Wat Pa Kut Phonthan

Nong Bua Lamphu

We had a pleasant coffee meeting this morning with Dave, a blog reader, regular visitor but now permanent resident of Nong Bua Lamphu, before doing the standard farang shopping rounds of Thai Watsadu, Makro and Global House.

This is the central area with monk accommodation scattered around plus lots of other buildings.

A brand new structure being constructed with a huge two story Buddha hall in the background.

There was only this guy and a monk working on this new addition to the wat. Concrete being molded into the structure here.

The first time I have seen insulation used in a temple structure. They must have read my building in Thailand eBook (which you can find HERE – essential reading for anyone building locally). This structure will end up as an open air Buddha hall with a timber ceiling.

Each dragon scale hand crafted.

One monk on duty painting the naga (mythical dragon/snake). He was on reds today!

Slow progress but time doesn’t seem to be an issue for these detailed jobs.

Concrete at its best.

This is the head of the Naga. You see them all over Thailand often at the entrance to a staircase into a wat.

Welcome to India?

There are two structures on the site that look like this. Very unusual and quite Indian (?). Locked up, unused and unloved.

The other ‘Indian” stupa or chedi. Equally unloved.

A nice look though.

This could either be a storeroom or maybe it always looks like this. Who knows.

These dragon benches pop up in temples. It is much more a Chinese image than Thai.

Same dragon different wat.

Inside the main Buddha hall there is the usual jumble of items. This crewcut figure is also one you will see in some temples around Thailand. He has nothing to do with Buddhism but is King Naresuan, an ancient warrior king who dropped into Nong Bua Lamphu in the very early 1600’s and is revered in Thailand. More info HERE

See the statue on the right. This is King Naresuan again and this photo was taken in a wat in Chiang Mai with a younger Peng and Gaun (2014) – so cute. There are lots of other references to him as you look around.

This is his shrine in Nong Bua Lamphu, our nearest larger town and the capital of the province in the same name (they all are). Google Maps here;https://goo.gl/17QzkY and my blog story covering the January festival held in his honour HERE.

Ah. I knew there would be a Buddha aspect in this temple 

Another regular – the Emerald Buddha (more likely plastic in this case). There were two originals I think and the most famous is located in the Royal Palace temple in Bangkok (he’s tiny in real life by the way and very hard to spot!). Highly revered. More information HERE

And the same Chiang Mai temple with me and Peng in front of two copies of the Emerald Buddha. On the right you will see a photo of the previous king when he took his monk training.

And this is Phra Sivali, the monk for travellers and another statue that turns up regularly. Yet again more information can be found for him HERE.

My dear Gaun is so patient and waits in the shade while her obsessive farang hubbie wanders around photographing stuff that she has seen all her life.

Beautiful longan trees. This temple must have got a bulk batch of them sometime long ago.

The side of that Buddha hall. I doubt upstairs will be used at all and the hall downstairs rarely.

Some tamarind trees as well. 

A building that seemed like a good idea at the time and then what happened after that? There are already so many buildings large and small on this site that it is a mystery why yet one more was required.

Temples are so often a timber paradise.

Boards probably from an old village house converted to ugly concrete..

One of the eight leaf shaped stones that surround the last building I photographed – photo next. Under each one will be a round orb. Most readers won’t be interested but I will include the info anyway:

‘There is one building (in most temples – Tony), called the “phra ubosot” which is not only the most sacred but also has distinguishing features that makes it easy to spot. Surrounding the consecrated area there is a boundary marked by eight stone slabs. In Thai these are called “sima” (see-maa) and are often leaf shaped. They can be found at the cardinal points of the compass. 

Beneath these stone slabs there is a sacred stone ball called “luk nimit” in Thai. You don’t normally see them as they are usually buried.’

I am sure some regular Thai visitors and many expats will have seen these orbs before. I will show you in the next photo.

Here is Gaun about to add gold leaf to luk nimit at a wat in Nan, in the far north of Thailand. You can read about our road trip to Nan here to visit friends:http://tonyinthailand.com/isaan-to-nan/ and here:http://tonyinthailand.com/isaan-nan-day-2/ one of the best driving routes I have taken in Thailand.

And here is the Ubosot (also called Bot) around which the orbs are buried in today’s temple. It looks like a new structure on an old base. There are nine orbs and eight sima (the leaf structures). The ninth orb is buried inside in front of the main Buddha statue.

The photos perhaps make this wat look better than it is. The general atmosphere is of neglect and decay, but that applies to many wats in Thailand. I enjoyed aspects of it but would far prefer to send time at another Nong Bua Lamphu wat that rates highly Wat Pa See Vichi HERE. 

As you can see the wat is set over a large timbered area and is located on the outskirts of Nong Bua Lamphu. Google Maps link HERE.

Your choice of GPS coord formats.

Thanks for reading this post.