians standing at the 6 gates to the gallery around the complex. Thy face in wards and guard the Emerald Buddha.

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Upper Terrace

Climbing the steps to the Upper Terrace you see the gold Stupa on the left and on the right, the Phra Mondop, decked out in gold and mosaic glass. It serves as a library.

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The third bulding, behind the Library, is the Royal Pantheon; it serves as a memorial to previous kings. This building is more blue than gold, but has a number of gold statues, half bird, half man that protect it.

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Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Behind the Upper Terrace is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha so named because it contains an image of Buddha carved entirely out of one piece of green jasper. It was made in the 15th entry and "is regarded as the most important Buddha image in Thailand". It has 3 gold costumes, one for summer, one for winter and one for the rainy season.

The outside temple walls and figurines are a lustourous gold that I believe can only come from gold leaf. The blue glass wall tiles also have a wonderful luminessence and this combination gives off an ethereal aura.

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This is a popular place to have a picture taken because of its religious significance, and a plus, the gold luster reflects beautifully off the skin.

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You can't go in, but I was able to photograph the Buddha in his winter clothes through the door.

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Posted by tedvanrossum 05:09 Archived in Thailand

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Comments

Just imagine the number of person-days required for this display of opulence!

by James Adamson

Wow - now that's a lot of gold. Glad you could get a shot of the Buddha to share.

by theavanrossum

still shiny

by Claire Adamson

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