Temples of Thailand - a photographic journey
Bangkok Area Provinces: Central North North-East West South East
Wat Somanat Wihan Ratchaworawihan
Driving back from Wat Hua Krabue to Bangkok and visiting Wat Somanat Wihan was like changing worlds. After all the car wrecks, cows and the rather "rough" atmospere in Wat Hua Krabue, we enjoyed the peaceful meditation setting of Wat Somanat Wihan. Even though this temple setting is in the busy city you forget the stressful atmosphere once you enter the temple's compound. When we visited the temple a meditation class was in progress and we decided to join it for quite some time, as it also gave us an opportunity to enjoy the beautifully decorated Wihan with an amazing Buddha statue in the back. It was funny because our taxi driver said "Wat Som mai mee arai/Wat Som doesn't have anything (to see)". Each one of the columns is decorated with different colors and patterns and there are excellent murals showing the story of Inao.
We were also lucky because the Venerable Phra Dhammavisuddhikavi, the abbot of the temple, held the meditation class. He noticed us in the back and recommended some of the books he had written about meditation, which we consequently bought. I must say that his books "A Buddhist Way of Mental Training" and "Mind Development" are amongst the best books about this subject I had read so far.
A very special temple to visit in the midst of busy Bangkok! A word of caution though, there are elements in the front of the temple who pose as guides and who will take you on a shopping tour and more. They are not at all associated with the temple.