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  1. #1
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Exclamation Not a place to take the family - Wat Tham Ta Pan

    Wat Tham Ta Pan in Phang Nga Town

    Heaven & Hell Cave And Temple

    Wat Tham Ta Pan is without doubt one of the most weirdly original temples in southern Thailand. Located in Phang Nga Town approximately 100km northeast of Phuket City, it offers a journey through Buddhist Heaven and Hell. At first sight the temple looks a bit abandoned and decrepit, and this adds to the scariness of the place.

    At the entrance you’ll see a fountain with five monk statues, each of them holding a bowl representing wealth, beauty, happiness, cleverness, and health. Try to throw a coin in the bowl of your choice and if you succeed you’ll get what you ask for, according to your choice.

    There are a few buildings located in the centre of the temple grounds, with a small shop where you can make a donation and buy snacks and drinks. The area behind these buildings offers a walk to a cliff through a luxurious garden dotted with statues of animals. The cliff itself displays various sculptures and representations of Indian deities, from Ganesh to Akhilandeshvari riding a crocodile.



    Heaven Cave
    Right next to the small shop, a huge Chinese dragon waits for you to enter, its mouth wide open. This is the beginning of the ‘journey’ through representations of Buddhist heaven and hell. The inside of the dragon has a long, quite dark tunnel with just a few tiny windows lighting your path and offering a vision to the ‘hell’ outside.

    At the end of the tunnel you find the entrance to a deep cave. Pray at the small shrine on your left before heading towards Nirvana at the end of the cave after a 10-minute walk along a dark track with bridges crossing a river. Heaven is symbolized by two Buddha statues (one sitting and one standing) at the end of the cave.

    Coming out from the cave, you are now ready to see the highlight of the show: welcome to Buddhist Hell!



    Buddhist Hell
    Buddhist Hell (Naraka in Sanskrit, Na Rok in Thai) awaits you, if you do not follow the five precepts of Buddhism during your life:

    • Abstain from taking life (thou shall not kill).
    • Abstain from taking what is not given (thou shall not steal).
    • Abstain from sexual misconduct (thou shall not commit adultery).
    • Abstain from false speech (thou shall not lie).
    • Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness (eschew drunkeness).

    Wat Tham Ta Pan is really scary and not really recommended for young children. Scenes showing torture applied to sinners according to their sins are vivid and straightforward and leave no space to the imagination.





    Wat Tham Ta Pan is indeed one-of-a-kind place well worth a visit due to its weird originality. A visit with a local guide is recommended if you wish get further details about the various concepts represented at the temple as touches of Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Taoism are all mixed together there.

















    Thank you for scaring us ordinary folk into believing


  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    billy the kid's Avatar
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    The Church of England sent Prof Richard Dawkins < atheist> a get well prayer card after he had a stroke.

    [QUOTE="Chittychangchang"]Thank you for scaring us ordinary folk into believing.

  3. #3
    hangin' around cyrille's Avatar
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    ^ This century they are known as 'tweets'.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    mingmong's Avatar
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    Thai 'Fun' Park......

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Ah, ffs, give your kids some mushrooms and push them out into the park alone.

    Puts hairs on their chests


  6. #6
    The poster you can trust Luigi's Avatar
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    Ah religion.

    Images of eternal torture combined with baskets for monetary donations.

    Where would we be without it.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    there is another of these " theme wats " on the banks of the chao phraya river between bangkok and ayutthaya, not far from bang pa in, it is called wat pai rong rua.

    it is a work in progress, building and enlargement has been going on for decades as the donations to fund the work pour in.

    there are hundreds of tall buddha statues and three or four enormous torture gardens with huge depictions of the various horrors awaiting sinners. the gardens are arranged according to the type of sin committed, e.g. drug users are impaled on spiny trees, adulterers have there genitals mutilated and cheats and liars have their tongues pulled out with pliers. i'm not sure what sin one has to commit to end up being slow roasted in a large metal skillet, but it is there in all its glory.

    it is well worth a visit if you are into some of the bizarre disneyland type excesses that thai buddhism sometimes throws at you.

    country bumpkins on coach trips walk around lecturing their traumatised ittle brats, open mouthed in awe at the horrors on display, about the perils of sin and stupidly filling the donation boxes with their beer money.

    for cynical nonbelievers like myself, it is just further proof, as if i needed any, of the idiocy of religion in all its incarnation, and of course what a wonderful business model it is.

  8. #8
    Hifaluten Member
    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Bit like walking down Soi Cowboy or other similar theme parks at 4am in the morning

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    Scottish Gary's Avatar
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    Looks like a normal night in Pattaya.

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