Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nakhon Pathom, Thailand - A Visit to the World's Tallest Stupa

Phra Pathom Chedi, the world's tallest Buddhist monument. This photo only courtesy of wikipedia's jpatokal.

Nakhon Pathom, some 56 kilometers west of Bangkok, is reputed to be the oldest city in Thailand. And Phra Pathom Chedi is this bell-shaped brick stupa built by Khmer King Suryavarman I of Angkor. This is the world's biggest Buddist monument. Having mentioned this, I ventured to sneak a visit to see this chedi.

There were people dancing by the roadside, throwing pails of water at passersby. It's the last day of the Songkran - the Water Festival. This stretched all the way from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathon, which, via a mini-bus - van, really (from along Pathon Yothin Road near the Victory Monument) - took an hour to reach. After seemingly getting lost, I finally found the grounds where this huge stupa stands.

Several devotees populated the compound. Monks were chanting their prayers. People were writing names on a red board, throwing coins on platters, and offering lotus to the buddhas that sit in caverns, surrounding the chedi. I rang a bell - 3x - as they're said to bring luck. Why not? Just 60 baht away from Bangkok, why not visit? Did I say you can see this temple for free? Wish I wasn't so lazy to upload some photos right now, but I am, so they will be for another time.

For now I was gonna go watch a Thai film called "Sassy Players" which feature a young cast, set on a high school. They were gonna be the odd-guys to enter a hotly contested football match (soccer). The Thai title has a funny literal meaning that when I asked the girl at the ticket booth, she laughed "Sexy Players", she said. Huh? "Horny Players?"

This is the
Eye in the Sky watching all the way from Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

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