Khao Sok Temples

in Temple

When you say temple, people would automatically think of a sacred place, where spiritual activities usually takes place. A dwelling place of Gods for every religion, a temple is where a lot of people visit to pay their respects to higher beings.  And since ancient times, People build their temples in such a magnificent way, that it became a tourist attraction.

There are about two temples near the Khao Sok Paradise Resort – The Panturat Temple and Watan Tumhara Temple. We send our resort guest there for the Canoeing and monkey feeding activities. I guess it was worth the trip to get to experience it firsthand.

The first one we visited was Watan Tuhara Temple. It's located beside the Sok River where the Canoeing trip usually starts. You can tell by seeing the local guides awkwardly carrying the canoe boats on their backs inside the temple.  One thing that caught my attention were the Gods inside "glassed booths" where you can drop a coin and apparently it will give you your lucky number  for the day.

Since I'm not a Buddhist, I did not dare try it. But at the back of my mind I was thinking about Lottery and how fantastic it would be if you win. Inside the cave you will see more Buddhist statues. How I wish I was with a guide who can answer my questions on those statues. But since there was no one, I took a picture of it instead to ask my Thai colleague later on. We followed the path leading to the river and It was incredible to see a school of Thai Mahseer fish lapping gently on the river bed

as they eat the Pellets thrown away by tourists.  We were told that the fishes are considered sacred, because it is in the vicinity of the temple and so catching the fish and eating it, is forbidden.

Popularly known as the monkey cave, Panturat temple is just outside of Khao Sok National Park on the 401 highway.  There is a family of long tail macaque scattered all over the place and one peculiar white handed gibbon.  When we got there were already some tourists playing with the monkeys. It's unbelievable how humans can naturally interact with animals using body language.  

The Long Tail Macaque, Its defining characteristic, for which they are named, is their extraordinarily long tail that is almost always longer than their height from head to rump. They live near the temple on the Limestone Mountains but because of their constant contact with human, they have no fear for us. You will catch them usually in the afternoon when the temperature is a bit cooler and tourists drop by to feed them.

If you are observant enough, you could spot the white handed gibbon. White-handed gibbons are small, tailless apes with dense, shaggy fur ranging from black to pale gray. Their face is bare and surrounded by a white fringe. They have long, slender arms and the upper part of their hands and feet is always white. It's amazing how they swing from one tree to another. They launch themselves and free fall until they catch another branch.

The world is surely evolving. Aside from temples being large and magnificent, with a rich history, Temples are now also used as another way of interacting with animals, making your visit more holistic and meaningful.

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Article by James Smith
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This article was published on 2012/03/21