There's a temple, a short trip east from Bangkok, on a pier in the sea in the gulf of Thailand, called Wat Hong Thong and it's one of the most beautiful temples I've seen in a long time. Picture the scene, it's a hot humid day, you sit on a pier with a cooling sea breeze blowing in from the gulf, and the gentle sound of thousands of bells.
There's a canopy over the pier to shield you from the sun, people write their name on a little leaf attached to the clapper of the bell and make their wish. Then they tie the bell up onto the canopy. If the wind favors their wish, then the bell rings loudly so their wish can be heard.
I think this photograph really sums up the place, female monks sitting enjoying the cool sea breeze with the calming sound of the bells above, soothes their ears and calms their minds. Before you even get to the temple itself the bells have put you in the mood to pray.
I visited the temple when the tide was out, mud skippers were everywhere under the pier, crabs were feeding below and the whole place teemed with life. At the end of the pier is the temple itself, a three layer temple with a pagoda on top.
The lowest temple has this large gong in it, the female monks that run the temple let me strike it. The sound was so low is was almost inaudible, a deep deep resonating sound you feel more than you hear.
Upstairs is a the second level temple, this has big and small emerald Buddhas in it, and a balcony to see the sea.