Jungle Paradise Part 2: History/Culture

 Buddha statues at Wat Phra Boromathat, Chaiya

Buddha statues at Wat Phra Boromathat, Chaiya

If you are interested in Thai history then why not visit one of the oldest and most historically significant settlements in Southern Thailand: the sleepy railroad town of Chaiya.

Here some of Thailand’s finest sculpture from the Srivijaya period (7th -13th centuries) has been found. Some of which can be seen at the Chaiya national Museum.

Right beside the museum is the main attraction, Wat Phra Boromathat, an important Srivijayan temple. Lying within the main compound is the ninth-century chedi, one of very few surviving examples of Srivijayan architecture that is said to contain relics of the Buddha himself.

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On the south side of town is another imposing 9th or 10th - century brick chedi, Wat Kaeo, which houses images of the Buddha subduing Mara.

But perhaps the biggest draw to Chaiya is the forest temple of Wat Suan Mokkh (meaning the Garden of Liberation), a progressive temple whose meditation retreats make up the bulk of Chaiya’s international visitors. It’s not necessary to sign up to one of the retreats to enjoy the temple, as you can simply stroll through the wooded grounds.

We have an upcoming retreat to Thailand: Saturday 23rd February - Saturday 2nd March 2019 with Sarah Williams

Frances HUbbard