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Wat Pa Si Somphon

Another forest wat in Nong Bua Lamphu province

We were on the road this afternoon to check out some construction work being done on a friend’s land using a builder I recommended. On the way we passed this a wat called Pa Si Somphon and as they had a bit of building work going on themselves so we stopped to see what they were up to.

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Building in Thailand eBook

When my wife and I bought some land in Isaan, which is a region in the north east of Thailand, and then started to build our house I wanted to record the daily events of construction life. For twenty six weeks I wrote a weekly blog update about all the aspects of the build and included as much detail as possible for others who might be thinking of going down the same path. I was surprised by the number of readers I attracted as a result of writing on this subject, many of whom followed the entire build from beginning to end. 

Based on this continued interest I thought I would revisit my original words and bring them all together under the one heading in the form of an eBook. Included in this process has been some extensive updating and expansion of many of the original posts and the addition of the many COMMENTS, which are designed to expand your knowledge and save you time or money or both!

Read more HERE and find out how to obtain the eBook.

I am loving your book – just on my second read at the moment, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything first time around (which actually it turns out I did!).  

Just a note of thanks at this point ……. I am a fairly methodical sort of bloke, but there are many issues which your book highlights which I just wouldn’t have thought about – or if I had, I may well have assumed they were “standard” building practice [U-bends, drain positioning, barge-board alignment] – if it hadn’t been for your excellent descriptions!!  I will probably still “miss” something – that’s the nature of building/design – but thanks to you, it shouldn’t be anything too mission-critical.

The income from my eBook pays for the upkeep of this blog, which is otherwise commercially free unlike so many others.

This is a wat with Pa in the name and I hope that regular reader will have caught onto the fact that means this is a forest wat. A new Wihan or Buddha hall being constructed. Lots of timber and very open in design. You can find it on Google Maps HERE

Some great detailed timber work happening.

I’d be happy with a veranda that looked like this.

And inside the ceiling was being painted.

The artist heading back to the top to continue painting.

A monk working the timber. The monks wearing these more earthy coloured robes are forest monks. The bright orange robed monks are from ‘ban’ or village wats. You are more likely to see forest monks getting stuck into work than village wat monks too.

A piece of artistic looking furniture. Made from bamboo.

The main Buddha statue was wrapped at this stage. They are having a big party here on the 8th if you’re passing.

Solid steps.

The base of the temple is being constructed from laterlite stone described as: Laterite is a soil and rock type rich in iron and aluminium and is commonly considered to have formed in hot and wet tropical areas. Nearly all laterites are of rusty-red coloration, because of high iron oxide content. They develop by intensive and prolonged weathering of the underlying parent rock.

One of my favourite Isaan temples Wat Neramit Wipattasanais is built using laterlite the only time I have seen a full construction in this material.

As always mouth watering good timber.

Quite a front door.

Terrific detailing again. There’s a heap of money washing around in the area going into some outstanding building work ATM.

A man working with wood. Not something you see often in a land of concrete and steel.

GPS coords.

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  1. Jim Busby

    Another beautiful Pa Wat with lots to see. The ceiling paintings are also special, and seem to tell a story, which I would not know. Maybe you can suggest to the Abbot that an English interpretation of the paintings would benefit Western visitors. More of those thin strips of wood to fill up the ceiling area. Also, look at that pile of sawdust to right of that working Monk. That says there’s a lot of lumber work going on here. That’s a comfy looking chair that I don’t want to find out ended up at Tony’s beach hut after Gaun distracted the Abbot so you could load in the Chang :-). Those are big steps. More for size 22 shoe basketball players. With the size of that Front Door, it’s obvious the big money donor for this Wat is a professional Basketball Player turned Buddhist. FYI, Laterite is also used by Aquarium hobbyist like myself as a rich soil substrate for planted aquariums. Beautiful pictures as always.


    • Tony in Thailand

      I am not sure if even the Thais know the stories represented by paintings like this. Gaun was taught Buddhism at school, but her interpretation of the scenes is a bit hit and miss. The trouble is that there is so much symbolism built into the teachings that you spend all your time digging through that to find the real message underneath. There’s a sculpture park in Nong Khai called Sala Keoku, north east of us that has descriptions carved into the stone underneath the statues. I have always thought that there would be good money to be made in a translation of those into English and selling the result, because the statues, although impressive in themselves, make no sense otherwise. It would be interesting to hear the story behind the artwork.

      I should have asked about that chair because if it was a little more upright, it would fit nicely into a rice hut or two. Next time we pass.

      Thanks Jim.


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