Temples in Thailand

buddha_with_nipples
Of course when you are in Thailand, it’s important to go see temples and soak up the different culture.

Some of the temples didn’t allow women, but I went to all the ones that did.

big-buddha-bangkok

Thailand is a majority Buddhist county, and unlike South Korea, they really enjoy their gold.

There are golden Buddhas everywhere. Some of them are just painted that color, but others are real gold.

gold_buddha

With the gold Buddhas, you can buy sheets of gold leaf. It helps to support the temple, and you get to press the gold right onto the Buddha.

The photo (above) is of one such Buddha, covered in real gold.

20130308_132937

I sat down to talk to some monks at a “Monk Chat.” They couldn’t talk directly to me, so they spoke through a man who was willing to rely my questions.

Mostly, I asked about why they became monks. The answers varied, but for the most part, they had families who were poor and they needed a place to live.

Everyone tries to follow the teachings of the Buddha, but they seemed to convey the thought that becoming a monk is about finding a place in the world when you need one. They also take and care for sick people if their families can’t.

20130305_123956

 

Much like in a Muslim church, it is important to be covered. When I went looking at temples, I brought a shawl with me to make sure my body was covered.

They do offer shawls at some of the temples that you can use, but I brought my own because I have sensitive skin.

20130305_182157

 

The architecture is really beautiful and unique. Of course Thailand is perfectly modern and they have modern buildings which are just plain towers.

However, with temples they try to use the traditional architecture. The detail is amazing!

20130307_113126

This is one of the temples that women weren’t allowed in (above) so I don’t know what was inside.

I thought about trying to peer in, but unfortunately it seemed disrespectful so I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

temple_1

Even the neighborhood shrines are really neat. I had a tuk-tuk driver who took me around for a day, and he brought me to his local neighborhood shrine to offer a prayer for a good day.

Of course I donated to the temple, as is expected. I thought it was nice that he would think of bringing tourists there as a way to help improve his neighborhood.

prayer

This is the prayer the monk offered me in thanks for my contribution. He also gave me some incense to light for the Buddha in the temple.

20130311_145720

Each house in the nicer neighborhoods has a little miniature house in front of it.

Many are made to look like the homes they are in front of, and they are meant to be a place for spirits to stop and rest.

Offerings of food, flowers, and alcohol are often left inside.

20130307_113727

I even visited some of the ancient temples that they are trying to restore, in order to preserve Thailand’s history.

You can see the yellow railings around it, because it’s not open to the public during restoration. But it was still cool to have a look.


20130307_112716

This is a sign detailing the money being put into the project, and the history of different depictions of Buddha through time.

20130311_145922

Behind most temples is a smaller and less grand building where the monks live. This is a dormitory.

Advertisements

Author: jendelemont

I'm from Phoenix. I feel like that means a lot. I don't live there anymore, but it will always be part of me. On a more cheesy note, I am a Phoenix. I rose from some serious ashes a few times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s