A temple in a tree is actually possible! Hidden inside a tree is a Buddhist temple, not far out of Bangkok, Wat Bang Kung is found (around 100 km out of Bangkok), but you need to look to see it because the tree roots have grown over the temple!
We arrive to find a tree that has people popping in and out of it!
This is the first Buddhist temple or ‘Wat’ Explorason has seen. And it is even more fascinating that it is hidden beneath the roots of the Banyan Tree.
Being Christian this posed an interesting challenge for us. We want to learn about other faiths, and to see how they observe their traditions. Buddhism is a very peaceful religion, and Kannapad Kraithong (Gina) our Private Thai Guide explains to us the origin of Buddhism is not Thailand, but Lumbini (in present-day Nepal) and commenced during the 5th century.
We as Christians are very respectful of other faiths, and part of our world journey is to learn. To learn and understand what they believe, so that we can engage in conversation without false judgment. To realize why they follow their chosen faith is very important.
Here many worshippers donate money in ornate ways. This is for the upkeep of the temple and the monks and workers. But it is one of the hidden treasures of Thailand.
Worshippers of Buddhist faith tie many colored ribbons around the inside of the Banyan tree to explicit worship in Buddhism.
Shoes are removed, and women must be respectfully covered or a wrap is offered to them to cover knees etc when one enters this ancient temple. I don a wrap in respect.
Incense is available to purchase to burnt as an offering. However, we chose not to do this as this does not match our beliefs.
We wandered inside to see people sticking coins and rubbing gold leaf paper onto the statues and balls out the front.
This intrigued Explorason and he was fascinated. Visitors are quiet and walk in a U-Shape around the rear of the statue, but do not climb on it.
Many prayed, left tiny paper scroll prayers, worshipped, and kneeled before the Buddha statue.
We learned that to have part Buddha tattooed is very disrespectful, the same as buying the Buddha’s head.
We wandered around outside the manicured gardens. This time I was fascinated with the number of cockerels that were meticulously placed in pairs around the temple property.
Adjacent to Wat Bang Kung is the pristine Bang Kung Camp.
We walk past the King Taksin Memorial where there are solid cannons and ore of the majestic cockerels lining the memorial.
The Muay-Thai warriors and fighters stand at the side, and we look at the various fighting positions and discuss how they prepared themselves for war.
We leave this area and drive back along a back road. They have organized this so we can see the traditional rice paddies and fish farms. I loved learning about how the water was aerated for the fish.
Explorason managed to fall asleep!
Maria Pizzeria is our final stop for a late lunch.
We’ve been going since early morning and Kannapad Kraithong (Gina) our Private Thai Guide arranged for us to stop and get snacks on the way.
Being a private tour it is just us, the Ganna Travel driver, and later we are met by Gina’s husband too.
We all look a bit serious, but I think we are just wanting to eat – now !! It has been a long and day and we are very hungry, and the aroma of the food is magnificent. Yes, we want to eat.
First off is traditional Thai soup, and even Explorason gives it a try.
My goodness for an Italian named restaurant, the Thai food was fabulous!
This was some of the best deep fried fish with a fish sauce I’ve ever eaten – honestly!
And what was next – oh my goodness! The shrimp were cooked perfectly and presented like little gifts on a plate.
It was a Buddhist holiday, and so there is no alcohol served the restaurant. The staff came around asking us what juices we would like. Explorason selected the fresh apple, and its comeback puréed to perfection.
Explorason then asked for a very nontraditional dessert – chocolate of course, and he was beside himself with joy.
We have a running joke that I always need to try his desserts ‘to check they are not poisoned’, to which he always protests as I devour a couple of mouthfuls. The second mouthful is always because I am ‘not sure’.
I couldn’t fit in any dessert as my belly was content, and by now it was 4:00 p.m.
I had no idea we would be out all day; I had figured we would finish around 2:00 p.m., but we didn’t mind. It was now raining outside and our timing missing it had been perfect.
We farewelled our lovely Private Thai Guide Gina, and our equally lovely driver was to drive us to town.
Silly us never went to the rest-room, and before we knew it, we were stuck in Bangkok peak hour traffic on a bridge.
Poor Explorason was about in tears needing to release himself. The driver didn’t know what to do! His English was limited, and my Thai was nonexistent, but we both knew we had a real problem.
He looked so flustered as there was just no-where to stop.
Finally, he pulled up outside the city hospital, and I raced Explorason in whilst the driver pulled over in a no parking area. Thank goodness he saved the day! Not the ending to the day we imagined, but certainly a happy one.
The driver delivered us straight to the door of The Dusit Thani. Talk about 5-star service.
If you are looking to book a one day tour; a one week; or a one month tour, can I suggest you get in contact with Gina at Ganna Travel? Take the hassle out of travel, and let them organize it all for you – from start to finish.
- Have you been to Thailand?
- What do you think about their culture?
- Feel free to share this with us below.