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Phuket Temple Portrays Real Phuket: Photo Special

Phuket Temple Portrays Real Phuket: Photo Special

Friday, August 20, 2010
Photo Special: Album Above

PHUKET'S newest Buddhist temple is beautiful inside and outside, set beside a small lagoon and the greenery of a golf course in the southern Phuket district of Chalong.

On entering the main temple building, known as a boat (pronounced bo-at) visitors are likely to be impressed with the beauty of a huge Buddha image still wrapped in saffron, surrounded by walls covered in brilliant murals depicting Phuket's history and its people.

There is even a portrait of a Western sea captain with wife and child, along with other bold imagery that mixes traditional temple decorations with images of couples with different histories and backgrounds: sea gypsies, tin miners from Vietnam, Phuket's Chinese discoverers, even a Baba wedding bride and groom.

Yet what will probably intrigue everyone and expat visitors especially - and bring smiles to the faces of Thais and tourists alike - are the images behind the saffron Buddha.

Here, out of sight beyond the deeply religious portion of the boat, the walls are alive with artistic renditions of real life on Phuket.

A thatch-roof bar bulges with happy drinkers. Depicted are embracing couples, topless expats, a helmetless motorcycle rider, girls who appear to be making themselves available, a holidaying snorkeller, what appears to be a katoey ladyboy or two, and even some tourists in a small boat, with one of them hurling over the side, being seasick.

Visitors are bound to enjoy every minute of this delightful portrayal of Phuket. Some people tire after touring a few Thai temples: this one is different.

The saffron wrapping will come off the towering Buddha image on September 17, the 114th birthday of revered monk Luang Pu Supha. Debate continues about whether he might be world's oldest man. Phuketwan is reasonably certain that he is world's oldest aircraft passenger.

And he probably can be categorised as a business flier rather than a tourist.

The remarkable and much-admired centenarian recently returned from a five-day lecture tour to Indonesia. He had just one other monk for company.

The boat at the temple, named Luang Pu Supha in his honor, will be opened on his birthday. Hundreds of well-wishers are expected to join the celebration.

Given the wonderful decorations to be seen, Phuket's Luang Pu Supha is likely to become as essential for tourists to visit as the 45-metre Big Buddha atop Nakkerd Hill and the splendor of Wat Chalong. Both are in the same region of southern Phuket.

Artists from the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok are responsible for the temple's exquisite interior.
Phuket, a Haven for World's Oldest Aircraft Passenger
Photo Album They call it 'Amazing Thailand.' And every so often, along comes an event that makes it 'Truly Remarkable Thailand.' Meet Luang Pu Supha, world's oldest plane passenger.
Phuket, a Haven for World's Oldest Aircraft Passenger

World's Oldest Man: Phuket Birthday Special
World's Oldest Man: Photo Special The eyes of the world will be on Phuket on September 17 as Luang Pu Supha celebrates his 113th birthday. His life has been full of good deeds.
World's Oldest Man: Phuket Birthday Special

Choafas Ride Skywards in Colorful Wat Ceremony
Spectacular scenes marked the lifting of ornate rooftop decorations at a new wat building on the south of the island. A former Prime Minister and current parliamentary representatives were among hundreds at the gathering.
Choafas Ride Skywards in Colorful Wat Ceremony

Temple Ceremonies Deserve An Audience
Phuket's hilltop Big Buddha is already attracting a steady stream of tourists and many Buddhist temples warrant visits, too; Patong tailors strike back with a honeymoon treat.
Temple Ceremonies Deserve An Audience

Phuket Golf Scores As Chalong Academy Nears
Phuket golf is probably more popular and profitable than yachting. The addition of a nine hole course and golf academy at Chalong from 2009 should bring more swinging tourists and encourage local talent.
Phuket Golf Scores As Chalong Academy Nears

Ceremonies: Choafa Blessing at Wat Silasuparam
A widely respected monk will be honoured in two days of ceremonies that are expected to attract large numbers of people to Wat Silasuparam, near Wat Chalong.
Ceremonies: Choafa Blessing at Wat Silasuparam


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Dear Editor,
Do you know who the artist was who painted the murals, please.
Thank you.

Posted by kelvin on August 31, 2010 10:13

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