Wat Chalong, a day with Buddha

Trip Start Nov 07, 2006
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Trip End Dec 04, 2006


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wat Chalong, situated approximately eight km southeast of Phuket town, with its typical architecture found throughout Thailand, is not known for its artistic merit. But the temple still remains the biggest and the most beautifully ornamented of Phuket's 29 Buddhist monasteries.

After a scenic drive from Patong beach along the west coast we arrived at this temple. My friend, a Thai business owner wanted to give some money and food/daily needs to the monks.

We entered the temple area and the first thing I hear were loud fire crackers, its part of the Buddhist culture to let those explosives go off, well safe of course as they are thrown into a chimney like brick construction.

We ask the first monk how to proceed and he leads us to one of the side temples. There she lays down the goods in front of a sitting monk, he than prays with her and just before finish sprinkles her with water. Similar to the Catolic/baptissm ritual. Than we lit up some incentive candles, three to be accurate and the ceremony is done.

The next step is to enter the main Temple, again we have to take our shoes off and we get a flower and more incentive candles each, only this time it has to be nine in total count, those now are lit up with the burning oil light next to us. After we made sure all are burning we stick them into a bowl filled with wet sand.
Thereafter we are allowed to enter this beautiful temple with its colorful paintings and golden Buddhas. My friend proceeds with her praying and than we give our offerings. Thinly sheets of gold leafs are placed on a Buddha statue and to make them stick we spray some water onto the statue. As I am one of the tallest in that area I am able to place my gold onto the Buddha's forehead. So one day I will be able to say that I have started to golden the head of this statue.

This offering is believed to keep the good luck on your side and it should bring money into your pockets, I hope Buddha has noticed this and will bring fortune into my life and sailing/cruising budget.

We than proceed to the next building and my friend ask which day I was born. I let her know it was a Friday and so she takes me to a statue which is the "Friday" Buddha. We take pictures and are happy. There are no objections to take any pictures, the only restrictions is for the females not to touch any of the monks.

After a stroll around we discover another building and enter, passing two sleeping cats, real ones, into a darkened hall with 3 monk statues in meditation. This temple house has a different feel, it is very quiet as not to disturb those monks praying and meditating. The statues look however very real to me and on the first look you would easily belief they are alive. Anyway we do our part, me taking silently a photo while my friend does another quiet prayer for her family and her business.

We finish the day by having some refreshments from one of the ever present shopping shacks and make our way back to Patong Beach.
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