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Temples in (and around) Bangkok (Part 2)

Bangkok has hundreds of Temples ("Wats"). Once I thought it would be possible to photograph them all (over the years). I know better now. On these pages you find some of the most famous and beautiful Temples of Bangkok and direct surroundings.

Although I advise to browse through these pages in order,
you can directly jump to any of the Temples shown on these pages by using the Temples Menu on the left.

Wat Suthat

The Giant Swing

Wat Suthat is a Temple worth visiting, but probably it is mostly known because of the "Giant Swing". Here, in the past, ceremonies were held, during which a boat was attached to the swing which was then moved heavily. This has caused several accidents and finally these ceremonies were stopped. The swing is still standing there and can be seen from the wide surroundings, as I tried to show on the picture above.
By the way: The wood from which the "Giant Swing" was built was donated by Louis Leonowens, the son of Anna Leonowens, the Anna from "Anna and the King" and "The King and I".
Read more about Anna on my page about Anna Leonowens. You will find a link in the menu at the top of the page.

Buddha Image in Wat Suthat Mural in Wat Suthat

The Buddha Image inside Wat Suthat is impressive, as I find most Thai Buddha Images. The model is slightly different from what you mostly see. So take an extra look at it. The light there is very low, but you can manage to take a picture like this. I prefer not to use the flash of my camera.
The murals in Wat Suthat are of great beauty. Don't walk out, like most visitors do, without looking at them closely! On the picture above you see a detail of the murals.

Main building Wat Suthat

And finally here is the main building of Wat Suthat. There is just enough space to picture the whole building. Wat Suthat is one of the Temples where they ask a small entrance fee from visitors. As I said elsewhere: Consider it as a small donation for the maintenance of the Temple.
When you return to the street, you will notice that in this neighbourhood there are many shops that sell Buddha Images (and in many sizes). Take a look! It is forbidden to export any Busddha Image without a permit, by the way.

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Wat Rakhang

Buddha in Wat Rakhang

Wat Rakhang ("Rakhang" means "Temple bell") is situated along the Chao Phraya River, not very far from Wat Arun.
The Temple is not only interesting for its Buddha Image and its fascinating murals, but also for its library building. Wat Rakhang dates from the Ayutthaya-period, but was extensively rebuilt during the reign of King Rama I, who used to live in the part that is now the library building, before he became King and thus founded the Chakri Dynasty.
The picture above shows the main Buddha Image of the Temple. Please also pay attention to the murals here (sorry, no picture ).

Library of  Wat Rakhang Portrait of King Rama I in Wat Rakhang

The left hand side picture (the library) is the former house of King Rama I, now a small museum. Take some time to go there and look inside. Many tourists overlook it.
Inside this library building museum you find old Buddhist books (not shaped like we know them, but with the pages folded together into a sort of fan), a fine picture of King Rama I (right hand side picture above) and some fine antique furniture. As I said, this -free of charge- museum is worth a visit.
Wat Rakhang, by the way, can easily be reached by Express Boat Service. Visit Wat Arun afterwards. It is close by.

Stupa of Wat Rakhang

Do not forget to have a look at the large white stupa (you hardly can miss it) with gold plated Buddha Images on four sides.

King Taksin shrine Gate of Wat Rakhang

Two more intersting sights remain before you can leave Wat Rakhang:
Next to Wat Rakhang you will find a building which is a sort of shrine in honor of King Taksin. On the left hand side picture you see the satues inside.
And on the right hand side picture you see the gate of Wat Rakhang, also not to be missed.

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