The Grand Palace was established in 1782 after King Rama I’s ascension to the throne. In moving the capital from Thonburi to the opposite site of the Chao Phraya, King Rama I intended to reproduce the destroyed capital of Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya was established in 1350 by King U-Thong and was home to Thailand's capital and 33 kings until it fell to the Burmese in 1767. Ayutthaya was a majestic city with three palaces and 400 temples. After a 15 month siege, the Burmese destroyed much of Ayutthaya - even decapitating the heads of many Buddhas.
After visiting Ayutthaya, we went to the banks of the Chaopraya River and Bang Pa In, the summer palace of the kings of Thailand. The temple and palace date back to the 17th century.
Meaghan and I reached Cheongpyeongsa after a ferry ride across part of Soyang Lake and then a rather easy hike. Cheongpyeongsa is a historic Buddhist temple that was constructed in 973 during King Gwangjong’s reign of the Goryeo Kingdom.
Meaghan and I went on a tour of temples, castles, palaces and shrines. Because Kyoto escaped WWII bombings, you can pretty much walk in any direction and hit something historic. We visited the Imperial Palace, , Heian Jingu Shrine, Nijo Castle and the Golden Pavillon among others.
While in Osaka, Meaghan and I visited the Osaka Castle. It was a carnival like atmosphere and we became convinced that they were trying to set a record for the most people eating watermellon. Also, of interest, the Japanese are really into bad fads. The three main groups that we found were 80's glam, punk and rastafari. There's a good picture of a few 80's glam dancers preparing for a dance contest.
The Lama Temple is Beijing’s largest and most spectacular temple. The temple was built in 1694 as the residence for the son of the Qing Emperor, Kangxi. It was later converted into a lamasery, a monastery for Mongolian and Buddhist monks. The lamasery features a mix of Mongolian, Tibetan and Han styles and houses a treasury of Buddhist art.