Photo: Clarity among the malls.

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Wat Pathum Wanaram

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King Rama IV founded Wat Pathum Wanaram in the mid-19th century to complement a royal palace that was demolished in the 1930s. Now it’s a calming Buddhist complex squeezed between Thailand’s two largest shopping malls amid the unabashed materialism of Siam Square.

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The temple is commonly known as Wat Pathum (Lotus Temple) and goes by the alternate name of Wat Sra, after the name of the palace, Wat Sra Pathum. All that’s left of a large lotus pond is a murky oval of water out front near a car park. Locals come to wish for health and prosperity while burning incense at a Buddha shrine beneath an old Bodhi tree nearby.

Classic lines, tragically once a shooting gallery. Photo taken in or around Wat Pathum Wanaram, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

Classic lines, tragically once a shooting gallery. Photo: David Luekens

Step through the thick gates to the temple’s more tidy section to find a white chedi that we envisioned to be a middle finger of elegance facing the concrete walls of Siam Paragon, on one side, and Central World, on the other. The top of Baiyoke Tower II, Bangkok’s second tallest building, looms above the chofa finials that top the gabled roofs of the small wihaan and ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)


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