Dear Family and Friends,
Everyone seems to have enjoyed the photos of the Grand Palace so I am sending you a few more.
The photo of the building that I said represented one of the finest facades of all Thai temples was not the correct photo. Here is the correct fine facade:
The photo below is The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's holiest shrine. "Officially named Wat Phra Si Rattanasatsadaram, the temple complex was modeled along the same lines as grand chapels from the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya eras."
"The Emerald Buddha was first discovered at Wat Phra Kaeo in Chiang Rai province in the year 1434, when a bolt of lightning struck a pagoda, revealing a small and seemingly insignificant stucco Buddha image. After many years, the plaster began to crumble away, revealing the beautiful green jade image beneath. When the King of Chiang Mai heard of the discovery, he sent an army of elephants to take the image. The elephant carrying the treasure refused to take the route back to Chiang Mai however, instead heading south towards Lampang.
The image was moved several times over the years, from Lampang to Laos and was finally retrieved from Vientiane by General Chakri, the future King Rama I, in 1778. The Emerald Buddha was kept at Wat Arun (in Bangkok) for a while before taking its place on a high golden alter in Wat Phra Kaeo (in the Grand Palace Temple area) in 1785.
Several miracles have been associated with the Emerald Buddha, bringing the image a reputation for good fortune. Today thousands of Buddhists pay their respects in front of the fabled image. Here is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha:
Chinese tourists (I believe):
Look at this detail!
Strikingly beautiful Thai architecture:
The Grand Palace consists of the Temple area (Wat Phra Kaew) and the Royal residence area. All of the photos you've seen so far except for the ones of the coronation changing building have been from the Temple area. We found the Temple area to be very interesting. Compared to the Temple area, the residence area was much less resplendent. Our walk through the Grand Palace took us first to the Temple area. When we emerged to the residence area I guess we were a bit jaded (perhaps literally). I took very few photos of the residence area of which this is perhaps the most interesting:
Here is a photo showing the ceiling and inside of the coronation changing building use by the King.
One last giant monkey guard shot (from the Temple area of the Grand Palace):
Jeff February 2, 2007
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