Friday, April 27, 2012

The Buddhist Temple of Tampa

My father instilled a great love of word religion and culture in me from very early age. His curiosity about life often leads our family into some surprisingly exotic adventures. For example, one day we ended up at Wat Mongkolratanaram - a Thai Buddhist Temple located in Tampa.

The stunning golden detailing of the temple was the first thing we laid eyes on as we strolled up from the parking lot. The temple itself is very small but completely breathtaking. 

A serene Buddha greets visitors along the walkway. 

On Sundays the grounds are open to the public for a large scale Thai buffet. 

My sister Jenny reverently carrying her bowl of soup down the steps. 

A view of the sunlit picnic area from the dock. 

These signs were placed randomly all around the Temple area. Each one was hand painted in English and Thai and had different saying on each one. "True love never runs smooth" is a personal favorite of mine. 

The colorful Thai desserts. 

My sisters Jenny and Liz. 

A small sculpture overlooking the river. 

Another shot of the Buddha statue set against the trees and temple roof. 

Orchids on display at the market. 

Golden dishes ceremoniously laid out with pennies.

While I was at the Temple I got used to seeing all of the inspirational quotes painted on the wooden boards. As I was walking around I came across I metal folding chair propped against a tree. It had Thai script written across the back. I was intrigued because it had no English translation and I'm not sure that it was even meant to be seen. I still thought it was beautiful in its peaceful isolation. 

One of the Buddhist Monks ambulating around the perimeter of the Temple. 

My sisters sitting on the edge of the dock watching the catfish gather as the afternoon approached.

I was lucky enough to snap a picture of this little boy who was so enthusiastic about feeding the catfish that he got rice all over himself. 

Jenny enjoying her time on the dock. 

A sample of the vegetables being sold at the market.

One last view of the temple lit by the blazing afternoon sun. 

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