hak, pakan

Wat Bang Thong, in Krabi

The most beautiful Temple in the south of Thailand...

Always as much attracted by temples and their architectural wonders, I must admit that when I arrived on the spot, I quickly felt a sense of admiration and wonder... After having made the tour of 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 be on your list of sites to visit if you organize an excursion.    

Arrived there around 11am, every photographer knows that it's the worst time to take pictures outdoors... I couldn't avoid this big problem and most of the pictures I present you here, will be for the moment mainly shots of architectural details, decorations, interiors... 

The outside forecourt is splendid but I will have to revise my copy, the light being too blinding, violent, vertical... I promise, considering the distance from my home I will do a series of these outside photos again around 8am... 

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. 


(You can click on the map to enlarge the picture)


Location

Outside the enclosure

Before entering the temple grounds, 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.

 L'accès au Temple

As in many temples in Thailand, you are asked to take off your shoes. A place is provided to store your shoes. All the interior visit of the temple, is done barefoot... 

An entry ticket will be given to you for 50 bahts...  

 The Main Entrance

When you go through this door, you will find yourself in a long peripheral gallery (cloister gallery) going around the whole temple where you will find hundreds of Buddha statues.

 The Peripheral Gallery

This interminable gallery completely surrounding the central Grand Chedi is a haven of peace. Walk slowly, move forward little by little passing in front of all these statues superbly aligned ...  

145 meters long from north to south and 85 meters long from east to west (a total of 460 meters to go), these hundreds of statues aligned with surgical precision, allow you to find peace and quiet and to meditate quietly.

Magnificent 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 great and impressive central Chedi looks like a temple of Putthakaya style, one can establish similarities between this style and that of the Aztecs of Mexico.

Wat Bang Thong was financed almost entirely by donations from local people who wanted to have a beautiful temple of art in their area.

There were also donations from Bangkok that helped with the construction but the vast majority came from locals. 

The total cost was estimated at about 100 million THB.


A sumptuous Chedi...

Seeing the number of photos that I scroll on this chedi, is the proof of my astonishment, my admiration, and all the respect that I have for those who realized this colossal work.

 The Interior of Grand Chedi

There is not a single square centimetre that is not covered by a drawing, a statue, an engraving. The work accomplished is prodigious, and absolutely impressive. 

 So many details...

An incredible amount of details that I show you here... beautiful details, pleasant colors, soft shapes...

 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.

sign

To locate...

Wat Bang Thong