4-day trip to Thailand
Visiting the city of Bangkok: the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeao, the Emerald Buddha, Golden Buddha, Phra Phuttha Chinart Buddha, Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) Phra Buddha Chinnarat, Wat Arun, Chao Phraya River, Wat Pho, Bronze Buddha, Patpong market, Prasart Museum, Museum nearby Thompson and Bang- Pa -In, Ayutthaya with Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Nahathat Wat, Phra Ram, the Rose Garden and the Damnoen Sadnak.
We arrived in Bangkok coming from Burma and Cambodia.
The standard of living in Thailand is much higher than the one of the two previous countries so that it was like to be arrived…in America.
But it was only an impression.
Bangkok is a bustling city which, however, can offer quiet corners.
Wat Phra Kaeo Grand Palace
It was very interesting to visit the Grand Palace, which was built in the late 1700s.
The Grand Palace is a complex made up of beautiful buildings which constitutes a “city within a city” surrounded by nearly two kilometres of walls.
Emerald Buddha, Golden Buddha, Buddha Phra Phuttha Chinart and temple Wat Benchamabophit (or Marble temple)
I start presenting the most significant Buddha statutes in Bangkok: the elegant Emerald Buddha and the great and precious golden Buddha (it is a 18 carat and 5-tonne weight statue).
The third one is kept in the Wat (temple) which we were visiting: the Phra Buddha Chinnarat in gilded bronze, of the fourteenth century.
The Wat Benchamabophit, known as the “Marble Temple” (made of Carrara marble),shines in its white beauty and occupies a large area where there is also a monastery.
On the bank of the Chao Phraya River there is Wat Arun, a Khmer-style temple, built in the late 1700s.
It was later widened and decorated with bits of broken porcelain. At the top of the towers (prang) there are niches with beautiful statues and many small bells that ring at the slightest breath of air.
Wat Pho, temple with the bronze Buddha and the reclining Buddha
Another important temple (the oldest and largest in Bangkok) is Wat Pho, famous for being the main centre of public education in Thailand. It hosts the bronze Buddha and the Reclining Buddha.
It is also a centre for traditional medicine.
Patpong market and, in the surroundings, Damnoen Saduak floating market
I must say first of all that in Bangkok you can move predominantly both with the nice and typical tuk -tuk (small taxis on motorized tricycles) and with the elevated railway . But Bangkok is also, for the happiness of the Venetians, water transport: water buses andferry- boat service.
The most famous market of the city is the central market of Patpong . It is an open air night market and offers mainly (or exclusively) “fake” objects from T-shirts to watches.
Even if the attack on the twin towers of New York had occurred from little time, the Thai sellers were already offering a number of t-shirts on that subject.
Another colourful market is Damnoen Saduak, known as ”floating market”. Unfortunately, nowadays the market is done just for touristic purposes and so has lost all its peculiarity.
However, we could still enjoy a few glimpses of local life given by the wooden boats , mostly run by women who was wearing the blue shirts of farmers. They offered both fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked foods.
Surroundings of Bangkok: Royal Residence of Bang Pa-in, Ayuttaya, with Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, Wat Nahathat and Phra Ram, Rose Garden
Nearby Bangkok, we visited the Bang Pa-in Royal Palace, in the city of Ayutthaya, with its large Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, in addition to Wat Mahathat and Phra Ram and the Rose Garden where we could assist to a folkloric show.
Ayutthaya is the ancient capital of Thailand and was founded in 1350 .
It began to decline in the late 1700s. Today they are restoring its beautiful and interesting ruins as the great ruins of the big stupa surrounded by numerous Buddha statues.
It was interesting to see an old stone head which is now prisoner of the roots of a tree.
Prasart Museum, called “my dream” by Mr Prasart himself
Mr. Prasart “lives” for his museum that he calls, with great modesty , “my dream”. And instead it is a “BIG DREAM”.
He transformed the rice fields that surround Bangkok in a magnificent park where he built chapels , towers, Chinese temples , enriching everything with works of art of inestimable beauty and value.
Jim Thompson (an American who revived the Thai silk industry) made a Museum of his house full of local works of art
Jim Thompson, an American who arrived in Thailand…for the war, fell in love with this country and never left. He revived the Thai silk industry and, being fond of antiques and craft, he built his villa reassembling six original teak dwellings.
He died under mysterious circumstances but “his idea” continues to be thanks to the Museum and the fabric and silk shops.