Wat Bang Riang, Phang Nga Province
Having seen Krabi Temples during our stay in Ao Nang we decided to broaden our traveling boarders and visit the neighboring province Phang Nga which is almost in 80 km to the South.
So to speak, Ao Nang is always seen a bit of a jumping point to other places nearby. What we were interested so much was a picturesque hilltop temple called Wat Bang Riang (Thai official name is Wat Rat Upatam) located on Khao Lan Mountain in Thap Put, Phang Nga province.
We started at dawn. The way led through some local villages located in the depth of Jungle and escaping the main road. See some pictures made on the way attached.
After 3 hours of riding a bike and several stops to make pictures and drink some liquid as the heat was speeding up with us we finally got to the place.
Wat Bang Riang is a functioning Temple with monks living in it. local people come to pray and very often small groups of tourists are brought to the place to pay respect to Thai religion and to see the beauty and mightiness of this temple founded by the abbot Lung Chai who once came and settled in this temple. The very name of Wat Rat Upatam means "the temple that has been supported by locals".
The Temple consists of 3 parts:
1) Chedi Phutthathambanlue - the bell-shaped white pagoda, it's the main temple building.
2) The gigantic statue of Sitting Buddha.
3) The tallest statue of Knam Im (Guan Yin) in Southern Thailand.
The Pagoda is said to contain the relics of Buddha and it is the main place of worship.
Once you ascend Khao Lan Mountain you come to the main building where for a reasonable price of 20 bht one can walk inside and see even the sacrament of monk's service. Then your way will go down to the hill along the steps to Guan Yin and from that place you'll walk to Buddha, the last point of the fascinating temple.
Right behind the Buddha there are the gates that are closed now, they lead to the Jungle. This Temple is well worth a visit and worth spending the whole day having escaped the reality.
Opening Hours: Daily early morning to late afternoon.
Location: Khao lan mountain in Thap Put District, Phang Nga Province.
See the map attached.
Rules of entering the main building:
- your shoulders and knees must be covered otherwise one can get a shirt and a skirt for 20 bht each.
- entrance is 20 bht.
- put off your shoes before entering a sacred place.