Wat Pho (pronounced Wat-Poor) is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok. Located in the Phar Nakhon district, Wat Pho is walking distance to Kaho San Road and the Chayo Phraya River.
The wat is world famous for the huge image of the reclining Buddha inside the temple. The statue is 15 meters high and 43 meters long, with the foot of the Buddha scribed with pearls. The underside of the foot is split up into 108 unique sections, displaying lucky symbols.
Next to the statue lie 108 bronze bowls that reflect each of the symbols on the Buddha’s foot. It is believed that you will bring luck upon yourselves if you place money into these bowls. The money collected is used to help maintain the temple. Continue reading Visiting Wat Pho, Bangkok→
The Golden Lands, by Vikram Lall – JF Publishing in partnership with Abbeville Press, September 2014 – international/publisher-direct ISBN 9789670138039
Here are some answers to frequent questions about The Golden Lands book – and please feel free to add comments on this post or contact us with further questions.
What is the book about?
This is a study of the architectural history of Buddhist stupas, temples, monasteries, and temple complexes, through the eyes of a professional architect, covering many famous historical (and living Buddhist) monuments in Southeast Asia, as well as documenting a series of lesser-known sites.
The book is in “coffee table” size and is extensively illustrated with beautiful colour photographs, as well as diagrams and maps.
Here is a selection of other architecture / design / history titles from the same publisher and associated publishers which are likely to be of interest to architects, Asian culture lovers, and travellers.
The ISBN can be searched in any online bookstore, and each image links to the book’s page on tuttlepublishing.com
Wat Yansangwararam (pronounced Wat Yana-sang-wara-ram) is located approximately 20km south of the seaside town of Pattaya. Enclosed in a huge 145 acre complex, Wat Yansangwararam is surrounded by clean gardens, massive lakes, and several different architectural styles of buildings, making it the perfect place to spend a day seeing the quieter side of Thailand.
The temple was built in 1976 to celebrate the Supreme Patriarch Somdej Phra Yanasangworn, who at the time was the current leader of the Thai Monastic Order.
Wat Mahathat (pronounced Wat Ma-har-rarrt), also known as the Monastery of the Great Relic, is a temple ruin located in central Ayutthaya, Thailand.
The temple is believed to have been built around the 14th century and was once residence to the Supreme Patriarch leader of the Thai Buddhist monks. Today it sits in the Ayutthaya Historical Park along with several of temples, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.
History of Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat first fell into ruin in the early 16th century when the main prang was said to have collapsed.
Pha That Luang is a Buddhist stupa located just 5km from the centre of Vientiane in Laos.
It is believed that the current principal stupa of Pha That Luang was built in the 1566 century and to this day is the national symbol of Laos. Pha That Luang was built when King Setthathirat decided to move the capital of Laos from Luang Prabang to Vientiane, and ordered the construction of a magnificent stupa. He believed that creating Pha That Luang would help to achieve his own enlightenment.
The main stupa was designed to resemble a pyramid and is protected by 30 more smaller stupas at the base. The stupa is around 69 meters long and approximately 45 meters high: builders were said to have used a thousand pounds of gold leaf in weight to decorate it.
Here are our top recommended resources about the history of architecture in Indonesia, and travel to the historical sites, with particular focus on Buddhist temples, monuments, and archaeological areas.
(Webliography is a word we’ve just invented to mean a bibliography of web resources…)
This is a work in progress so please send us your ideas with other sites and pages we should include.
Wat That Thong is a Thai Buddhist temple located in the heart of Bangkok that is not on most travellers itinerary, instead opting to see the more famous temples in Bangkok such as Wat Arun or Wat Pho (temple of the reclining Buddha).
Wat That Thong was built in 1937, and sits where two previous Buddhist temples were once standing. The biggest attraction of Wat That Thong is the beautifully crafted statue of the golden Buddha, sitting in the lotus position.
Angkor Wat is rightly Cambodia’s most famous historical and religious site, visited by millions every year [4.6million estimated in 2014]. But what is not clear to many until visiting is that Angkor is quite a large area near the city of Siem Reap actually containing many temples, palaces, and other ancient buildings of a wide range of architectural styles spanning several centuries.
Here is a public domain simplified map showing the many major sites near the main complexes of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom:
An historical periodization of the styles of architecture found in and around Angkor can be a useful reference both to navigating the different eras of sites closely located in the area, as well as placing the temple architecture found around the rest of Cambodia.
But we’re not the only ones on Slideshare with interests in these topics! Here are some recommended slideshows from other sources, have a look through! [Information from 3rd parties comes with no warranty 🙂 ]
Of the thousands of pagodas and temples in Myanmar, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda (also spelled Chauk Htet Gyi) stands out because of its famous huge reclining Buddha. The pagoda is located on Shwe Gone Dine Road, Bahan Township, in the North of Yangon.
The need for good maps in Asia began early in history thanks to extensive overland and maritime trading between the many states and kingdoms… and when looking at more modern maps of the Far East and Southeast Asia you will soon run into the history of the East India Companies in the region.
Here are some cartographic resources which reveal the companies’ and Western colonial powers’ own cartography as well as a selection of other useful maps and illustrations of trade routes.
The link to the information is given under each image. Where a high resolution version of the map is available online publicly I’ve linked from our smaller image here to the main file.
1. Dutch East India Company trade network in the 18th Century
Regional trade and indications of main export/import products
South East Asia has many prominent pagodas, temples and monuments which are the major attraction to the region, for history buffs, pilgrims, and general travellers alike. One of the common issues for new travellers is fatigue from seeing too many places at one time and trying to absorb huge amounts of information. Here are a few tips on how to avoid temple overload when travelling…
New from our research, here’s a mind map showing over 80 Buddhist centres and organizations in the UK, divided into centres in London vs rest of UK, plus Buddhist retreats in the UK, educational organizations, top web resources, and a few shops/bookshops.