Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Very well. Salonistas, I should like to present Admiral Caldwell, late of Steeltopia.
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: my key board is weird. Makes me Jump unintentionally when typoing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: He and his weird keyboard will be focussing on the areas of Bangkok, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace in Siam, as the late Dowager Empress of Steeltopia was from that area, and he is most familiar with that part of the land.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Remember, bitte, no weaponry to express disapproval, this is not the Jaeger Poetry Slam. Throw money instead. All donations to the tipjar on the stage will be presented to our speaker, and do consider contributing to this facility as well if you might. Tea and coffee are available from the tables behind you. Admiral, bitte, would you begin?
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: Thank you Baron. It is my pleasure and honor today to be presenting the two most important jewels of Siam, in the capital of Bangkok. The first one will be of the Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
The local name for it is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan. (Say THAT 10 times fast!) It is the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok and houses more than 1000 Buddha images, far more than any within the land of Siam.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: How old?
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: It was built in 1782. Named after a monastery in India where Buddha is said to have lived. The temple sits upon the site, Wat Phodharam that was a place for the study and traditional Thai medicine. Statues in yoga positions were created as well. Built in 1782-1809 AD, the place went through many changes over the next 260 years. During the reign of King Rama III 1824-1851 AD, medical texts were inscribed upon plaques and were placed around the temple. Wat Pho is where traditional Thai massage was originated.
Along the temple grounds, around the main temple itself .. one can come across various Chinese Guardian Statues.
Garnet Psaltery: Why were they Chinese and not Siamese?
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: Well, due to Chinese influence during ancient times, these statues were brought in many years ago, around the Burmese, Siam war.
One can also find artful wall murals along the outside walls. That's a sample of a wall art, depicting all the ancient wars. These pictures, I tell you, do NOT do it justice.
Jimmy Branagh: 'oo's th' big scary guy?
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: A Guardian. More on those images when we get to the Grand Palace.
Here you will see the Reclining Buddha - that's him right there. 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Gold plating covers his body and he has pearls in his eyes and on the soles of his feet. The bottom of the feet is intricately decorated with 108 scenes in the style of Indian and Chinese.
Here you see the king responsible for the creation of the temple, King Rama 1. Further on through the years the temple was built upon by King Rama III.
Ahh, I cannot forget ... the massage statues. Those are the statues near the massage school.
This is a ceramic wall decoration, which can be found throughout the temple.
Here, more gold.
Tepic Harlequin: they must all be very rich, over there...
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: If only that were true :) But gold is reserved, or was reserved more for Royalty and the temples.
Another area of interest is the Grand Palace of Siam. This area was a long time place of residency for the Royal families through the ages. Stone giants, these are the demons that guard the palace. The Guardian Demons. The Grand Palace was built by the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, King Rama I, in 1782 and established Bangkok as Siam's new capital (Previously Thonburi). The result after years of work, the palace turned from simple wood to a vast complex of jewels, gold and splendor, rather than being a single structure.
Garnet Psaltery: I'm amazed it's still standing.
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: it is being taken care of and maintained.
This here is the Royal Residence.
Linus Lacombe: They don't get to live in that rambling palace anymore?
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: Unfortunately, no.
Here you see the various flags of Old Siam. Elephants are considered to bring good luck.
Nika Thought-werk (robotnika) raises her hand.
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: Yes Nika?
Nika Thought-werk (robotnika): Sir, do el'phants really get scared over mice? I heard that.
Iuʌǝɹʇıƃo: hehe. I have not witnessed that, and can't honestly answer Yes or No. But I should experiment next I return there, for... science.
This concludes my presentation. It has been an honor sharing my mom's culture!