I have been to so many Temples in Thailand, but being useless at remembering names, I couldn't tell you what half of them were called. What I can tell you is that I have developed a passion to see more.
In fact, next year I'm planning a trip to the North East to see some of the amazing Khmer temples dating back thousands of years, which up until now I have only seen pictures of in books.
I remember someone once said to me that “once you have seen one temple you have seen them all”…I never understood that…Perhaps to the untrained and uninterested eye this might be the case, but for me the there is an abundance of individuality in each temple, not just within the intricate design work, but within the soul and energy of each location.
One of my favourite temple visits has been to Wat Thammamongkhon. Located in On Nut (Sukhumvit Soi 101). It is famous for not only having the highest pagoda in Bangkok, but for also housing a real hair of Lord Buddha.
The pagoda is 94.78 metres high and has 14 storeys to climb. There's a wealth of ancient relics to view and an elevator to take those who can't brave the stairs to the top floor where the sacred hair is kept.
The hair was presented to Thailand by the Supreme Patriarch of Bangladesh, and is held in an urn at the top of the building. The views across Bangkok are incredible, and I highly recommend this is on your trip list if you visit the capital.
Within the temple grounds are a number of buildings, including a Chinese Buddhist shrine with a beautiful gold ceiling. The temple is a place of study for many young monks, and you'll no doubt bump into a few around the grounds.
I was quite surprised to see a classroom full of computers ready for lessons, but impressed that the young monks were able to join in the digital revolution.
Wat Thammamongkhon is a popular place of meditation and merit making for Thais, yet being set well back from the main road, is seldom discovered by foreign tourists.
I've included a few pictures of my trip below. You will know the picture of Lord Buddha's hair when you see the urn in a glass casing surrounded by flowers . Apologies in advance for the poor lighting on a few of the shots; I turned the flash off out of respect for those sitting peacefully inside certain areas of the temple grounds.