The boutique is an unfamiliar place, Rama IV Road in the Bangrak District, but quite close to Si Lom Road, an area I frequent. After a bit of a walk under the Bangkok midday heat searching for the shop, I finally stood in front of its doors—with its shutters down. The shop was on a holiday break. Fine.
|Surprise! The flagship store was closed for a 2-day holiday.|
As I made my (long way) back to the metro, I caught site of tiered red gable roofs of a nearby temple jutting out of the landscape of modern buildings from across the Sam Yan Metro Station.
|Caught sight of this temple on my way back to the metro.|
In this case, it took the absence of the eyeglasses to find my way back to the purpose of my travels.I was glad Wat Hua Lamphong was in the same district. It’s been a while since I’ve entered a Royal Buddhist temple (third class) in Thailand.
|Wat Hua Lamphong was in the same district as the store I wanted to check out.|
The temple was constructed in the early Rattanakosin period. But in 1996, on the golden anniversary of the ascension to the throne of King Bhumibol Aulyadej (Rama IX), Wat Hua Lamphong was renovated.
|The temple’s main entrance.|
Different crowds would gather to make offerings to the deities and Thai Buddhist figures like King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and Hindu god Ganesha, which are housed in roofed structures in front of the temple.
|Wat Hua Lamphong is unique because it’s elevated on a platform|
|The ordination hall with its ornate badge in gold & marble clad columns|
|The hall below the elevated temple.|
|Laquered doors & window panels (below) with an intricate design inlayed with mother of pearl|
Stepping in the ordination hall, rich tones of crimson, emerald and gold take over the interior via a vast mural, the room’s jaw-dropping appointment. The magnificent wall painting that tells a story dominates the interior covering the entire upper half of the ordination hall.
|Interior of the Wat Hua Lamphong’s ordination hall|
|A story to tell, a panel of the mural that surrounds the entire upper half of the ornidation hall|
Wat Hua Lampong also holds a crematorium and known for its Chinese cremation ceremonies. In fact, visitors can earn merit by sponsoring coffins to the unprivileged through donations.
Minus eyeglasses, plus Wat Hua Lamphong. The temple experience weighs more than the missing eyepiece. Thank you, Universe.