What is worth seeing in Bangkok?
My stay in Bangkok I’ve started from visiting Loha Prasat, which is part of the complex Ratchanatdaram Wat built during the reign of King Rama III of the Chakri Dynasty. The exhibition located on the ground level of Loha Prasat reveals the history of the creation of the whole complex, if you’re interested in architecture will like it. On the first floor you can find a gallery dedicated to the studies of Dharma – it was the part of the complex that I’ve enjoyed the most. In Loha Prasat you can find boards describing different types of meditation, among others are breathing meditation or walking meditation. On the second floor Loha Prasat, in a golden urn, are hidden the relics of the Buddha.
After Loha Prasat we headed towards Wat Pho, stepping by into smaller temples we spotted on the way and seeing The Giant Swing. It is over 200 years old swing located in front of the temple of Wat Suthat. The Swing was used in ceremonies to honor the highest God Shiva. Besides ceremonies, there was a competition of searching the bravest man happening on the swing – the man who swung the highest was the winner. This competition was banned when fatalities began to happen too often.
Wat Pho – The Temple of Reclining Buddha
It is certainly one of the most famous temples located in Bangkok. It is also one of the oldest and one of the largest temples located in Bangkok. On its territory there is over a thousand Buddha images. Most of the images of Buddha have their hands arranged in different way – each hand position refers to a specific event of his life. The temple itself was the center of medical learning Thai and up till today you can join a course to learn learn Thai massage in the most famous Thai massage school around the world!
Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn
Next stop of the expedition was Wat Arun, known as The Temple of Dawn. To get to the temple you need to take a boat to the other side of the river, but it’s really cheap – costs only 3 baht (10 cents). Steep stairs allow entrance to the second floor of the temple and enjoy the view of the area. I would advise you to wear comfortable shoes, because the stairs are really high and so steep, that when climbing up or going down, you have to hold the ropes hanging on the both sides of stairs. Admission to the temple is a cost of 50 Baht. Wat Arun is certainly one of the places worth seeing in Bangkok!
In the end of our one day expedition we went to the Museum of Siam, where you can find very interesting exhibitions about the history of Thailand and Thai identity. I’ve learned a lot, for example that the area where Thailand is located was known as Suvarnabhumi, which can be translated as the Golden Land, not so much by the presence of gold in it, but because was and still is one of the most fertile regions of the world. Buddhism appeared in those areas most probably around the 3rd century BC due to two Buddhist missionaries named Sona and Utara, sent here by the Indian Lord of Ashoka.
What is worth seeing in Bangkok?
While being in Bangkok it is definitely worth spending one day to visit the most popular temples, like Wat Arun and Wat Pho – these are certainly worth a visit. For those, who are interested in history of the region, visiting Siam Museum is a must. You can learn there really interesting facts about the history of the region. When it comes to Loha Prasat – if you do not have much time you can just skip it, but if you are interested in meditation and Buddhism I would advise you to visit this complex and you won’t regret it. Great Swing did not impress me much, maybe if there was a competition going on I would be impressed by it, but for now it’s just a big swing, so it’s not really worth seeing, unless you are in the area. In some time, I will post the rest of places which are worth seeing in Bangkok.