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Thailand: A River Trip in Downtown Bangkok

November 2, 2010

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We decided to visit Wat Pho with its famous Reclining Buddha on a rainy day.  Perfect weather to accompany the the heat.  But the Chao Praya River trip through the city’s center was great fun.

1) Boats on the river

We exited the delightfully air-conditioned sky train and in a bath of humidity and humanity, boarded a cheap river taxi for the trip, a couple of kilometers long and full of delightful surprises.

2) Vietnam War-era Swift boat

3) Riverside wat

Once at Wat Pho, the rain let up, allowing us to walk around in dripping comfort.  The wat is allegedly ancient but clearly much rebuilt and is kept in pristine, if a little-too-shiny condition.

4) Wat Pho

Then it was time to enter the precinct of the Buddha.  At 46 meters in length, we quickly discovered the eminence was far too large to photograph correctly with a point and shoot digital camera.

5) Most of the Buddha’s length

6) A peek-a-boo look at the head

Irreverence aside, the Buddha is a great treasure.

We saw many more works of art in the wat.

7) Royal chicken?

The paintings were especially interesting.

8) A rendering of the wat in its former glory

But, alas, equally hard to photograph.

Next time I’ll get at the truth much faster and commandeer a Swift boat.

All photos by Kit and Diana Herring

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