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  1. #1
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Mahawihan Luangpor Toh

    For the past several years while traveling from Bangkok to Khon Kean on Highway 2 we have watched the construction of Mahawihan Luangpor Toh. A temple dedicated to Somdej Toh.

    Yesterday we stopped to see how it was coming along. The temple might be 75% completed (needs most of its finishings) but the gardens look completed.

    Everything there is free to the public (no entrance fee),…even meals. However you’ll see donation boxes at every corner. There are special booths that sell some items and a couple of shops that will charge for nick-nacks.

    I picked this off the net,………to give the reader a little history.

    Viharn Phra Somdej Toh Buddhacharn Phomarangsi is the largest temple in Nakhon Ratchasime. It is dedicated to one of the most famous and beloved ancient monks during Thailand’s Rattanakosin Period, Phra Somdej Toh Buddhacharn Phomarangsi (1788 - 1872). The temple has enshrined the largest Phra Somdej Toh statue in Thailand and the project is spear-headed by a famous 70’s Thai film actor Sorapong Chatree. Having gained fame and fortune, he contributed his money to build this magnificent temple.


    This thread is a continuation of a thread that “man with no head” had started years ago (but has removed the pictures he posted there).
    Link: (Large temple between Korat and Saraburi...)http://teakdoor.com/thailands-wats-temples-and-mosques/6237-large-temple-between-korat-and-saraburi.html


    Here is the location of Mahawihan Luangpor Toh: http://www.panoramio.com/map/#lt=14.872564&ln=101.732626&z=4&k=2


    Temple pictures:




















    Garden and Surrounding Area pictures:
































    The Cafeteria (Free food,.but you can’t be picky. They were serving some type of pork soup, yesterday):




    I put together a video on Vimeo. If you open the Vimeo link and try to play/watch the video, it is better to start the video and then pause it and let the running bar build up (finish) and then click on play again. You will not see it skip as much.

    http://vimeo.com/13790348



    Why it is called Mahawihan: Maha means great/grand and wihan or viharn means: Viharn or Vihara - The sermon hall or Buddhist Monastery is used for enshrining major Buddha statues. Actually, Vihara is a replica of Ubosoth. In Bangkok and the central of Thailand, most Vihara are usually smaller than Ubosoth.

    Viharn always opened to everyone to meet and pray together. There are no Sema stones surrounding Vihara like Ubosoth. Maybe, there are several Vihara within the temple.

    Link: http://www.yourantiquesonline.info/asian-antiques/monk-statue/



    I don’t usually do Wat’s or Temple’s (done enough already), but the girlfriend wanted to see this one, nearly completed. If we ever stop by again,..for lunch, I’ll update this thread with some pictures.



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  2. #2
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    I went a couple of years ago and was told it was originally inspired by a actor who was there when we were, forgotten his name but seen him on the TV. Not a wat, you have to wonder what Buddha would have thought to it, along with all the other glory building that goes on all over the place here. Lovely gardens, but it might be better without the ludicrous statue.

  3. #3
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    Very nice pictures - looks like a lovely looking place. The buildings, grounds, setting look well worth a visit; nice way to spend a weekend afternoon.

    The celebrity Buddhism thing they do here (my missus goes to Wat Paknam and they have a famous 'celebrity monk' who's plastered over half the cars and homes of Bkk) is very distant from the Buddhism I was taught by Tibetan monks (informally, as they were friends...). I know it's their way of doing things, and Theravada is different from Mahayna, but I still find it somewhat offensive...

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    nice pics a green is sent

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Very nice pictures - looks like a lovely looking place. The buildings, grounds, setting look well worth a visit; nice way to spend a weekend afternoon.

    The celebrity Buddhism thing they do here (my missus goes to Wat Paknam and they have a famous 'celebrity monk' who's plastered over half the cars and homes of Bkk) is very distant from the Buddhism I was taught by Tibetan monks (informally, as they were friends...). I know it's their way of doing things, and Theravada is different from Mahayna, but I still find it somewhat offensive...

    Your mrs is a dhama kaya follower? they are always after donations and I think the richest Budhist sect here. Sadly a long way from it's founder, more like the Scientology of Budhism than anything else. Por Sot is the old bald monk who I think founded it and Paknam, even we have a pic of him over the bed! Their meditation technique is almost impossible to follow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Very nice pictures - looks like a lovely looking place. The buildings, grounds, setting look well worth a visit; nice way to spend a weekend afternoon.

    The celebrity Buddhism thing they do here (my missus goes to Wat Paknam and they have a famous 'celebrity monk' who's plastered over half the cars and homes of Bkk) is very distant from the Buddhism I was taught by Tibetan monks (informally, as they were friends...). I know it's their way of doing things, and Theravada is different from Mahayna, but I still find it somewhat offensive...
    A number of educated Thais seem to agree with you and you can find more "modest" form of Theravada Budhism in Thailand, and especially from foreign monks who studied with Ajahn Chah. There are two English speaking abbots around Pak Chong. You should visit them, you may get a different idea about Theravada Budhism
    The things we regret most is the things we didn't do

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy dog
    Your mrs is a dhama kaya follower?
    Yeah, she is. Always at Wat Pak Nam or the 'superstore'. To be fair, they've not fleeced her, indeed they took her on a 10 day retreat to Chiang Rai, food, accom and travel included for 1500 baht (if I remember correctly). I don't like the theory, but I have no complaints about their actions/behaviour; the two temples have a lot of nice people and the missus has made many connections with decent folk who don't cheat us; if we need a builder, an electrician, etc, she finds somebody through the temple who is trustworthy and does a good job at a cheap price (I uisually have to force them to take more cause they undercharge...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Perota
    There are two English speaking abbots around Pak Chong. You should visit them, you may get a different idea about Theravada Budhism
    I don't know anything about that place, but I'll have a look one day, so thanks. I've recently moved close to Wat Yai Rom which I'll have to go and have a look at soon.

