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Fireworks and serenity make for an enthralling mix at Chalong Temple

Phuket Culture Museum Being Designed

Monday, June 4, 2012
PHUKET: A new museum dedicated to southern culture is to be built on Phuket, offering a new tourist attraction to people from other parts of Thailand as well as overseas.

Authorities at Chalong Temple, Phuket's most popular temple, have given approval for the new museum and set aside a site. The design of the museum is now being completed by the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok.

Chalong Temple, with several ornate existing structures, houses a rare relic of Lord Buddha and provides perhaps the most comprehensive practical introduction to Buddhist prayer for newcomers.

To visit the temple on a special day, such as Visakha Bucha Day, is to be given insights into the openness that makes Buddhism so individual and accessible.

No budget has been set for the new museum but Chalong Temple is acknowledged to be the wealthiest on Phuket.

Chalong village leader JamlernTewaboot told Phuketwan that the annual Chalong Temple Fair brought in revenue of 36 million baht and left the temple with 15 million baht to add to spending on the project.

''It will be the finest museum of southern Thai culture in the world,'' Khun Jamlern said. ''We don't have a completion date as yet but the design phase is underway and we have already made some purchases.''

The temple is now in the market to obtain notable southern antiques and family heirlooms. Some have been gifted, others purchased, Khun Jamlern said.

Tourists find it easy to spend two hours absorbing what the temple already has to offer in unusual statuary and quiet contemplation from 7am until 5pm each day. Special events at night are a highlight.

With the 45-metre Big Buddha nearby on Nakkerd Hill and the close proximity of the newest temple established by Phuket's most revered monk Luang Pu Supa - who reaches the age of 117 this year - southern Phuket has increasing appeal for devout Buddhists and tourists.

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