Photo. Talat Noi Studio.
Yak Figures in Wat Phrakao, Bangkok.
curious art, you shall be blind, knowing that the appeal of the phraprang is made for a distance and goes out in colour and in form to the appreciative eye. Seen from the water in the proper morning light, it is a rarely beautiful thing. Even at midday, with the sun overhead and little or no colour thrown off the china chips, its outline is beautiful; and as the sun sets behind it, and shadows creep down its eastern side, its lines again stand out, a great landmark in Bangkok. A green giant and his wife guard a shrine in the precincts, and inside the shrine is a royal bedstead of solid teak, in one piece, large beyond any that can now be found in all Siama s forests.
The a golden mount "a a let no traveller be seduced into rising early in order to climb this factitious hill, and see Bangkok at sunrise, for the sun will rise through mist, and he will see nothing. Let no traveller either expect to see any gold about this mount. Any that may have gilded its topmost spire is not to-day conspicuous. The mount is, however, a curio in brick and cement that is worth a visit. It rises to 200
feet, and from the top, reached by steps, may be seen all Bangkok and the glory of its wats, phra-prangs and prachedis, with a glinting of water in the klongs, a sea of foliage and a disastrous amount of corrugated zinc roofs. At the base of the golden mount squeals a steam sawmill, whose smoke drifts about the mount. The top of the mount is a prachedi hung with bronze bells, tinkled at times by the breeze or the crows, who do much business here and discuss it raucously. Under the prachedi is a clumsy square brick building through the wooden bars of whose gate can be dimly discerned in the deep gloom of the centre, a small Buddha, shining and smiling to himself in the dark. On five days in the year this shrine is a place of pilgrimage whence the pilgrims may survey the Throne Hall, the Amphorn Palace, the barracks, the War School, Wat Phra Keoa s golden prachedi, the three black roofs of the Chakri palace, with Wat Po and the yot of Wat Chang, the red swinging posts and Wat Sutat hard by these, and many factory chimneys spewing smoke. Immediately below are priestsa houses and a cremation ground. Hideously high, and hopelessly conspicuous, are two water tanks in cement on straddling legs. Attached to the golden mount is a wat with a green roof, gold bordered. The mount itself is falling to pieces, but is maintained in ruin by the roots of trees and shrubs and bushes.
Its grottoes and vaults and rocks have an aii* of extreme senility, not in the least warranted by their actual age of, perhaps, a century, or by their provenance from artifice.
Photo. Talat Noi Studio.
The museum on _ a a ,,, _ , txt 1 t~\ , , Gallery of Buddhas, \ at
the Wat Pratat road, phrakad, Bangkok.