Bangkok is littered with temples (wats) but our time and budget only allowed us to visit two. We ummed and ahhed about the Grand Palace and others but at less than half the entry fee, Wat Pho seemed like the top choice for us.
Wat Pho – Not only is Wat Pho the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok, it’s stunningly beautiful from every angle. I was blown away by the colours, the intricacy of the adornments and the variety of styles within the site. The building glitter with millions of tiny, coloured mirror panels. Just stunning.
Perhaps the main attraction of Wat Pho is the 46m long and 15 m high reclining Buddha. While fascinating, the buddha is made of brick, plaster and then painted gold, which sparked a discussion about authenticity. Rich felt that it was pretty impressive but they could easily re-create it in Vegas for an Asian themed hotel. I thought this was a bit outrageous but I do see his point (more about this later). Wat Pho cost just 50 baht entry fee (roughly $2) and was totally worth it. The only let down was that there was absolutely no information anywhere on the site. If it was mainly a temple then this would be perfectly understandable but they managed to find places for five different gift shops just no information! Get there via river taxi, just 15 baht!
Wat Traimit – As Rich wasn’t really satisfied with the reclining buddha at Wat Pho, we headed over to Wat Traimit in Chinatown to catch a glimpse of the worlds biggest solid gold statue. The 3m tall, 5.5 ton solid gold buddha is housed in a brand new marble temple. While old is preferable to new when temple spotting, we decided that the solid gold buddha was impressive, especially as he will never be replicated anywhere in the world again. Vegas may do gold paint and theme but they don’t do solid gold statues. Both are a beautiful feast for the eyes. Admission to Wat Traimit is 40 baht but from what we could tell, only tourists had to pay. As we were already closer to the statue than to the ticket office, we just walked right in without one. They can hardly make you pay on the basis that you look foreign… right?