WAT PHO --- Thailand's Most Important Temple
The WAT PHO is a huge complex which housed many ornate buildings. Many of them were sacred, and all of them required that we take off our shoes, although we did not have to wear baggy pants. We had an English guide that talked clearly but very fast. Fred is in many of these pictures, and I hope he will remember some information I forgot which I could add.
A strikingly beautiful Gold Buddha.
I believe the building above and to the left housed the Reclining Buddha, which is pictured below many times.
There were many of these spires which were supposed to house the spirits of dead saints.

The passage way pictured to the right was bracketed with stone images of Marco Polo who was the legendary person who traveled to the East.

Do you see the resemblence to the "real" Marco Polo we see in all the books?

Spires, spires, spires everywhere. Sure must be a lots of dead spirits around.

Like the stone dog I was petting?

We saw lots of Buddha priests all over the place, and these two were the only ones I photographed. There were often dozens of them on the back platforms of the boats, always in their orange robes, and I learned later from a member of our OSW choir that a Buddha priest cannot touch women, and the boat staff were very good at at protecting them.

Next we come to the reclining Buddha which was in the large temple pictured above. It was so large, it had to be made in sections, brought to Bangkok in sections, put in place and the temple was built around it.
All around the huge Buddha, there were little collections of small Buddha statues and other images like the beautiful emerald collection in the top picture above, and the fat Buddha directly above. Fat is not considered healthy in Thailand, so all the native Buddhas are thin. But, in ancient China, it was considered healthy to be fat and Chinese Bhuddas were always fat like the one above.
Just to get a sense of scale, on the left, I am standing in front of the reclining Buddha's feet, with it's ten toes.
On one side of the room containing the big Buddha, there were rows of pots. Putting coins in the pots was somehow an act of worship which would raise one's standing as a Buddhist.

Next Page: Northern Thailand; Chaing Mai, Laos, and Burma

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