• Stockholm Stockholm
    5 year resident, to guide around the local wonders
  • French Polynesia French Polynesia
    6 islands in the South Seas
  • some image Tokyo Tour
    1-day walk around the best spots
  • Japanese Wedding Japanese Wedding
    The dark side of the rising sun
  • Skyline Hong Kong
    Skylines, bar streets, markets & islands
  • some image Fashion shopping in Tokyo
    The best souvenir of Japan is not omiyage
  • Sydney Opera Australia
    Sydney's NYE, Gold Coast & Great Barrier Reef
  • Gecko Hawaii
    Aloha nature wonders
  • Yakushima Yakushima
    Hiking the Princess Mononoke Forest
  • Ishigaki Lighthouse Ishigaki
    Okinawa's shades of blue
  • Yuki Matsuri Hokkaido
    Powder Snow Festival
  • Daikanyama Daikanyama
    Tokyo's SoHo
  • Cosplayer Comiket
    The Biggest Cosplay Event
  • Cherry Tree Blossom Hanami (花見)
    Sakura by the skyscrapers
  • Hiroshima bomb time Hiroshima
    The Bomb & Miyajima
  • top of mount fuji guide to climb Japan
    Top of Mt.Fuji
  • Kyoto & Nara Nara & Kyoto
    Ciervos nadando en lagos de roca
  • Formentera House Formentera
    Mediterranean Sun

6.3.15

Bangkok : Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace「วัดพระแก้ว」

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

If you have been following us for a little while, you have probably realized that I am a sucker for white, gold and all things bright. So you can imagine how I felt coming back to the main temple of Thailand and spiritual core of Thai Buddhism, Wat Phra Kaew (temple of Emerald Buddha) gleams and glitters with so much glory that I was not sure whether I was dreaming or about to faint. Pity Enrique was not here to shoot some wide angle glory out of such grandeur, but I think I managed to get pretty decent shots for you to get a feeling of what awaits there. As explained in our Bangkok Weekend guide, there's no problem coming in there dressed with anything sleeveless or short, it will just add some waiting time (at the borrowing clothes queue) and require 200 BAHT deposit, which you will get back upon returning the clothes.



Wat Phra Kaew is a huge complex built in 1782, that needs at least one hour to explore. The first thing that shocks as you come in are the spires of the three primary chedi built on different styles and housing relics and manuscripts (one is covered in tiles, another colorful glass and the last with ceramic) they salute you from the distance, as announcement of the magic awaiting within the temple walls.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

Once inside, it is a sensory overdose. I did not know where to go first, where to look, what to shoot. It is simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. The mixture of colors, the height of the structures, the colorful teeny weeny gem-like details anywhere you look. The statues. The sun. The blue sky.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Kinarees are half-sawm half-women creatures from Hindu-Buddhist mythology, that stand around Prasat Phra Thep Bidon hall.
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

All this magic is there, just to surround the "photograph-not-allowed" Emerald Buddha. A statue of 66cm carved from nephrite (a type of jade) that sits inside the main building that, as you can see in the last image, is incredibly high.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

The walls surrounding the many temples are all covered with the murals of the Ramakian (i..e Thai version of the Indian Ramayana epic). This is a huge wall, completely covered by one mural after the other, telling the very long story of Rama and Sita, how he rescued her from the evil king (Ravana) with the help of monkey king (Hanuman).

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

Each entrance is guarded by a pair of huge yaksha (here we can see his back). One with green and the other with white skin, that are also inherited from Hindu mythology. They remind me, to some extent of the guardians typically painted at the gates of both Shinto (Japan) and Taoist (China) temples.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

People are covering "emerald buddha" copies on small leaves of gold, as offering to grant their prayers. Same go with incense sticks and the very Thai, flower crowns, which are seen in tiny temples all over the city too. Basically, each and every large company building has a mini-temple by the entrance, where people leave this kind of flowers everyday, as offering. It is something very unique of Bangkok's streets, that makes them unusually colorful and holy to a certain extent.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

After a gold overdose, the eyes welcome the more subdued yet extremely intricate porcelain decorations. In pastel hues, these provide a more calm feeling and somewhat balance the overwhelming gold everywhere.

Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace, Bangkok

Final complex of our visit, the former Royal Residence. Mixing Western and Thai architecture, it is so ridiculously huge that there was no human way to fit it in a decent shot. So I hope you get a feeling of Wat Phra Kaew magnitude, with this photographic tour.
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