Wat Thang SaiMay 29, 2018 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C
We took advantage of today's overcast skies to hike up to see the Golden Buddha and Wat Thang Sai. They are only two kilometers from our hotel with an elevation gain of just 82 meters so we figured it would be an easy morning stroll. As it turned out, with the high humidity, it seemed a lot farther.
The road to the temple was one we hadn't traveled before and we came across several mom and pop Thai restaurants we might try out and another cove harboring a fleet of fishing boats waiting for the high tide to return and allow them to sail off. Once again, only steps from our hotel, we were right in the middle of rural Thailand.
The closer the road came to the Buddha, the steeper it became and we were both dripping with sweat by the time we made it to the statue. But we weren't done climbing yet. Once we walked past the two Dvarpalas, the fearsome looking giant guardians of the temple, we had to climb another 235 steps, guarded by two five-headed naga on either side, to reach the Wat. And it was well worth the climb.
As soon as we entered the temple, we were offered a glass of ice cold water, which went a long way to replacing the fluids I had dripped onto the road and stairs on the way up. Unlike most of the other temples we've seen in this country, Wat Thang Sai was built only twenty two years ago, in 1996, to commemorate the king's fiftieth year on the throne. Despite the newness of the building, clearly no expense was spared to incorporate the finest materials and craftsmanship into its construction. There were frescoes on all the walls depicting Thai and Buddhist life and battle scenes and many of the statues are covered in gold leaf. Very impressive.
Equally impressive was the view from the many different levels that looked out over all directions. The sandy beaches to the north and south go on forever and were all completely deserted, except for the odd stray dog. To the west it is coconut groves as far as the eye can see.
All in all, a great way to spend a rather dreary day in this sleepy little village.Read more