Wat Bang Thong, Krabi
The most beautiful Temple in the south of Thailand...
Still as much attracted by temples and their architectural wonders, I must admit that when I arrived on the spot, I quickly felt a feeling of admiration and wonder... After going around this absolutely splendid site and bringing back many pictures, I can tell you that for me, this Wat Bang Thong, is one of the most beautiful temples (one can say the most beautiful...) of the southern region...
Located at one hour and a half drive from Phuket, this place should become a must-see destination and should obligatorily appear in your list of sites to visit if you organize an excursion.
Although this temple is brand new, barely finished, we can say that it still has no soul, no past, no life as we can feel it in other older temples which are sometimes a hundred years old... nevertheless Wat Bang Thong really impressed me by its very particular architecture, its multitudes of details, its assemblages of colors, its compositions of roofs, statuettes... in short, you guessed it, I am under the charm.
The Orientation of Wat Bang Thong...
My astonishment concerns the orientation of this temple.
Usually Buddhist temples are oriented towards the east... but this one is facing due north...
Usually the sun will illuminate the Buddha statue through the main door of the temple, since it is from the East that the light is born...
What are the reasons for this difference here...? I have no idea.
On the outside of the compound...
Before entering the temple enclosure, you will find this small building housing a magnificent statue of Buddha.
Already at this point, which is the very beginning of the visit and discovery, you will be amazed. The statuettes, the sculptures, the roofs that I still admire so much, this little corner already gives a good idea of the level and quality of what we are about to discover.
Access to the Temple
As in many temples in Thailand, you are asked to take off your shoes. There is a place to store your shoes. All the interior visit of the temple, being made barefoot...
An entry ticket will be given to you against 50 bahts...
The Main Gate
The Great Court and the impressive Chedi
This great Chedi, 70 metres high, is an undeniable work of art. The hundreds of statuettes, the decorated doors, the beams, the posts, the fences, it is an incredible work that has been done here.
This large and impressive central Chedi looks like a Putthakaya style temple, one can establish similarities between this style and that of the Aztecs of Mexico.
Wat Bang Thong was financed almost entirely by donations from the local people who wanted to have a beautiful temple of art in their area. There were also donations from Bangkok who helped with the construction but the vast majority came from locals.
The total cost was estimated at about 100 million THB.
The Interior of Chedi, the temple
The peripheral gallery
In the courtyard, a multitude of details
Monk Luang Pu Thuad
Luang Pu Thuat is mentioned in early regional histories of southern Thailand, but his life is mainly preserved in oral traditions. The stories of the famous monk have been passed on by word of mouth for centuries. It is therefore a mixture of Buddhist elements: warning signs, presumed magic, travel, study, meditation and, finally, "holiness".
His travels in the south of the Thai peninsula are a pilgrimage route for many of his followers [quote needed].
It is also said that Luang Pu Thuat saved countless lives, whether on the battlefield, in car accidents, in armed robberies, or even more thanks to his sacred amulets.