Visiting Wat Ban Rai

February 12, 2013

Since we were in the neighborhood already to attend a wedding earlier that day, why not visit Wat Ban Rai later that day to gain some new good luck for the coming weeks? And even though I had no idea what to expect from this little side trip, I also didn’t mind to find out what this temple was all about since I normally like the tranquility of temples and the cute, small Bonsai-type trees they normally have.

A quite useless map with the location of Wat Ban Rai, in the middle of nowhere at the town of Kut Phiman

A quite useless map with the location of Wat Ban Rai, in the middle of nowhere at the town of Kut Phiman

Wat Ban Rai is located in the town Kut Phiman, about 50 kilometers (i stand corrected, it is actually 80 km as was pointed out by a reader: thank you!) north-west of Nakhon Ratchasima, of which I cannot tell much besides that it is a small and boring town. A little outside of the city we passed a huge sign next to the road, something that seems more in place for a M150 commercial than for directions to a temple, showing us where to go to find our destination.

Where to go, where to go? Maybe the huge ass sign can give a clue...

Where to go, where to go? Maybe the huge ass sign can give a clue…

The place itself is not so easy to find, and as far as I could see the only way to reach this place would be by car or with a big tour operator. The target audience is clearly Thai since nothing is in English there and I did not see any Thais walking around, speaking perfect English, pointing out that you should buy gems from them so resell in your home country for a lot of money. The place is huge though compared to the city it is located in, so it must be popular with the locals.

Also readable for the almost-blind.

Also readable for the almost-blind.

The first destination was a big house, slash museum, with a large, white, wall around it. It all looked nice and peaceful on the outside but the inside was quite a bore. There were some wax statues of Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho, the guy this whole place is about and lots of explanations in Thai. Nobody in the group could explain to me exactly why this guy was so famous, or it felt like too much work to translate everything for me so I could make a lame joke about it, so I just walked through the whole museum in about 5 minutes.

Inside the museum there are several wax statues of Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho, the monk who this is all about.

Inside the museum there are several wax statues of Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho, the monk who this is all about.

After everybody bought some amulets and had their future predicted by a huge coin machine, guess what, they all had great fortune coming up in one way or the other, we went back outside and it became time to create some good luck ourselves. In the middle of the field is a huge bell and by throwing a coin against the bell you get some good luck. I am not sure if this was true, because we were the only ones doing this and I didn’t see many coins on the grass, but it was fun anyways.

Try to hit the bell with a coin for good luck, or if it is not allowed, a security guard trying to catch you.

Try to hit the bell with a coin for good luck, or if it is not allowed, a security guard trying to catch you.

Next there was another building which I did not enter because it looked boring, and a sort of fountain where you could get some good-luck water if you took it from the correct little fountain (which one to choose is related to the year you are born in). I hope it was purified water since many people drank it.

Hope the water is purified or it will not bring good luck to drink from here.

Hope the water is purified or it will not bring good luck to drink from here.

Apparently Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho, the monk this place is all about, lives somewhere in this temple complex and he comes out daily to talk to the people who gathered there. We didn’t wait for him to show up though, and while my travel companions went on for some praying and offering orange stuff to another monk, I took another stroll around the place for some pictures and enjoying the peacefulness of the place.

So peaceful there :)

So peaceful there :)

Luckily it started raining by then which made it a relatively easy decision to hurry back to the car for the return trip which would become a long trip since the limited visibility due to the rain resulted in maximum speeds of about 30 km/h.

Rainy season

Rainy season

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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