As you walk through a Thai temple, a host of unfamiliar objects, shapes and patterns tug at you from every direction. This handy and lucid guidebook will help you distinguish what is what. It takes you through a representative Thai Buddhist temple, guiding you from structure to structure and element to element, explaining the function and purpose of each, and the symbolism behind the forms. A Thai wat can be a place of bewildering beauty, but this illustrated companion will help you focus your eyes and identify what you see. Tourists and residents, novices and scholars will gain a clearer sense of what a wat is and the role it plays today in the lives of Thai people.