Hiking in the Cinque Terre

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Viewing the Royal Urn


My video shows our walk to the Grand Palace compound, and behind the walls.  Along the route, you will see glimpses of Wat Phra Kaew, arguably Thailand's most famous temple.  There's also footage of the exterior of the Grand Palace itself, which is not open to the public for viewing, despite the fact it's not the residence of present-day Thai kings.  Kade is walking in front of me, so she's quiet visible. Everybody, of course, is wearing black since our destination was a temple where the royal urn is. This urn will hold Thailand's late king's ashes after his cremation this October.  Also, inside the temple, where we were for a brief moment, the king's body supposedly was in a coffin, but was out of view. We were ushered into the room, where we knelt on the floor and gave a respectful bow towards the urn.  Then we were up and out a side door.  Photos and videos were off-limits.  I will say that the anticipation of the moment was pretty intense, and the beauty and attention to detail was beyond words.  From the time we arrived in the early morning to beat the heat and avoid long lines to the walk out a back exit to the street, it took at most three hours - probably was more like two.  And after we were done, we took a short taxi ride to the entrance to Wat Pho, a large adjacent temple complex that contains The Reclining Buddha, one of the country's top landmarks and spiritual centers.

Click here for an amazing aerial view of the Grand Palace.  It's on the riverbank, and part of a sprawling complex surrounded by a white wall.  To its left is the Wat Pho.  The patch of dirt and grass to the right of the Grand Palace is where the Royal Crematorium is being constructed.  The Facebook page is really, really good, and there's an album titled Thailand From Above that's outstanding.  There are more aerials of the Grand Palace there.  After taking a look around, check out Aey's Architectural and Cityscape Photography.  He's the same person who created the Facebook page.  On this site, you can see a fairly recent image of the progress of the crematorium.  

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