Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pitsanoluk, Sukhothai, Lampang

Everywhere in Thailand there are temples, lots of temples. However, every one of them (at least the ones we went to) was very unique. Not only that, but the styles changed based on where we were in the country. As we headed further north we witnessed the changing styles.

Pitsanoluk had a temple that was highly decorated on the inside and very beautiful. It was famous throughout Thailand for its beauty and as the temple to get your fortune. People come to this temple and "cast lots." They have a cup with 28 sticks in it. They shake the cup until just one stick falls out and that stick corresponds to a specific fortune (changed monthly). Unfortunately, Erin's fortune was that she would have problems with her lover and not be able to have children. What does that say about me??
We drove to the old city of Sukhothai. Sukhothai was the first capital of Thailand, from about 1250-1450 and like Ayutthaya, had some vast and beautiful ruins. This area was particularly well groomed. There were lakes and beautiful landscaping to go with some large "walking" Buddhas and old buildings.

We also went to the famous "talking Buddha" with its beautiful long fingers.
Nearby there was a long suspension bridge over a river. As we walked across a young Thai boy silently grabbed Erin's hand and like a gentlemen escorted her across the river and back so that she wouldn't be scared. He of course was rewarded.

In Lampang we visited a temple built in the northern style. Among the differences are their Teak wood construction and round-faced Buddhas with chins. Teak trees grow in northern Thailand and are hard and valuable wood, but they are extremely slow growing so they basically aren't cut anymore. It is interesting how the image of Buddha changes with the region. Thai people in the northern region have more round faces with chins so their Buddha images look like them. I guess it helps them relate more to Buddha, even though he was from India and probably looked much different.


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