Bangkok, Thailand
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The Marble Temple, Bangkok
Wat Benchamabophit gleams white and gold in the late morning sun, two huge singhas (lions) guarding the entrance to the Bot (ordination hall). The marble it is made from came from Carrara in Italy and is a working temple where Buddhist monks with an intellectual turn of mind go to study. I felt like I was on the set of 'The King and I', the old version with Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, and every minute I expected to see the march of the royal Siamese children, accompanied by appropriate gongs and asian flutes. Thailand must have been an absolute paradise even a hundred and fifty years ago, and when you enter the walls of these temples you get a strong sense of that vanished world. I leave whistling a happy tune...
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