There are literally thousands of temples around Thailand. However, you will only find a handful of them written about in the guidebooks. There are many beautiful and unique temples that don’t get a mention nor are they visited much by tourists. Last weekend I went to Wat Kratum Sua Pla which is in Prawet District, to the east of Bangkok. I go to this area a lot, though mainly for the shopping malls at Seacon Square and Seri Center. Another major attraction is the King Rama IX Park. There isn’t really much else, but I was really excited to discover Wat Kratum Sua Pla.
For me the highlight of this temple is the 80 Poses of Buddha Museum. If you are as fascinated as I am about Buddhism then you will love this place. There is a bilingual sign in front of each of the Buddha images which decribes the background for each pose. You may not realize it, but there are a set number of poses which have all been documented. When new Buddha images are made there are strict guidelines that have to be followed. I think normally there are only a handful of poses that we see in most temples. So, it is really interesting to see so many different and rare kinds of poses illustrating different episodes in the life of the Buddha. There were also some really unusual images. Like the standing on one foot image. The Buddha had placed one foot on the other foot in order to make a firm footprint. There were also a number of reclining Buddhas. I always thought they were depicting the final moments of the Buddha before he died. But, this isn’t necessarily true. They also illustrate other occasions. I will talk more about these in another blog.
Wat Kratum Sua Pla is also famous for the wax models of revered Buddhist monks such as Luang Pu Thong, Luang Pu Ophasi and Luang Pu Ruesi Lingdam. Then there are also two important shrines that attract many worshipers. They are the sacred Chao Pho Sua Shrine (above) and Kuan Yin Shrine. Another highlight for this temple is the fish sanctuary where you can feed the catfish. These guys are really gigantic. A word of warning. Don’t get too near when you throw them the fish food. They do thrash around quite a bit and you will get very wet. You will find the temple along On Nut Road. If you are starting at On Nut Sky Train Station, it is about 10 kms down this road. You also have to cross over Srinakarin Road. I have marked it on ThailandPhotoMap.com for you.