Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is home to the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha’s temple is one of the most venerated sites for Buddhists from all over the World and is always packed with worshippers. The Emerald Buddha is not, in fact, made of emerald. It is made of jade. It used to be encased in plaster and was not considered special until one day when a young monk dropped it and cracked it. He was terribly afraid he had ruined it but, on closer inspection, he discovered the Emerald Buddha hiding beneath the plaster.
Now it sits in pride of place in its’ own temple and the King of Thailand chooses outfits for it! (It has one for each season-seriously). When my friend and I visited, we had to remove our shoes and we weren’t allowed to point our feet directly at it, nor show it the soles of our feet as the feet are considered dirty in Thailand, Farangs (foreigners) feet are thought to be especially unclean, in fact, they had shoe racks for Thais and separate ones marked Farang!