The glittering capital of Thailand is a city that blends the old with the new. Historic temples and religious shrines stand alongside lavish shopping malls and luxury hotels; Bangkok is one of the world’s favourite travel destinations. The sprawling metropolis has a vibrant street food scene and the Chao Phraya River flows through it with an imposing presence. To experience this city in style look up Chatrium Hotels & Residences, a premium accommodation provider in Bangkok.
A tour of the cultural and religious sites in Bangkok calls for a stop at Wat Suthat. Located in the Rattanakosin Royal District, it is one of the oldest temples in the city. It has a striking appearance, which features a sweeping roof with traditional embellishments, painstakingly hand-carved door panels of teak and a lofty red swing that stands at its entrance.
Construction on the temple began during the time of King Rama I and was only completed by the reign of King Rama III. Its purpose was to provide shelter for the Buddha statue, a thirteenth century bronze creation that was brought across from Sukhotai by boat. Four gateways and one hundred and fifty six Buddha statues occupy the walls of temple’s courtyard. The Giant Swing at Wat Suthat is its most iconic feature. It has two red pillars that reach a height of over twenty one metres and a decorative crossbar. The swing that stands today was put up in 2004 and replaced the original from 1784. Historically, during the annual Brahmin ceremony of thanksgiving that follows the main rice harvest in December, young men would ride the swing. It was suspended twenty four metres above the ground and the aim was to grab a bag of silver coins using their teeth. After a number of severe injuries and deaths, the tradition came to an end in 1932.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+