Friday, January 23, 2009

National Museum of Bangkok

We took a two hour tour of the National Museum Bangkok led by a volunteer ex-pat, a Canadian with Glasgow roots. Thank goodness we did as we would never have found our way through the maze of treasures housed at the Wang Na or Palace to the Front that was once the home of the Prince Successor. It was turned into a museum in 1926.

We started in the Buddhaisawant Chapel, defended by Rama, the god the Kings of Thailand have taken their generic name from. The sacred Buddha, the second holiest in the whole of Thailand after the Emerald Buddha, has been removed to another part of the museum as the Chapel is about to undergo extensive renovation but we were still able to examine the 200 year old mural paintings telling the story of the life of Buddha and we viewed the holy Buddha later on in our tour.

There then followed a mind blowing display from the Red House of the Queen Mother of the King Rama IV and King Pinklao past enormous statues, cabinets stuffed with ceramics, puppets and lacquered mother of pearl chests, we ended at funeral carriages which when used on state occasions are pulled by hundreds of soldiers. Two hours scrapes the surface but it was all my head could have taken in at once!

Back to chill out at the pool. This is the 'cold' season here. It makes us chuckle as it is close to 30 each day but the locals still think it cold, we can only put this down to lower humidity at this time of year, only 50% or so instead of 90% + humidity in the hot season March - May.

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