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An occasionally belligerent mother of four and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nakhon Pathom (1 of 3) : Phra Pathom Chedi-Get Your Stupa On!

Wear comfy shoes. You've got stairs to contend with. Also, you'll be removing them anyway if you want to enter the temple
About an hour from Bangkok is the province of Nakhon Pathom. The "touristy" thing to do while in the area is to visit site A. the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo/Crocodile Farm, site B. the Rose Garden/Sampran Riverside and site C. Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa (Buddhist monument) in the world. As blogging about all three stops could prove to be too long for one blog, I've split them up into 3.

For about 2500 baht, we tapped the services of the travel agency at our hotel. Asking a cab driver upon arriving in Bangkok, a rate of 1500 baht was to get us to and from site A and back to Bangkok. After negotiating with the travel agent, he was able to throw in site C (which is 30 minutes away from the 2 other places mentioned) as site A and B came in a 2500 baht package already.

The car rented out to us was a Camry sedan, which was quite comfortable. The driver, Mr. Sam, was able to comprehend 70% of our English and was quite pleasant.
a couple of steps  below the top of the hill is a statue of Buddha. The gold leaf covering the statue  is from the 1x1 sq inch gold leaf sheets brought by the devotees
Leaving the hotel at around 9 am, we drove away from the traffic, the hustle and bustle, that is Bangkok and into a more quiet suburban looking town (which somehow reminded me of Laguna - rural yet modern).
Our first stop was Phra Pathom Chedi. At 417 ft, this stupa is tallest of its kind in the world. Parts of it date back to as early as the 4th century. However, the final structure that you see in these pictures was completed in 1870.
start off by getting your prayer props at the tables located at either side of this prayer area

light your incense stick

bow (3x I think) and say your wishes to Buddha

stick your incense and your donation that's clipped on a wooden lotus leaf

don't forget to offer your lotus flower too
Seeing this huge monument, in itself, is quite a treat. Though no pictures maybe taken inside the temple, the story drawn on the ceiling high murals on how Buddhism came to Thailand is good enough to be etched in your mind. It's no Disney drawing either as some of the images denote a certain amount of violence.
why does the movie Mortal Kombat come to mind whenever I see this pic?

this place is huge and outdoors. running around chasing a toddler will definitely stress you out


the view from above

walking between the tulpa and it's parapets gives you an excellent view of the place from above
 Getting to the top of the hill of this stupa also allows you to experience certain Buddhist traditions. Aside from the stupa, there's this huge courtyard at the bottom of the monument, within it's gates that is absolutely stunning!
lotus flowers float on the huge jars found at the bottom of the tulpa
At the bottom of the hill, near the parking lot is the Phra Pathom Chedi Museum where artifacts found in Nakhom Pathom dating back from the 7th to 11th century are on display.

some of the artifacts may even be found just outside the museum walls
We didn't get to see the museum as my boys had had enough of the heat. In a way, the intricate mosaics, detailed murals, various statues of Buddha and the architectural design of Phra Pathom Chedi was enough for me. After a quick bathroom break (really clean, but Asian styled facility), we were off to our next tourist destination...The Samphran Elephant Grounds, Zoo and Crocodile Farm.
one of the many windows that lined the hallway surround the stupa's courtyard
one of the many flowering trees surrounding
the area
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

2 comments:

  1. Phra Pathom Chedi, I love the pagoda due to the place full of decoration and history.Thank for sharing.

    http://goforvacations.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-secret-of-phra-pathom-chedi-thailand.html

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    1. Thanks for dropping by our website. Your tale behind the origin of this stupa was quite fascinating. Thanks too for sharing

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