Temple Hopping through Bangkok on New Year’s Eve

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On my very first day in Bangkok, I decided to go on a temple hopping adventure via boat since the roads were traffic heavy due to the New Year’s season.  Though I’ve traveled to many temples in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, I’d say the ones in Thailand are the most beautiful due to their unique architecture, sometimes even featuring a neon backdrop in addition to intricate patterns.  This was my first time being in a tropical country during the winter season, and I definitely prefer the warmer weather because it’s easier to travel in!

For boat tours, I definitely recommend choosing one from Get Your Guide because their prices are way cheaper than what the locals will give you.  I chose to go to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and see the Golden Buddha there.  The Grand Palace was once home to the Kings of Siam, who were the previous monarchs of Thailand.  It is now a place where ceremonies are held.  The other temples have famous architecture, and are a must-see for those who are in Thailand.  They are very easy to access and are not far from the city center.

I thought the Golden Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho was unique because he had ancient scriptures inscribed on the bottom of his feet.  This temple is supposedly said to be where the Thai Massage was first put into practice, and is one of the oldest in Thailand.  This Buddha is also the largest in Thailand!  It represents him during his last mortal moments before his entry into Nirvana and is a sacred place.

I’m not particularly a religious person—I believe that you should see yourself as your own god and express your gratitude to the people you love the most instead of a higher power or entity, but I definitely felt a sense of peace and happiness while I was here. I studied Buddhism in college to get my Japanese degree, and I agree with many of the teachings.  The feeling you get when you plan a long trip to a temple and reach your destination is also very inspiring, and I hope to visit many more in the future.

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