Discover Mummified Monks - Koh Samui
In Thailand, there are over 40,000 Buddhist temples sprawled across the land. Each temple has its own unique charm from chedis that touch the sky to gargantuan sculptures of Buddha. Because of these features, many people – both tourists and locals alike – often visit these places of worship to either offer a little prayer or see something they have only read in books or seen on television. Although images of Buddha and gold encrusted surfaces do attract the many, the attraction found in Wat Khunaram is out of the ordinary.
Wat Khunaram is located on the island of Ko Samui in the Surat Thani Province. Although it lacks an impressive chedi or a golden Buddha statue, it does, however, have a mummified monk displayed in one of the temple’s building. The perfectly preserved monk is housed in a see-through glass case and is wearing an orange robe and sporting a pair of sunglasses. This image might be witty or uncomfortable to some, but do not be fooled, because sitting right before the visitors is Samui’s most famous monk, Loung Poradeng. It was believed that his meditation and teaching skills were beyond exceptional, which his many followers have idolized. Upon his deathbed, he instructed his followers that if his body were to decay, he would be cremated. If not, he must be placed in a glass casket to serve as an inspiration for the future generation. 40 years after his death, his body is still well-kept.
Trip Guru would like to remind travelers that this location holds a sacred importance to the people of Samui, and must be kept as such. Visitors must wear the proper attire. That means come in in clothes that do not reveal the shoulders, bottoms that are longer than the knees, and covered footwear. They might however, join the local visitors in praying and meditating, but their conversations must be kept in a soft tone, to not disturb the others. Several Buddhist amulets can be purchased here as well.
To get to Wat Khunaram, travelers can take a songthaew that will take them to route 4169. There is no admission fee to the temple, but donations for the temple’s upkeep is very well appreciated. Wat Khunaram is open during the daylight hours.