According to our tour guide, there are about 40,000+ Buddhist temples all over Thailand and one of the most visited is the Wat Benchamabophit or commonly known as the Marble Temple. It is made of Italian marble so it is named after that. There are 52 images of Buddha in the gallery surrounding the temple and I was educated by our guide that there are 4 positions of Buddha namely sitting, standing, walking, and reclining. So I’ve come to know that the giant Buddha we’ve seen in Lantau Island, Hong Kong two years ago was a sitting one. And what I’ve managed to capture of the 52 statues in Marble Temple are only these as I was guarding myself from idolatry.
I haven’t got a photo of the reclining Buddha because there was none in the temple complex but there’s the image of Phra Buddhajinaraja, a Sukhothai-style Buddha inside the ordination hall which allows photo-taking. This Buddha is a sitting one which is the same as the golden Buddhas we also saw in Singapore in 2011.
Unlike the Confucian temples I visited in Vietnam last year where there are plenty of gates, courts, and halls, I got to differentiate the two. Confucian being more dramatic with all its symbolism while Buddhist being plain and simple in meaning but decorative in physical aspect. That’s just in my opinion because here in Marble Temple, the columns are made of Carrara marble and the interiors are decorated with paintings and murals of gold with ceilings of gold and lacquer too. I was impressed by the artwork but my photos are not that impressive. This is again due to my point-and-shoot-only talent. Hehe…..
It was too hot when we had our city and temples tour so we only have limited photos. We didn’t expect that it will be that hot in Thailand, hotter than the Philippines. Though we are accustomed with tropic weather, still we didn’t endure Thailand’s hotness when we were there. So bring with you your sunblock, shades, caps/hats, shawl, and plenty of water as you go around Bangkok during summer.