Thailand travel 27: Wat Plai Laem, Mr Pong and the Big Buddha
Barb takes me to Wat (temple) Plai Laem to see Joan’s little remembrance spot (Joan’s ashes are interred there) and feed the fish and the chickens and the pigeons.
Spend quite a bit of time at Plai Laem. Lots to ooh and ah about. Here, the Guanyin “Buddhist ‘goddess’ of compassion and mercy” is created in Chinese style, I learn on Wikipedia, with 18 arms. Wouldn’t have guessed. Guanyin icons are usually gracious and graceful and very human.
“The temple’s design, though modern, incorporates elements of Chinese and Thai traditions,” I also read. Inside the main temple — and all the different elements of the temple complex— are beautifully painted and maintained. Just lovely and art filled, in water and against the clear blue sky.
We go to Mr Pong’s beach cafe, one of Rich and Barb’s close-to-home fave’s, for lunch.
Then Barb dropped me off at Wat Phra Yai, better known as Koh Samui’s Big Buddha at nearby Bophut. I read on Wikipedia that “as its name indicates, it is home to a giant, 12m high gold-painted Buddha statue. Since being built in 1972, it has become one of Ko Samui’s main tourist attractions and a major landmark.”
If your shoulders aren’t covered, they lend you a kimona to wear to climb the stairs.
Mine are covered with an (All Handmade) Carole Paxton’s outsize shibori scarf, the most useful item in my luggage for reasons that include this (you can use it to cover your shoulders in Buddhist temples).
You can also sit on it on grubby bus seats, keep the sun off your arms and shoulders with it, don it in the evening to add a touch of elegance, dry yourself with it, wipe your hands on it when you’ve eaten, use to to keep you warm when the breeze comes up of an evening and lots more.
Just throw it in the washing machine when you’re done. Oops! Not supposed to have done that three or four times, Carole says, when next she sees it.
© Wanda Hennig 2016, story and photos.