Recently in Central Thailand Category

This morning I was sitting in an Internet cafe on Ayutthaya's Naresuan Soi 1 (a.k.a. the soi with all the guesthouses) chatting online with a friend in Bangkok. When I told him where I was, he told me that I wasn't far from his home town in Ang Thong province. He said that there were three temples in that area that I should visit if I ever got the chance to go there.

I don't need much more of an excuse than that, so after finishing up my research I drove my rented motorcycle the 30 kilometers to Ang Thong. I didn't have a map (both the TAT office, the Internet, and the Lonely Planet book are useless, as far as this tiny province goes) so it took me quite a while to locate the three temples. But I finally succeeded in my quest.

The first temple I visited was Wat Muang. It is quite the tourist attraction, apparently. The parking lot was full of tour busses that were in turn full of Thai people. There are many things to see at Wat Muang including hundreds of statues on the grounds -- with representations such as Chinese gods, Hindu gods, Thai historical heros, characters from the Ramakien myth, and several battle scenes which I think were Siam Vs Burma, but I'm not sure about that. (There were no English explanations to help me.)

There were also very graphic depictions of hell and all the horrible things that will happen to you if you unlucky enough to be sent there when you die. People were being boiled alive, crushed, stabbed, eaten by dogs and birds, forced to climb huge spiky trees, etc etc...

The temple is also building an absolutely huge Buddha statue in the usual Subduing Mara position. It must be at least as tall as a 10-story building and it should be very impressive when it is finished.

My second stop was Wat Khun Intrapramum. This temple has the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand -- over 50 meters long. If you have ever seen the one at Wat Po in Bangkok, imagine one that is even bigger. It is also over 700 years old whereas the one at Wat Po was built "only" 180 or so years ago.

The final stop was Wat Tonson, which is a very active modern Thai temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It houses a very large Buddha (again, in the Subduing Mara pose) that is considered one of the most beautiful in Thailand. The fact that it is about 20 years old doesn't diminish the experience of seeing it.

So those were my adventures in Ang Thong. On the way back to Ayutthaya I stopped for an excellent dinner at the Chao Phraya Hut guesthouse. Then, it was back to Guesthouse Row to collect my bag and then a one hour, 60 baht (US$1.50) minivan trip back to Bangkok. And so now here I am at home, very tired, a little sunburned, but very happy to have visited another place not listed in Lonely Planet!

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Central Thailand category.

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