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Tourists are likely more familiar with Wat Phra Kaew's home, the grounds of the legendary Grand Palace. Wat Phra Kaew -- Temple of the Emerald Buddha -- enshrines one of Thailand's most revered Buddha statues, which was carved out of a single block of jade.
This Buddha image is certainly well travelled. According to Thailand's official palace website, it was first discovered in Chiang Rai in 1464, brought down to Lampang where it remained till King Tilok of Lannathai brought it to Chiang Mai, his capital. Then it was brought to Luang Prabang, Laos, before heading to Vientiane.
Then, the King of Thonburi sent an expedition to bring it back. When King Rama I built the city of Bangkok, including the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha was installed in the chapel, where it remains today.
Also worth checking out in this Bangkok temple are the murals, which depict the traditional life-story of the Buddha, proverbs and episodes from the Ramakien -- the Thai version of the Ramayana.
Located inside the Grand Palace, Na Phra Lan Road. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. +66 (0)2 623 5500 Ext. 1124, 3100.
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