Wat Bang Phra
Nicknamed the ‘tattoo temple’, Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom Province (50km west of Bangkok) is renowned for offering Sak Yant tattoos that are believed to bestow mystical powers upon the bearer for protection and luck. The tattoos are offered daily by the temple monks who use sharpened 18 inch (45cm) long wooden needles to make the thousand etches in the skin needed to form the tattoo.
Unless a particular style is required by the person requesting the tattoo, the monk will select the subject depending on the aura of the wearer. The Sak Yant Tattoo Festival is also held every year in March at Wat Bang Phra and sees thousands descend upon the temple to be tattooed or have their current one ‘recharged’ with blessings, often passing into a trance-like state sometimes mimicking the behavior of the animals in their tattoos!
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew
While the relationship between monks and acts unbefitting Buddhism has been a subject of conflict in Thailand recently, there’s nothing but harmony between the Buddhists in residence at Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple and the beer bottles that provide them with a place to worship.
Otherwise known as ‘The Million Bottle Temple’, Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, which lies in the Si Saket Province 400 miles northeast of Bangkok, has been constructed from over 1.5 million discarded green Heineken and brown Chang beer bottles, recycling waste into wonder.
Wat Rong Khun
Unconventional but unquestionably stunning, Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai is perhaps the most iconic and striking temples in Thailand. Built with the look of pure porcelain or ivory, the White Temple is actually nothing more than white-washed stone and mirrored glass.
A work in progress for more than ten years already, the Thai temple is the brainchild of the Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The white is said to be a representation of the Lord Buddha’s purity while the glass depicting wisdom that shines brightly over the earth.
If you’re as fascinated by temples as we are, be sure to let our Travel Specialists know when you plan your next adventure in Asia and they’ll help you with expert advice and insider tips!