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July 30, 2011

Thailand 2011 – Episode 4 (Wat Phra Tang)

Filed under: Thailand,Travel,Wallpaper — admin @ 1:55 pm

Phra Tang is located on the northern limits of Thalang, which is almost in the centre of Phuket. Back in the day, when Phuket was a tin mining centre with a few sea gypsy fishing villages (before the tourists) Thalang was the “main town” of the island, and the largest developed area. Gradually the area now known as “Phuket Town” grew and usurped Thalang, but in some ways this is a good thing, since the Thalang area still has some beautiful temples and a good selection of Sino-Portugese architecture (now sadly falling into disrepair in many cases).

Wat Phra Tang is well know among the islanders for the image of the Buddha in the main temple building. It’s “buried” from the abdomen down, with only the upper third of the body showing. Even that segment stands more than 2 metres tall. The shrine has acquired the myth that anyone who attempts to uncover the rest of the Buddha by digging him out will die a painful death. Whether or not it’s true, it does nothing to detract from the very peaceful, very calming shrine.

The first image in the set below is not to be found in the main complex, but in the “museum” set off to one side, and is present along with quite a varied collection of symbolic pieces. I loved the combination of the underlying artistry and the dusky, scruffy appearance. It just seemed “right”.

Thailand 2011 – Episode 3 (Wat Chalong)

Filed under: Thailand,Travel,Wallpaper — admin @ 1:36 pm

Chalong covers quite an expansive area of south Phuket, essentially covering land from the southern perimeter of Phuket Town all the way south to the edge of Rawaii, as well as expanding inland to the ‘402 – the main road that runs essentially north-south down the island. Chalong has a very well-known Wat (main temple), which is the largest and most widely visited on the island. In fact, everything seems bigger and better at Wat Chalong, especially the fire-crackers which are routinely lit to frighten away evil spirits (and scare the living daylights out of any tourist who has not visited before…). However, despite the onset of commercialism and the occasionally disrespectful farang, Chalong can also be a place of sublime peace.

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