Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Wat Pho" In Bangkok

"Wat Pho" or the Temple of The Reclining Buddha is the largest temple in Bangkok and is very famous for it's majestic reclining Buddha.  It is located just behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  Thailand is known for it's many grand and well maintained temples and your visit to the country will not be complete without paying a visit to one of these temples.  For this trip, we have chosen to spend half day at Wat Pho or  the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

We left the hotel past 9 AM.  I was lucky to have contacted a taxi just after 5 minutes of waiting in front of the hotel.

One tip that I would share with you when you are in Bangkok is to check with the taxi driver first if he is using the meter before you board the taxi.  Some of the taxi drivers are taking advantage of foreigners and don't want to use the meter.  However, you always have an alternative transportation just in case, as there are also plenty of "tuk-tuks" around the city and there is a BTS monorail transit which is a way cheaper.

We reached our destination in a matter of 15 mins and I was surprised to see how many tourist buses were there around the area.  The taxi driver told me that it is a normal thing there and that the  buses come in the same number everyday.  Really surprising!

Entrance Fee to Wat Pho is THB100 per person or about $3.50.  This includes the whole day pass and a bottle of cold mineral water (lol).  Maybe because they are anticipating that it's really tiring to roam around that very huge area.  It's really big inside and there are a number of temples to visit.

Our first stop was at the temple of the reclining Buddha.  We were mesmerized by the grand reclining Buddha statue in hues of gold.  A excellent work of art!

For the Thai people, this is a very sacred temple and visitors are expected to show respect for their belief and tradition while at the temple.  We were asked to remove our shoes and they gave us a blue cloth bag to put our shoes in place while roaming inside.  Those foreigners who were in sleeveless and shorts were given robes to wear while inside the temple. It's fortunate though that they allowed visitors to take photos and videos. 

I took part in doing one of the traditions of the "Thais" while inside the temple, and that is to drop 1 pc of coin in every bowl along that long line leading to the exit. I bought THB20 worth of small coins in a small bowl and I was offered a prayer by a temple worker as he handed to me the bowl of coins.

As we went out of the temple of the Reclining Buddha, we took some fresh air while posing for pics at the compound where gardens and water features are located.  You would notice from the pics. that there were so many Europeans visiting Bangkok. 

There are so many golden statues around. The architecture of the temples are really awesome!

You will not feel tired to look around as everything that you see is a master piece. Wonderful works of art!

A visit to "Wat Pho" has been a very beautiful experience for all of us.  This cultural master piece had just shown how rich Thailand is when it comes to their history and tradition.  All the places I visited at Bangkok had only proved that Thailand's cultural heritage is still intact and this makes the country a favorite destination for travelers.

Wat Pho is located at 2 Sanam Chai Road Bangkok, Thailand.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bangkok's Madam Tussauds Wax Museum

Bangkok, known as the shopping capital of the world due to it's large number of shopping malls, markets and shops is not only a haven for shopping.  Well, that's also what I thought before I came to visit this amazing city in Thailand.  I discovered that apart from being a shopping paradise, Bangkok is also home to many attractions such as parks, museums and temples.  On our second day at Bangkok, we took the chance to visit Madam Tussauds Wax Museum located on the 6th Floor of Siam Discovery right at the heart of Bangkok.

Madam Tussauds is a home to over 90 wax figures distributed on 10 zones.  Inside the museum, you will get that chance to see, touch and even have a photo taken with your famous international celebrities.  Political leaders, artists and international showbiz personalities were among the subject of the wax figures and you may be surprised that they appeared to be there "for real" as the wax figures were made exactly how these personalities are, copying exactly their facial features, hair, skin tone, eyes, physique... everything!

Here are some of our photos taken inside the museum:

Me, posing with a known political leader.  Can you recognize him?

Below, my daughter grabbing a chance to sit on Queen Elizabeth's throne. I bet, you could feel that excitement wearing that Royal crown (lol)

Below, a photo of my daughter with the famous artist, Picasso

Here are more of our favorites! with Brad Pitt?

How about posing with your favorite sports personalities?

And how about seeing yourself giving a speech on TV?

These are just some of the many exciting things that you can see and experience inside the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum.  I think you should prepare extra batteries for your cameras and cell phones as well as extra memory cards as you will never ran out of exciting photo opps with all your favorite stars.

You can also end up your visit to Madam Tussauds by grabbing some souvenir items at the museum's souvenir shop located near the exit.  Prices ranging from THB50 to THB500.

So if you happen to visit Bangkok and you want to experience a different excitement, apart from shopping of course, then you can have a visit to Madam Tussauds Wax Museum.  It is ideally located right inside the Siam paragon mall and near to MBK mall so, it's not really out of the way if you want to experience a different kind of fun.

Tips :  The entrance ticket to the museum is being sold at Siam Paragon at a discounted price of THB680.  It's original price is THB800.  But I got my tickets from the hotel's tours and travel office and it's much cheaper at THB550.  If you want, you will also have the option to buy a combo ticket at a much cheaper price and that includes a visit to Siam Ocean World located on the same building.
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