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Wat Bang Thong – Krabi

by Dr. David
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Wat Bang Thong temple in Krabi is one of the most beautiful and spectacular temples in Thailand that is unknown to tourists. When I first visited there, I planned to spend half an hour there, take some pictures and be on my way – but I was very surprised by the stunning appearance and ended up staying more than two hours there. After that, I even came back for a second visit, so I highly recommend it!!

In the district Ao Luek at Krabi Province, near the main road (#4) connecting Krabi and Pang Nga and Phuket – there’s a marvelous temple, and in its center, a golden Cheddy towering to some 70 meters high. You can see it from afar – one of the highest Cheddys across Thailand.

The temple’s full name is Wat Mahathat Wachirammongkhon, but everyone calls it Wat Bang Thong. It is relatively new, and its building was almost exclusively funded by donations of locals who wanted to have a spectacular temple near them. The cost of building the structure amounts to nearly 100 million baht.

The spacious, well-kept complex has impressive beauty. It features a very wide path, with decorated pillars on both sides and an elephant statue leading you to gates. Once you pass through them, you can enter the internal temple space, where the golden Cheddy is located.

The impressive, spacious internal space features a long line of beautiful statues aligned with the walls. At the end of the statue line, you’ll get to the temple at the base of the tall golden Cheddy at the heart of the complex.

The temple is built in Putthakaya / Buddhagaya style (like Mahabodhi temple in Gaya, India), and brings to mind Aztek temples. The temple pillars are decorated in gold and black; the walls and ceiling are adorned with beautiful paintings and statues.

The visitors here are mostly locals who partake in rituals and prayers with the local monks, guests and tourists are also welcomed to join.

On the right side of the complex, there is a giant statue of Luang Pu Thuad together with King Kobra. The monk Luang Pu Thuad is a famous, sacred monk to many Thai and Asian people. He was born 400 years ago at the end of the Ayutthaya period in Nakhon Si Tamarat (southern Thailand) and was known as a miracle-maker, who was able to save people from disasters or evil eyes. Many believe that mascots with his image (Amulet) can defend one from harm’s way, calamities, and other dangers.

♦ A similar statue can be found in Wat Huay Monkol, Hua Hin.

Conclusion

Wat Bang Thong is a unique, spectacular temple located in Krabi Province, not far from Ao Nang, Rylee beach, and all the other famous tourist spots in the area. However, this beautiful architectural and cultural gem is unknown to most tourists. Even those of you who aren’t particularly fond of temples will not be able to enjoy this marvelous beauty. Highly recommended!!

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