Recycling in the old days


Question: What do you do with your defective porcelain?

Answer: If you are Chinese, and it is the 1800’s, you use it as ballast in your cargo ships; however if you are Siamese, you realize it makes ideal building materials for your next temple.

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Although Wat Arun is called the Temple of the Dawn, supposedly it is best viewed at sunset, when the light makes all of the porcelain glow, and the temple slowly turns into a silhouette against the crimson sky. Mike and I had another location in mind for our sunset hours, so we visited in the morning. The view from across the river was spectacular enough for us, even without a dramatic sky.

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If you are game enough to climb the steep steps (check out the relationship between that guy’s leg and the step behind him to get a feel for it), you are rewarded with a spectacular view.

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Oh wait–those weren’t the steep steps, these are the steep steps, and someone thoughtfully left a bottle on one of them to provide scale. They are SHALLOW, steep steps, not designed for big western feet!

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Going up was like climbing a ladder; coming down was a bit harder, but the view was so worth it.

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On the top left, you can see the rooftops of the Grand Palace.

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The view looking up was pretty great too. Erawan, the elephant that the Hindu god Indra rides, is standing on the ledge above us. (Don’t see Indra, though).

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The grounds surrounding the temple, normally lovely, are even more so, because they are being decorated for Chinese New Year with red lanterns everywhere. Can you see the two Yakshas guarding the entrance? These spirit “monsters” were at the grand palace and also had green and white faces.

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I’ll end this post with a question:
What do Thais have in common with the Brits, Aussies, Kiwis (New Zealanders), Indians, Japanese and South Africans? This is a hard one. The answer will be in the next post.

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