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Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

Listed under Tombs & Memorials in Bangkok, Thailand.

Photo of Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Photo by flickr user MsAnthea "Anthéaïs"
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More than one hundred buildings, many of them brightly coloured and topped with golden spires and decorations make up this complex surrounding the 65cm high statue the name suggests, the Emerald Buddha. As well as being swamped in size by the grandeur which surrounds the diminutive statue, it is also not really emerald - it’s green jasper or jade and was thought to have been carved in the 15th Century. It’s kept in a glass case hanging from the ceiling which makes it difficult to get a good look at, you’re also banned from taking photos. This statue represents more than what it looks like - several wars have been fought over it and it’s supposed to be a talisman for Thailand. The king comes in three times a year to change it’s robes, a seasonal diamond encrusted number for summer, solid gold for winter and a monks robe during the monsoon. Around the Buddha are murals telling his stories.

Also housed amongst the bright mosaics and varied architecture of the compound are two libraries containing important Buddhist texts, the Phra Si Rattana, said to hold Buddha’s ashes, grand statues of the first rulers of the empire and a model of Cambodia’s famous temple complex, Angkor Wat.

This is one of Bangkok’s top tourist destinations so be prepared for the crowds.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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