Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

You can thank Thong Thipcha, a folk artist from Maha Sarakham, for this one.

Probably built before 1917, the sim (chapel) was influenced by Vietnamese craftsmanship. It was officially proclaimed as an Ancient Monument by HM the King on December 21st, 2001.

With the thousands of temples scattered across the country, you’d be forgiven for wondering ‘what makes this one different / better?

Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

Some funky murals, anyone?

These murals tell the stories of Isaan folk tales and Buddhist legends – more specifically, the stories of Synshai. A Thai paper (PDF) shares a bit of the general story:

It shows that the giant Kumpan, who is powerful and the king of all giants, and is full of lust and wants to have a wife. He has a doubt that she would be the same giant, human being or born in the city of Naga…Miss Sumontha, his ex-wife, is the daughter of King Kusaraj who had more lust. Even though the King of Devas, Vessuwan, had forbidden him to travel because of being evil and making him dead…Even if the King of Devas Vessuwan had forbidden, the giant Kumpan had never been afraid. The more forbidden, the more lustful it was. It seems like saying that under the world and sky I never be afraid anyone. Commonly one, whoever is couple in the past existence, cannot be still?… This makes the giant Kumpan without sleeping and eating anything….

The giant Kumpan thought that it was impossible to get Miss Sumontha by following the tradition…because of having different lineage. People would stampede over the cities… Therefore, cheating was only his way…

While having the thought like this, the giant Kumpan followed his thought immediately. To think with immediate doing is the state of mind mixed between greed and angry. It influences to make it promptly. Finally, the giant Kumpan had stolen Miss Sumontha while visiting around the flower garden by holding her up to the city of giants (Nakon Anothan) and then forced her as his wife without morality and good tradition. The action of giant Kumpan mentioned above is linked with the Buddhist discipline of no controlling eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, which are the doors of common persons. If using these completely, there would be a lot of benefits. If using carelessly, it would create danger too.

Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

There’s nothing of this story on-site, of course.

Also in the area is the Phu Phra Bat Historical Park – another worthy destination to pair with this temple and make it a daytrip.

Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

The blue head group called – they said something about trying to reattach themselves…

Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

Looks like this guy’s got it almost figured out… Little lower…

Destination: the Thai temple with the bizarre illustrations ()

Khon Kaen isn’t on many people to-travel lists, but destinations like this should put it higher on the list for people.

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Name: Wat Chaisri (also spelled Wat Chaisi and Wat Chai Si – วัดไชยศรีและฮูปแต้มสินไซ)
Address: Moo 2, Ban Sawatee, Tambon Sawatee, Muang Khon Kaen (GPS: 16.509000, 102.696889)
Directions: From the Khon Kaen train station, take a left and go 400 meters to the T. Take a left onto route 209, go 400 meters to the four-way intersection, and take a right onto route 2. Go about a kilometer to the next four-way intersection, then take a left onto route 12 / Maliwan road. Go a little over 12 kilometers, then begin looking for route 2062 on the right – you’ll need to make a U-turn first, though. Once on route 2062, go a little over 7 kilometers, then take a right. Go 100 meters and take the next left, then look for the temple on the right.
Hours: not posted – aim for the daylight hours
Admission: free
Phone: none
Website: none

Ratings out of 5 globes (How do I rate destinations?)

Ease to arrive:

2.5 globes

Foreigner-friendly:

2.5 globes

Convenience facilities:

1globe

Worth the visit:

3globes

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