Temple Time in Isaan
A country that is so enveloped with the Buddhist religion has many many many temples and so you guys don’t get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of sacred places to visit here is a quick guideline to the most amazing, extraordinary location in north east Thailand.
„It’s better to travel well than to arrive“ – Buddha
Phra Maha Jadi Chai Mongkol – “The golden temple”
Located in Phu Khao Kiew in the Roi-Et province. This mind-boggling golden monument built to give relics of Buddha a home and offer the people/monks a place for dharma practices & education is one of the largest Pagodas in Thailand. With 101 being the length/width and the height the number is the literal translation of the name Roi-Et (the city nearby). A golden marvel that mesmerizes mind and soul with the top of the main pagoda being made from pure gold. The highlight culturally is the top of the chapel holding Buddha Relics and the highlight visually is the second balcony overlooking the whole are giving view to the world around you.
Sirindhorn Wararam Phru Prao Temple – “The luminescent temple”
Situated on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding area this grand temple special feature is that thanks to the fluorescent paint that covers the floor & walls outside (see pictures at the end) the whole area starts to glow at night with the main attraction being the „tree of life“. As an added perk you get a view of the Mekong River – Worth a stop for beautiful long exposure shots and especially if you organize your stay for the night close by – on your trip through eastern Thailand.
Wat Phrathat Nong Bua – “The pyramid”
One of the most important temples in Ubon Ratchathani this gleaming white and gold chedi feels like a the Buddhist version of an Egyptian pyramid and has an eerie but calm feel to it. Housing relics of Buddha it invites all visitors to come in pay respect and if you want say prayer and send wishes. The marble square surrounding the chedi completes the whole design and is reminiscent of its inspiration the Mahabodhi stupa in India. It is beautiful and was definitely worth every second I spent there.
Wat Burapha Phiram – “The tallest Buddha in Thailand”
This giant stands in the city of Roi Et and is 68 meters tall making it the largest standing Buddha in Thailand – the area is surrounded by a beautiful temple that is worth exploring and as you leave and drive away you realize that Buddha can be seen from almost anywhere within the city watching and somehow guarding all its citizens.
Wat Chai Sri – “7 ways of hell”
One of the oldest temples in Khon Kaen, this small but endearing temple tell the story of Buddha & Angels inside the chapel (please be aware that unfortunately only men are allowed inside the chapel) and outside it tells the story of the 7 ways of Hell in Buddhism – The possibility to see local life, see kids or adults performing traditional songs and dances is an additional perk.
If you are short on time you might want to skip this one.
Honorable Mention: Sala Kaeo Ku – “The Movie Set Piece”
Ok, I haven’t been here but I had to put it in because …..well look at the picture it looks incredible. Feels like the whole area is straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. Unfortunately it is really far away and almost at the border to Laos. But if I had the chance or would be close by seeing the 7 headed Naga towering behind Buddha in a place like this built in 1978 would be something I wouldn’t want to miss.
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