Chao Fa Sala Loi
Tha Yang Klang
Tha Yang Nuea
Phra That Tham Khwan Mueang (Siwi)
Phra That Siwi (Siwi)
Had Som Paen
Tham Yai (Tha Chana)
Phra Boromathat Chaiya (Chaiya)
That Sri Surat
Tha Thong Mai
Saeng Pradit (Kanchanadit)
Tham Kuha (Kanchanadit)
Khao Suwan Pradit (Don Sak)
Buddha (Don Sak)
Nam Rop (Pumpin)
Sam Pan (Phra Saeng)
Si Thammarat Province
Phra Mahathat Woramahavihan
Phra Buddha Sihing
Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat
Yai Chai Mongkhon
Nantharam (Pak Panang)
Suthep Tharam (Pak Panang)
Khao Khun Phanom (Promkiri)
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.
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.
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"
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
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).
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.
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.