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We traveled to Bangkok in 2005.

Bangkok 01 01 View From Airplane Bangkok, known to the Thais as

Bangkok 01 01 View From Airplane

Bangkok 02 01 Luang Pho To Buddha Statue We met a nice man on the way to the Grand Palace, who told us it was closed this morning. Although I had read of this scam, I was feeling great and compassionate and wanted to see how it played out. He mentioned that he could get us a private tuk-tuk tour to show us around some of the Bangkok sights for only a hundred Baht. We took him up on his offer. As long as you are willing to say no to the shopping portion of the tour, itís great fun indeed. Our first stop was at Luang Pho To, a gigantic 32m x 11m statue of Buddha, built starting in 1867, and covered in 24k golden mosaics. The topknot of the Buddha image supposedly contains a relic of Lord Buddha brought from Sri Lanka.

Bangkok 02 01 Luang Pho To Buddha Statue

Bangkok 02 02 Wat Benchamabophit Marble Wat Long View Wat Benchamabophit, called the Marble Wat because of the white Carrara marble of which it's constructed, is an early-20C temple designed by Prince Narai, the half brother of Rama V. It's the most modern and one of the most beautiful of Bangkok's royal wats. Unlike the older complexes, there's no truly monumental wihaan or chedi dominating the grounds. Many smaller buildings reflect a melding of European materials and designs with traditional Thai religious architecture. Even the courtyards are paved with polished white marble.

Bangkok 02 02 Wat Benchamabophit Marble Wat Long View

Bangkok 02 10 Wat Arun Temple of Dawn The 79m high Wat Arun is a Khmer-inspired tower, the centerpiece of the

Bangkok 02 10 Wat Arun Temple of Dawn

Bangkok 03 01 Wat Po Temple of the Reclining Buddha Also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Po was built by Rama I in the 16C and is the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. The enormous Reclining Buddha is 46m long and 15m high, with each foot 3m high and 5m long. The statue is brick, covered with layers of plaster, and gold leaf. The most striking part of the statue is its soles, which are decorated with 108 auspicious patterns inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Bangkok 03 01 Wat Po Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Bangkok 04 02 Wat Phra Kaeo Golden Phra Siratana Chedi Just after entering the Wat Phra Kaeo we saw the golden Phra Siratana Chedi, a 19th-century Sri Lankan-style stupa supposedly housing ashes of the Buddha.

Bangkok 04 02 Wat Phra Kaeo Golden Phra Siratana Chedi

Bangkok 05 04 Ayutthaya Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Great Chedi The great chedi at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol in Ayutthaya was built in 1592 to celebrate King Naresuanís single-handed defeat of the then Burmese Crown Prince after an elephant back duel.

Bangkok 05 04 Ayutthaya Wat Yai Chai Mongkol Great Chedi