A Cure for Temple Fatigue

Confession: we don’t remember ever spending more than 20 minutes in one of the temples in Thailand. Despite the beauty and the incredible craftsmanship, temple fatigue sets in quite quickly, because in our humble opinion, so many temples simply … look alike. That was until we discovered Wat Pariwat, a temple on Chao Phraya in Bangkok that fascinated us for two hours.

Wat Pariwat is located in one of the southern suburbs of Bangkok, an area rarely visited by tourists wird.Er It is a temple like we have never seen it. The complex consists of several structures: a modern-looking main building with a large Buddha shrine, typical nondescript temples where funerals are held and a huge fortified courtyard where the main attraction is located-a set of exorbitantly decorated shrines that will amaze even the most pessimistic visitor.

At first glance, the shrines seem to have been decorated under the slogan “More is more”. A wild mix of bright colors, materials (crystals, gold, pearls …) and figures provides a visual feast. However, if you take a second look, you will find that the decorations do not quite correspond to what you would expect from a Thai place of worship: Is that Albert Einstein looking down from above?

I have to catch them all: Wat Pariwat Bingo

The more you walk around the shrines, the more crazy features you will discover. Hidden in a riot of Indian gods and goddesses, Chinese mythical creatures, Japanese warriors and Buddhist characters, you will find everything from Disney characters to Panda Emojis–all carefully crafted from an incredible Thai mosaic.

We don’t want to spoil the fun by posting photos of everything we found, but we challenge you to find everything that follows:

  • Obama takes a Selfie
  • Dobby The House Elf from Harry Potter
  • Falkor the lucky dragon of infinite history
  • Busty bunny with a Selfie stick
  • A Hybrid Of Elephant Fish
  • Captain America
  • Winnie The pooh climbs a tree
  • A Japanese Doraemon character
  • A Portrait Of Albert Einstein
  • A Mutant Panda
  • A Rat warrior wielding a sword

And no, Pikachu, Jackie Chan and Mickey Mouse are not adored here. The contemporary elements integrated into the architecture of the building are part of an effort to actively delight the younger generation with Religion. Judging by the Thai children walking around the premises, these efforts seemed to be paying off – at least in a way.

The David Beckham Temple

Although far from the beaten track, Wat Pariwat is not entirely unknown. The glory of the temple is a tiny golden statue of David Beckham (hence the name “David Beckham Temple”), located just below the Buddha altar in the main sealed building just outside the fortified square. We didn’t manage to take a look at it (and we didn’t try either), but according to various reports, the Site guards are more than happy to unlock the door for you if you ask them.

During our visit, the two buildings of the fortified square were still under construction, but despite the scaffolding and construction materials scattered around, the place is already worth a visit. We can only imagine how much more impressive (and crowded) the place will be in five years.

Note that despite its fanciful appearance, Wat Pariwat is a temple like any other. Local families go here to worship, so be sure to take off your shoes and dress modestly when visiting.

How to get to Wat Pariwat

Depending on the traffic, a Taxi from the city center (Sukhumvit or Sathorn) will probably cost between THB 80 and THB 150. If you prefer to travel by public transport, Wat Pariwat is easily connected to the BRT (Bus) system and even has its own stop of the same name (B7).

You can board the BRT at Chong Nonsi BTS station. Just cross the bridge to the BRT Terminal, buy a ticket (THB 15) and get on the Bus below. The stops are clearly communicated in Thai and English, and the Wat Pariwat stop is about 15 minutes away.

Once at the stop, the ornate door of the temple is visible just in front of the platform.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *