Arriving in Bangkok

October 30 to November 1, 2002

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Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon, the oldest and largest wat in Bangkok, was built in the 16th century during the Ayutthava period and then almost completely rebuilt in 1781 by King Rama I. It feature the largest reclining Buddha and the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand and was the earliest centre for public education. The tremendous reclining Buddha, 46 metres long and 15 metres high, illustrates the passing of the Buddha into Parinibbana (post-death nirvana). The figure is modelled out of plaster around a brick core and finished in gold leaf. Mother-of-pearl inlay ornaments the eyes and feet of the colossal image, the feet displaying 108 different ouspicious characteristics of a Buddha.