Well, its been a while!
The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as Wat Sakae. When Bangkok became the capital, King Rama I renovated the temple and gave it its present name. Phu Khao Thong (Golden mountain, ภูเขาทอง) is a steep artificial hill inside the Wat Saket compound. Rama I's grandson, King Rama III, decided to build a chedi of huge dimensions inside Wat Saket, but the chedi collapsed during construction because the soft soil of Bangkok could not support the weight. The hill was built out of the mud dug out to make the canal network around Bangkok. During the reign of King Rama IV, construction began of a small chedi on the hill. It was completed early in the reign of his son, King Rama V. A relic of the Buddha was brought from Sri Lanka and placed in the chedi. The surrounding concrete walls were added in the 1940s to stop the hill from eroding.
The way up is not, despite what the guidebooks say, anything more than a gentle stroll. To start with they have these little grottos with the statues above in them. They look really atmospheric because they have the water misters that they use to keep people cool in queues, which create a nice steamy atmos. Further up there are loads and loads of bells, as per with temples and these interesting hear no, see no, speak no evil statues.
At the top is a fairly standard golden chedi but it does give nice views over the city. Each corner of the chedi has a statue on it, which are then draped with flowers and what not as blessings or, of course, bells.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them