Temples of  Thailand - a photographic journey

Bangkok Area      Provinces: Central    North    North-East   West   South  East

 

Temples in Southern Thailand

Phuket Province

Wat Chalong

Wat Phra Thong 

Wat Phra Nang Sang 

Chumphon Province

Wat Chumphon Rangsan

Wat Phra Khwang

Wat Chao Fa Sala Loi

Wat Thep Charoen

Wat Tha Yang Klang

Wat Tha Yang Nuea

Big Buddha Chumphon

Wat Phra That Tham Khwan Mueang (Siwi)

Wat Phra That Siwi (Siwi)

Ranong Province

Wat Wari Banphot

Wat Suwankhiri Viharn

Wat Had Som Paen

Surat Thani Province

Wat Tham Yai (Tha Chana)

Wat Phra Boromathat Chaiya (Chaiya)

Wat Long (Chaiya)

Wat Kaeo (Chaiya)

Wat Wiang (Chaiya)

Phra That Sri Surat

Wat Phatthanaram

Wat Tha Thong Mai

Wat Saeng Pradit (Kanchanadit)

Wat Tham Kuha (Kanchanadit)

Wat Khao Suwan Pradit (Don Sak)

Big Buddha (Don Sak)

Wat Nam Rop (Pumpin)

Wat Viengsa (Viengsa)

Wat Sam Pan (Phra Saeng)

Nakhon Si Thammarat Province

Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahavihan

Hor Phra Buddha Sihing

Hor Phra Isuan

Hor Phra Narai

Wat Sema Mueang

Lak Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat

Chedi Yak

Wat Wang Dawandok

Wat Thapho Worawiharn

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Pradu

Wat Thao Khot

Wat Suan Luang

Wat Nantharam (Pak Panang)

Wat Suthep Tharam (Pak Panang)

Wat Kradangna (Khanom)

Wat Intakiri (Promkiri)

Wat Khao Khun Phanom (Promkiri)

 

Southern Thailand image

For the longest time of visiting Thailand we had not seen much of the southern provinces. We only went to Phuket Island in 1999, which I would hardly call Thailand at all. For many tourists it will be the only encounter with Thailand and will stay limited to beaches and bars. For some, like myself though, it could be the start of a long lasting love for this country. I have seen my first temples in Phuket and those are the ones I covered here as a starting point. 

For the rest of the southern provinces we waited for almost ten years before we went back, waiting for the political situation to become more stable. Well, we gave up on that hope. 

As The Nation newspaper wrote on November 9th, 2005 "There are more than 100 Buddhist temples in the deep South but only a few monks, as many quit the monkhood due to fears for their safety. Militants now target their attacks on Buddhist monks and temples to deepen the religious divide in the region. An elderly monk and two temple boys were brutally killed in a recent attack on a temple last month"

We finally decided in March 2009 to do a trip to Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani and most importantly Nakhon Si Thammarat. Our real motivation was to visit Wat Phra Mahathat and Phra Buddha Sihing in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Those are the most important places we knew about, but had to learn that the South has many important monks, hidden caves and some beautiful temples. 

After returning home we almost regretted having traveled to the South, as we read in The Nation newspaper "Surat Thani Bomb disposal police managed to defuse two Homemade Bombs planted in this stronghold province of the Democrat Party Tuesday night".  While these bombs were most likely not the work of the separatist movement of the South, but rather the work of the opposition of the Democrats, the situation of the South overall had resulted in more than 3,500 deaths in the three southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala since it started in 2004 (Bangkok Post, 27.04.2009).

As Buddhists we do not believe in any form of violence for any reason. For those who want to dig deeper into the discussion we can recommend a good book issued by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, titled "Understanding Conflict and approaching Piece in Southern Thailand" which was edited by Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf and Dr. Lars Peter Schmidt. At least it helped us to get a different perspective on the issue. 

Upon completing this trip it only left us with the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Songkhla, Satun and Yala, which we will not visit. Krabi, Phangna, Phattalung and Trang do not justify a seperate trip (for visiting temples only) but might be combined with a future visit to Phuket.

 

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