    Like S Landruth, I enjoy looking at temples, churches, old historic buildings generally. The really strange thing to me is that the missus has no interest at all in looking at any other temple, no matter how 'important', beautiful, unique or anything else. Wierd.

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    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Yeah, she is. Always at Wat Pak Nam or the 'superstore'. To be fair, they've not fleeced her, indeed they took her on a 10 day retreat to Chiang Rai, food, accom and travel included for 1500 baht (if I remember correctly). I don't like the theory, but I have no complaints about their actions/behaviour; the two temples have a lot of nice people and the missus has made many connections with decent folk who don't cheat us; if we need a builder, an electrician, etc, she finds somebody through the temple who is trustworthy and does a good job at a cheap price (I uisually have to force them to take more cause they undercharge...).
    Because they're from the temple they're trustworthy ? Reason why you need to be careful. Never trust the people you trust the most.

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    ^ any network of likeminded/connected people is a potential asset; especially in Asia.

    Not being a member of the standard Sino-Thai clans, we make do with what we can, and find the temple group to be decent and trustworthy folk, thusfar.

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    Thailand Expat superman's Avatar
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    ^ Fair go on that, but I still wouldn't trust a Thai as far as I could throw him/her. I do include my wife in that statement. Once your guard is down, the knives will come. A lesson I've learned through experience. Sorry I don't meam to sound rascist, but I wouldn't trust farangs either. Been shit on by them as well.
    Last edited by superman; 01-08-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy dog
    Your mrs is a dhama kaya follower?
    Yeah, she is. Always at Wat Pak Nam or the 'superstore'. To be fair, they've not fleeced he
    There is a famous book called my life as a siamese monk by R Randell who was the first Thai monk to be ordained from the UK, and I think the west. This was in the early '50's He was at Pak Nam, somewhat different in those days by the sound of it. The old monk was still alive then, he died in 1959.

  12. #12
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    ^ Sounds interesting, I'll try to find it, thanks.

    ^^ Their social structure is different, and we're not too good at fitting into it/using it. It's hierarchal and power based, but once you're in it, and everyone knows where you fit into it, then they are perfectly trustworthy within the confines of that structure; probably too much so bearing in mind the inherant weaknesses of the structure...

  13. #13
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    Looks obscene to me. Cloud cukoo land.

  14. #14
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the compliments. I was able to upload the video on youtube this morning, if you would rather view it here and not at Vimeo.



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    Very interesting, thank you.

  16. #16
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    Nice pictures SL. Those darn Thais, if there are two things they just can't get enough of its temples and beauty salons !

    Looks like you are using a different camera to the one from your Egyptian trip. Either that or you've been honing your skills.

  17. #17
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Honing

    Learning to take the time and think about the shot and not just wildly click at anything and everything.

    Using the girlfriends Sony Camera (Exmor 10.2 Mega Pixels) and not the Sony I use as much any longer, which might account for some sharper images, also.

    I was thinking about getting a newer more complex camera for our Italy trip, because I wanted a camera that would take good pictures without the use of a flash (for museums where we wouldn’t be allowed flash), but I tested her Sony and it seems to do a good enough job. I like the pocket size cameras, because they are easier to conceal, than a larger bulky camera that might be detected when going through security check points before entering the museums.

    But if the smaller camera doesn’t work in the museums while we are in Italy, I might pick something there.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    Those darn Thais, if there are two things they just can't get enough of its temples and beauty salons !


    Yeah temples, beauty solons and a growing number of casinos, at least here in Khon Kaen. I wanted to start a thread on Casinos here (with pictures) but the girlfriend says it might not go over well, with me and a camera inside these small but clearly marked Thai Casinos.

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    Thought casinos were illegal?

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    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    ^Honing

    I was thinking about getting a newer more complex camera for our Italy trip, because I wanted a camera that would take good pictures without the use of a flash .
    I recently purchased a new camera myself, a Sony H20 with 10x zoom and HD video. Luckily for me it has an ' idiot ' mode so I don't have to devote the rest of my life to reading the instruction manual. It takes good pictures but is a bit ' flash happy ' in low light conditions so I need to look up how to overide the flash and set the aperture etc manualy.

    As for flashing discretely in Italian museums, well, just make sure your socks reach your knees and your grey overcoat comes down to your ankles and you should get away with it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by crazy dog
    Your mrs is a dhama kaya follower?
    Yeah, she is. Always at Wat Pak Nam or the 'superstore'. To be fair, they've not fleeced her, indeed they took her on a 10 day retreat to Chiang Rai, food, accom and travel included for 1500 baht (if I remember correctly). I don't like the theory, but I have no complaints about their actions/behaviour; the two temples have a lot of nice people and the missus has made many connections with decent folk who don't cheat us; if we need a builder, an electrician, etc, she finds somebody through the temple who is trustworthy and does a good job at a cheap price (I uisually have to force them to take more cause they undercharge...).

    Quote Originally Posted by Perota
    There are two English speaking abbots around Pak Chong. You should visit them, you may get a different idea about Theravada Budhism
    I don't know anything about that place, but I'll have a look one day, so thanks. I've recently moved close to Wat Yai Rom which I'll have to go and have a look at soon.

    Like S Landruth, I enjoy looking at temples, churches, old historic buildings generally. The really strange thing to me is that the missus has no interest at all in looking at any other temple, no matter how 'important', beautiful, unique or anything else. Wierd.

    "recently moved close to Wat Yai Rom".........i like to live as far away from a Wat as possible, like peace and quiet in the morning !

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