A Bird's-eye View of Bangkok.
carried into effect, and the great boldness with which the figures and flowers have been executed in higha some in fullarelief, producing the wonderful effect of the deep shadows and high lights, redeem the structure from the charge of being absolutely tawdry. I several times examined this curious, if not unique, edifice, and one day, in company with Mr. Libby, ascended it as far as it was possible to proceed, up very steep steps, eighteen inches at least a in the rise,a and was rewarded by a very fine birdas-eye view of the city.
But the finest view of Bangkok and the surrounding country is obtained from the summit of the Wat Sikhet, or rather of the great phrachedee connected with the Wat, and one of the most remarkable structures I have ever seen. The base of the phrachedee from a distance resembles nothing so much as an ancient castle built on and in a rock, where advantage has been taken of every coign of vantage to erect a substantial tower or fort, varying in shape according to circumstances from square, through every imaginable change of angularity, to circular. The resemblance to a fort is increased by the great baulks of timber used for the support of stagings erected for repairs, which project here and there, and look, from the distance, for all the world like ancient long cannon. But a nearer examination shows that this rock-like mass is a huge artificial mound of earth, the sides of which are surrounded by massive brick walls, which form, as it were, buttresses, binding the whole mass together, rising one above the other, and gradually receding as the summit is approached, while every crack and cranny in the ruined sides and the tops of the thick walls forms a foothold for scanty vegetation.
A broad pathway, running round this strangely-constructed mound, leads to the flat summit, which is walledA broad pathway, running round this strangely-constructed mound, leads to the flat summit, which is walled