Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, Thailand. His 46-meter-long, fifteen-meter-high body is gold-plated, his eyes are mother-of-pearl, and the bottoms of his feet are inscribed with 108 auspicious scenes. (You can just see the start of them in the far right of the picture, next to his toes.) In addition to the compound housing the Reclining Buddha, the Wat Pho grounds also include a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence, and a garden featuring a tree grown from a cutting of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment. It is also a center for traditional Thai massage - the walls are decorated with everything known about massage in the reign of King Rama III, and if you travel to Wat Pho, you too can enjoy a massage (150 baht, or about $4.80, for 30 minutes).

A postillion landau (left) and a 4-wheeled dog cart (right), from a series of four stamps on royal carriages, issued in 2009.

And from a set of four stamps issued in 1998 "to campaign for Thai people to recognize the importance of Thai arts and culture and celebrate the 1998-1999 Amazing Thailand year."

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