The temple of the Emerald Buddha is on the same grounds as the Palace, and we visited that first. It's quite a spectacular building actually, painted in gold and covered in mosaics. Compared to Thai temples, churches in America are seriously lacking in bling.
Pictures were not permitted inside... and I can't properly describe it. There was gold.... lots and lots of gold. There's huge gold pedestal for the emerald buddha (which is not especially tall... but you know, it's *emerald*!), it's surrounded by golden buddha statues and gold gold gold gold everything. Really quite overwhelming.
Here is Marie admiring one of the gold Gaurdas (bird-type-guard-thing) and Nagas (snakes) that surround the building.
Twelve giants guard the temple (I only spotted four). I had a bit of a mind flip when I realized that they aren't just really big statues of characters from Thai mythology... they're a life sized portrayals. When that sunk in it made me really excited to learn more about them. Unfortunately my google fu is failing me tonight and I can get no more than "generally benevolent guardians of natural treasures" and that doesn't seem quite right.
More gold... this is a Chedi, but I'm not 100% sure what it is, I think it houses a buddhist relic. Neither the weather nor my camera were in the mood to give me especially good pictures but BIG and GOLD is what I was trying to capture with this shot.
And now the elusive Grand Palace. We couldn't go inside, but I thought it was rather a stately looking palace! We walked around, went into a little garden for a bit and just enjoyed being out and about on a not stiflingly hot morning.
Of course once I got back to Rayong and told my students about our trip I learned that my ticket included admission to about five different museums on the grounds and I'd completely missed seeing any of them. D'oh! So I can not yet claim "mission accomplished" on the Grand Palace, but what I saw I enjoyed, and that's good enough for me.
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