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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Temples, Churches and Shrines of Chanthaburi – A Spiritual Touch of Chanthaburi

Chanthaburi is a sacred place and is home to a couple of astounding places of worship. Religion is varied here and the Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer communities have all contributed to this diversity.

1

Wat Khao Sukim

Located on the mountains of Khao Khitchakut, some 20 km from the town, this temple is an elaborate place of worship. It is actually a Thai Theravada temple that started out as a place for meditation. It was during the 1950's when Wat Khao Sukim was first visited. The well known monk Ajahn Somchai found the backdrop of Wat Khao Sukim perfect to meditate and since then the temple was used as a monastery which was perfect to escape the woes of everyday life. However, over the years, Wat Khao Sukim underwent a significant transformation and at present, it is a highly sophisticated temple in Thailand. From the elaborate interiors to the artistic exteriors this is one place that showcases Thai skill in a big way.

2

Wat Mong Gorn Phupha Ram

If you compare it with Wat Khao Sukim it looks from the outside as though it belongs to another religion but surprisingly this temple is also from the same faith. A rather new addition to the temple scene in Thailand, the Wat Mong Gorn Phupha Ram looks like a Chinese piece of art. Bursting with colour this vibrant looking temple portrays Chinese craftsmanship at its best. There are 32 shrines found all across the site and the best part is there is a red lantern hanging from pretty much every corner of these shrines. It is a place where visitors can absorb a little bit of Chinese tradition both in art as well as beliefs.

3

Wat Bot Muang

The oldest temple in Chanthaburi, this place of worship was constructed at least 400 years ago. It is rather small in size but it certainly is a photogenic place in the city. Adorned with a number of beautiful murals, the temple depicts the life of Lord Buddha in a truly artistic manner. History is portrayed all over the walls both inside and outside the temple. Also found here is a 1000-year-old Khmer lintel with a peculiar design from a bygone era. The lintel features the Hindu God Indra dancing atop Erawan, the well known three-headed elephant. Although the temple is Thai in nature there is plenty of evidence of Chinese and Khmer influence.

4

The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception

The largest church in Thailand this is perhaps one of the few places of worship that have almost no Thai influence in design. Constructed all the way back in the early 1700s, this church was first built by the European missionaries who visited the area. The gothic style currently exhibited is actually a result of the renovation efforts by the Vietnamese Christians sometime in the 1900s. There are lots of Roman Catholics in Chanthaburi but in addition to them, one can also find here Chinese Buddhists who place offerings to Virgin Mary. Even if you are based in a Chanthaburi resort such as the well placed Chatrium Golf Resort Soi Dao, a drive to the church and other temples in the vicinity is an absolutely worthwhile excursion to undertake.

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