A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about practice

Wat Tham Ta Pan Hell Garden-Phang Nga

A collection of images from my visit to this strange and surreal Wat, very similar to the one in Korat I visited, Wat Pa Lak Roi, which was my first introduction to Buddhist Hell Gardens.
The images leave nothing to the imagination.

Wat Tham Ta Pan in Phang Nga Town is one of the weirdest original temples in southern Thailand. Located around 100 km northeast of Phuket, the site offers a journey through Buddhist Heaven and Hell.

At first sight, the temple looks a bit abandoned and decrepit, which simply adds to the eeriness of the place. You’ll see a fountain at the entrance, where there are 5 sculptures of monks. Each holds a bowl that represents wealth, beauty, happiness, cleverness, and health. Try throwing a coin in the bowl of your choice. If you succeed in landing one in, your wish will come true.

Heaven Cave
Right next to a small shop, there's a huge Chinese dragon with a wide-open mouth waiting for you to enter. This is the beginning of your ‘journey’ through representations of Buddhist Heaven and Hell. The inside of the dragon has a long and dark tunnel, with just a few tiny windows lighting your path.

At the end of the tunnel, you'll find the entrance to a deep cave. Pray at the small shrine on your left before heading towards the Nirvana section, right at the end of the cave. It takes about a 10-minute walk along a dark track with bridges crossing a river to reach the end, which has 2 Buddha statues symbolising Heaven.

Buddhist Hell ('Naraka' in Sanskrit and 'Na Rok' in Thai) awaits you if you do not follow the 5 precepts of Buddhism during your life:

Abstain from taking life (thou shall not kill).
Abstain from taking what is not given (thou shall not steal).
Abstain from sexual misconduct (thou shall not commit adultery).
Abstain from false speech (thou shall not lie).
Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness (eschew drunkenness).
A visit to Wat Tham Ta Pan can be a really scary experience, so it isn't recommended for young children. Scenes showing torture applied to sinners are vivid and straightforward, leaving no space to the imagination.
An area behind these buildings offers a walk up a cliff through a garden dotted with statues of animals. The cliff displays sculptures and representations of Indian deities, such as Ganesh and Akhilandeshvari.

Wat Tham Ta Pan is a one-of-a-kind temple that's well worth a visit, simply due to its weird originality.

Music free under creative commons licence from YouTube Music Library
Title: Mist- by Odonis Odonis

Posted by TheJohnsons 06:31 Archived in Thailand Tagged nature temple religion statue skeleton tree meditation no sculpture light buddha forest practice meal quite sitting prayer health eat hungry phang nga fasting baptism casting thin Comments (0)

Prasae Frigate Memorial- Chumpon

On my way through Chumpon on my most recent short road trip we stopped by the very auspicious Prince of Chumpon Shrine. Or , Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse the man who is credited with establishing the Modern Thai Navy.

This video focusses on the second attraction to the site; the Royal Chumphon Ship which has been put out of commission is exhibited with its bottom half embedded in the cement ground. The Royal Chumphon Ship was assigned on a mission to escort the landing crafts and patrol the coast.

You can enter the basin it is set in via either of two sets of stairs on both sides of the ship, and board it via a stairway on the port side. I had great fun walking around and seeing how constrained space there was and how its engine and kitchen space were so compact for such a decent sized vessel.

I will post a video of the shrine n due course, until then enjoy!

Posted by TheJohnsons 07:01 Archived in Thailand Tagged people sea military water boat ocean nature landscape beach travel ship thailand urban city bangkok island base bay transport drop gulf cityscape pier army seal asian asia thai practice royal landmark navy frigate palm fleet pattaya tan sugar naval drill dong background nautical cruiser sattahip buri transporter chon dongtan toddy Comments (0)

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