The Grand Palace in Bangkok

We drove all the way across Bangkok to get to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho and to the Royal Barges across the Chao Phraya river (map from Moon Handbook of Thailand).

Below is a graphic of the Grand Palace compound, scanned from a pamphlet. Big and beautiful.




  
              
      

        
The mural paintings on the cloister walls consist of 178 scenes telling the Ramakien epic, the story of love and war, good defeating evil. Very carefully, artisans are restoring these murals.

 
                                    The art is mesmerizing - each detail is so carefully wrought.

    
Stone guardian lions stand watch in front of almost every dwelling, the manifestation of yin (female) and yang (male). In the middle picture, there are two pairs of guardian lions in addition to us. According to feng shui, correct placement of the lions is important to ensure protection. When looking out the door of the structure, the male is on the left and the female on the right. (Tom and I should have switched places.) Symbolically, the female protects those dwelling in the house, while the male guards the structure. It is easy to tell them apart, since the male has a ball or globe under his paw, whereas the female has a cub. Each has a "pearl" inside his or her slightly opened mouth.