Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Most temples in the Kingdom of Thailand arranged special activities and prayers over the year-end 2013. Instead of partying at the well known spots in Bangkok, many locals stream to the temples to make donations and make wishes for the New Year. 

This year we went to Wat Arun during the daytime and again in the evening for the "cross-voer night prayer". An estimated 5000 people joined the prayers this year. Monks and laypeople joined in the chanting from 22:00 to 24:00 around the Prang of the temple (the pagoda). 

The atmosphere was amazing throughout the day and evening. For a short time we also went over to Wat Anongkharam where many of our friends were. It was a bit more quiet here, but nevertheless as festive and special to join in the cross-over night prayer. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Now that is sad! Just as we visited Wat Suwannaram again for the first time in 4 years we almost have to witness the fire which burned down the abbot's quarters and damaged some important Buddha images. We basically just got there hours after and saw the damage up close. Very sad. Wat Suwannaram put a lot of effort into the renovation of the temple. The burned down units are behind the temple were visitors would usually not pass by, but since we walked from one temple to the next we passed right by it.

Luckily the rest of the temple is in perfect condition and unlike our first visit, the Ubosot hall was open and we did not have to ask around to get access. The beautiful Sukhothai-style Buddha called Phra Sasada was perfectly lit and all the temple murals were as impressive as on your last visit. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Isn't lying inside the temple causing really bad karma? I went to Wat Sri Sudaram today, asked to rent a Buddha image from this temple here. The guy at the temple shop showed me only three from THIS temple, Wat Sri Sudaram, but I did not have my glasses with me, so all I could see is that the name of the temple was different. ... Wat Chang Hai...the guy told me that was the old name of the temple. So, I rented it, and when back in the Hotel i put my glasses on and saw that it was from ....yes...the province of Pattani!! I am not even certain that the date 2537 is correct! If any of you MCU students know the abbot of Wat Sri Sudaram, please let him know that the people in his temple lie and cheat. I know you are taking your buses from this temple to Wang Noi, so I am sure you have contacts in this temple. It's a Luang Phu Thuad image and has nothing to do with Wat Sri Sudaram at all!

So, that is really all about this temple...I had looked forward to visiting it for a long time, and finally did see it in January 2014. All the buildings were closed except for the small Viharn at the entrance. But this experience with renting the Buddha image really turned me off..Just be aware and don't trust people in there if you happen to go!


Thursday, October 24, 2013


Just as I wanted to write about my amazing experience at the 100th birthday celebration of His Holiness The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, news arrived about his death on the 24th October 2013. 

Only 22 days ago we were celebrating his 100th birthday at Wat Bovornives with many ceremonies and prayers and a special exhibition in honor of the Supreme Patriarch at Maha Makut Buddhist University building on the temple compound. 

Several multimedia shows, films, photos and belongings of Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Somdet Phra Sangharaja Sakhon Maha Sanga Parinayok were on display. 

I was invited to go into the exhibition, shoes off and carefully stored in a white sack which I carried with me. A multimedia show with a short greeting from the Supreme Patriarch kicked off my way through the building. 

Groups of several dozen visitors were moving upstairs where Buddha images and other possessions where on display. Important events in the history of His Holiness were shown in collages, posters, photos and electronic form. 

Visitors were able to send their good wishes via Computers to the Supreme Patriarch in a special room. 

Upon leaving the building were were given gifts, photos and posters and were able to get special T-Shirts, Buddha images and other commemorating items for this auspicious day. 

In retrospect I feel very lucky that I was at the right place at the right time and will have a long lasting memory, specially now after the 19th Supreme Patriarch passed away.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I have been to Wat Bovornives Vihara many times in the past years, but I have never been so lucky to be back just in time for the 100th birthday of His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. For this occasion a new museum was opened at Wat Bovornives, called the Abbot Library and Museum. 

I was at the temple at day one of the multi-day celebrations and thus was lucky to be one of the first to visit this new museum, located in a century-old gothic-style building.

The main hall features a video presentation on the temple and it's history, while the rooms upstairs are divided into six sections, each devoted to one of the six abbots, four of whom were also Supreme Patriarchs. 

One of the rooms is dedicated to Prince Mongkut who was ordained here for 27 years before he became King Rama IV.  Luckily there are many signs also in English, so even a non-Thai speaker finds many interesting facts and information about the items shown in the rooms. 

Krom Phraya Pavares Variyalankarana was the temple's second abbot and personal belongings of him are shown in the second room. 

The following rooms are covering the forth abbot, Krom Luang Vajiranyanavongse, Phra Brahmamuni and the 19th Supreme Patriarch, whose 100th birthday we celebrated during my visit. 

It's a really special place to visit, with so much history and information and very non-typical of the usual temple museums, so combined with all the other buildings, Buddha images and a sermon or prayer in the main Ubosot, I filled almost an entire day in Wat Bovornives.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I finally made it to Wat Nak Prok for the first time. I have friends there who are ordained as monks but on the day we visited, they were studying at their university. I went with another monk and an additional lay person to the temple, which I have not even covered on the main web site www.chimburi.com yet. 

A shrine next to the parking lot contains several statues of monks and various Buddha images. One of the statues is actually a Jatukam image. Remember the Jatukam craze a few years ago, when everyone wanted to buy those? It was almost as bad as the currently ongoing worship of Ganesha, the elephant god. My other lay friend wanted to tell me that this was actually the statue from which the temple got it's name, due to the Naga rising over the Jatukam's head and body. But of course I knew that the famous statue of Nak Prok is in the Vihara building, so we continued to walk. 

A small shrine also allows worshippers to pay respect to Kwan Yin, the goddess of mercy, just before we made it into the inner court yard of the temple. 

Several images, posters and photographs had been put up in the courtyard as part of an exhibition, showing images of famous monks including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 

Unfortunately the Ubosot was under renovation, but I asked for permission to enter it. This way I was at least able to admire the old mural paintings on the walls of the Ubosot. The Buddha image was also un-covered again. Just the floor had not been finished, so walking in was not an option. 

The Vihara houses the famous Luang Pho Nak Prok Buddha statue. Both the Vihara and the Ubosot are not very big, so on Buddha day and other festival days this place will be packed with worshippers. We will have to go back on another day again to see that.  On our visit day it was rather quiet. 

Amulets of Luang Pho Nak Prok are being sold at the temple, which come in various sizes and colours, and of course with a different price tag. Even the small images have a steep price label on them. My friends who accompanied me as well as a monk-friend whom I met later that day, were quiet surprised about the high price for the amulet. 

But for a long overdue first visit, we were quiet happy to have been at Wat Nak Prok finally.