Thai Buddhist Temple Offering Pots

Offerings and Meditation

These pots lined the exit of the Reclining Buddha. What struck me was their dual purpose. First they solicit donations for the temple. As you pass each one a small denomination coin is dropped in as an offering. Second, they are yet another form of meditation…a walking meditation, rhythmic…full of thoughts of charity.

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Small Gold Leaf Covered Buddha in Thailand

Beautiful Offerings

Thailand is one of those places that tops my “The Most Foreign Places I Have Visited” list. I keep saying I think I need to give the country another chance. The more I travel the more I realize my travel style and comfort level tends to lend itself to more to the West. I particularly enjoy the history of Europe, not to mention its climate! Despite this, I firmly believe in testing my own boundaries and comforts. There is a beauty in Thailand unlike any other place on Earth. There is much to be learned here as well, both about the place and, I think, myself.

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Rows of Golden Buddhas

Further Feelings

I said the other day I wanted to bring photos to the blog that evoke the feeling of a place, rather than its plain reality. Wat Pho temple is another world…Thailand itself is another world. The heat and humidity are unlike other hot places I have visited. The weather adds a weight that I found extremely difficult to bear. Everything seems a bit more difficult moving in the powerful sun when its 90% humidity and over 90 degrees! Today’s photo is part of a hall of a large courtyard surrounded by these golden Buddha statues. It is quite interesting standing in the heat, complaining, while the enlightened ones sit calmly, cool as can be.

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Lotus Blossom at Wat Pho, Bangkok Thailand

The Spark of Potential

Where does potential lay?

I sit here wondering that now looking at this lotus blossom. Thailand was a struggle for me. It was hot. I wore long pants. I fear I was on the brink of exhaustion (very common for me traveling).

Where do struggle and potential cross to make something beautiful. The lotus flower is a metaphor, did I miss it in Thailand? Perhaps my struggle was in vain in that place and time. Perhaps I should go back and try a new.

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Odd Table Out in Bangkok, Thailand

Strange Mix

Bangkok seemed to me a hodgepodge. I was only in the city for a few hours, but I was struck by the heat (I cant take the heat) and by the mix and fury at which things happen. There are new structures next to old dilapidated ones. The train system was very clean and interestingly had signs directing passengers to give up your seat to monks. There was noise and commotion and people seemed to literally make a living from discarded junk like many of the water taxi boats had what appeared to be auto engines made into boat engines (radiator and all). I felt like rules were arbitrarily applied. I feel like I need to give the city another chance. It was alive and vibrant and an interesting mix of things I didn’t understand. These tables made me think of all of this.

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Massive Supports at the Bangkok Airport

Airport Trouble

I have never had trouble at an airport like I had at Bangkok Airport! SO many things went wrong for me here. I was denied access to the lounge inbound (I just wanted to take a shower after my very long business class flight). I couldn’t get a boarding pass for my next flight. I left the airport and waste some time on my 18 hour layover and on return there wasn’t anyone to check me back in. I got stuck outside the secure area for 6 hours. On checking in I got levied a tax for leaving the secure area! A thai airport cop nearly knocked me over because their entrance signs are poorly labeled. It goes on and on!

What to do when Stuck

I photograph! Sadly I was so upset and exhausted that I didn’t get as much decent work in as I should have, but after the sun went down and the airport lit up a strange blue color, the massive supports at the Bangkok Airport really impressed me!

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Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho

Expectations are Useless

I often roll my eyes at people when they share their expectations of a place with me. Aren’t the people in Paris rude? No they aren’t if you respect their culture. Isn’t Argentina really poor? They have an host of economic problems as do we…they also have poor people and some that are quite wealthy. Despite my somewhat uppity attitude towards those untraveled…I myself constantly find my expectations blown out of the water. Bangkok was a surprisingly modern city…cue the roll of my eyes at myself.

Wat Pho

During my short (and extremely hot) time in Bangkok, I visited Wat Pho and the surrounding area. I had hands down the BEST Thai food I have ever had from a street vendor and I saw the largest reclining Buddha in the world. From the photo it almost looks like I am looking down on this shrine…I assure you, I was looking (way) up. As impressive as the Buddha was in shear size, I loved the detail work all around the temple almost as much.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 23 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 28mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s