We stayed at another fantastic hotel! This one had an outdoor bar with an awesome view of Bangkok! The bar is on the 45th floor but has multiple levels that continue higher. We loved the view we had drinks there twice!
Megan and Chris had “saved” the grand palace and temple of the Emerald Buddha to do with the family when they came. There is quite a lot to see and it was overwhelming at times, but truly a great historic site to be seen. The Grand Palace complex was established in 1782 and consist of royal residence, throne halls, offices and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is a big site to see with a lot of tourist there!
We started at The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as Wat Phra Kaew. It was founded in 1782. The floor was made of a tile mosaic and the walls had murals and more mosaics on them. Even the ceiling was painted with bright color and gold details. The windows had open door panels which are decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays. The detailing was stunning and it was a breathtaking first stop for us!
The Emerald Buddha sits upon a high pedestal. The pedestal is decorated with Garudas (king of birds) holding Nagas (snakes) as offerings. The Emerald Buddha itself is carved from Jasper and thought to be made in the 15th century. The statue is 26 inches tall but the color green is striking.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is guarded by six demon guardians. They guard the Emerald Buddha from evil spirits and each of the six had their own character and story. They are detailed and quite impressive to view.
One of the buildings to catch all of our eyes was Phra Mondop, which is the Buddhist library. This building was built to house a mother-of-pearl inlay bookshelf. This bookshelf holds the Buddhist scriptures. The doors to the building are also decorating with mother-of-pearl inlay, demon and human faces. The faces are to guard the scriptures. On the four corners of the building are four stone Buddha images made from volcanic stone.
Claudine was taken with the tile and mosaic work especially the Phra Sawet Kudakhan Wihan Yot. (The aforementioned volcanic-stone buddha can be seen in the midground.)
We also liked the Phra Asadha Maha Chedi. This is a series of 8 towers which stands as a monument. These 8 each represent a certain Buddhist concept and are decorated in different colors.
The Chakri Maha Prasat Hall was the former royal residence. It was built in 1877 and designed by a British architect. This is the only building in the complex that has a mix of British and Thai architecture. It is a typical British throne hall with a Thai style roof.
We were all blown away by the glitz and details of the palace. Megan and Chris, who had seen other Thai architecture thought that this was one of the best sites. Mom and Dad Pluff simply couldn’t believe all they were seeing and how stunningly intricate it was. Claudine said that it lived up to what she had heard and was unlike what else she had seen in Asia. It was a successful day!
Our second day in Bangkok we went to see Chatuchak Weekend Market. This is the largest market in Thailand with over 8,000 stalls. We enjoyed walking around and shopping. They were selling tourist items, shoes, lights and gardening supplies. We believe if you looked hard enough you could find anything there! We ended the venture with mango smoothie and they were just as delicious as we remembered them to be!
On the way we saw a number of fascinating buildings, such as this jenga building: