During the short business trip to Bangkok, I had an opportunity to stop at Wat Pho Buddhist temple, which was just about 30 minute taxi ride during non peak hours. Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats (i.e., temples) in Bangkok (with an area of 80,000 square meters), and is home to more than one thousand Buddha statues, as well as one of the largest single Buddha statues of 160 ft. length, the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is supposedly named after a monastery in India, where Buddha is believed to have lived. It also has a Bodhi tree, which is believed to have been propagated from the original tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment.
The temple grounds contain stupas or mounds, four viharas (halls) and a bot (central shrine). Wiki says, 71 chedis of smaller size contains the ashes of the royal family, and 21 large ones contain the ashes of Buddha. The temple has sixteen gates around the complex guarded by Chinese giants carved out of rocks. So, it is quite confusion some times, to figure out where you and where you want to go.
The outer cloister has images of 400 Buddhas out of the 1200 originally bought by king Rama V. In terms of architecture, these are varied in different styles and postures, but these are evenly mounted on matching gilded pedestals, which give great opportunity for some cool shots. The main temple is raised in marble platform punctuated by mythological lions in the gateways.
The statue of reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long with his right arm supporting the head with tight curls on two box-pillows of blue, richly encrusted with glass mosaics. There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. People drop coins in these bowls, as it is believed to bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat.
Source: Above text is inspired by wiki, as I have no way have time to compile that info on my own
Here are some fascinating images and small video footage, supported by Buddhist soundtrack, “Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa” which means “Honour to the Blessed One, the Exalted One, the fully Enlightened One”
More pics here:
I was told it would take 90 minutes during the return trip from Wat Pho to my hotel in Sukhumvit, as it was time for peak traffic hour. So I had opted for bike / motor cycle taxi (the concept which I never experienced in any country I travelled so far) and captured interesting and unexpected footage on GoPro, which can be seen below. Some of the footage may gave you dejavu feeling, as the ride is similar to what is typically seen in Hyderabad, and notice how the ride cruises along the narrowest spaces available between various vehicles, including tiny space between bridge rail and buses. Since the footage is played between 100x to 400x mode, you might feel scarier than it was to me J