A Temple In A Tree In Thailand

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – Buddhist Temple Bells

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!

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – Buddhist Temple under the roots of a Banyan tree

We’ve just been to the Floating Markets nearby called  Damnoen Saduak Floating Market when our Private Thai Guide from Ganna Travel suggested we do some ‘exploring’.

We arrive to find a tree that has people popping in and out of it!

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – A busy place for visitors

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – the entrance

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – people donate to decorate as a sign of worship

Worshippers of Buddhist faith tie many colored ribbons around the inside of the Banyan tree to explicit worship in Buddhism.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – colored ties around the Banyan tree

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – Visitors lighting incense

We wandered inside to see people sticking coins and rubbing gold leaf paper onto the statues and balls out the front.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – gold and coins decorate

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – visitors adding their gold leaf

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – Cockerels in the garden

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.

Wat Bang Kung
©Exploramum and Explorason – Wat Bang Kung – This was once the army training ground

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.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – ready to eat lunch

First off is traditional Thai soup, and even Explorason gives it a try.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – trying Thai soup

My goodness for an Italian named restaurant, the Thai food was fabulous!

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – Spicy seafood salad

This was some of the best deep fried fish with a fish sauce I’ve ever eaten – honestly!

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – fabulous deep fried fish with fish sauce

The pineapple salad with cashews was divine. It was fried rice Indian style served up with and in a fresh pineapple.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – Pineapple Salad – fried rice Indian style

And what was next – oh my goodness!  The shrimp were cooked perfectly and presented like little gifts on a plate.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – Vegetable salad with shrimp, Vietnamese style

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.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – fresh apple juice

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’.

Thai Private Guide
©Exploramum and Explorason – Thai Private Guide – Maria Pizzaria – chocolate dessert

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.

Ganna Travel Co., Ltd
Tel: +66 89 1245136 , +66 89 1168759
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