Monks, Temples, Shrines, Statues, & More

A brief look at the various ways religion and other forms of belief are practiced here.

Most mornings I get up around sunrise and jump on my bicycle.

Part of the routine is watching the monks doing their rounds, still an integral part of daily life.

A place I often stop is Wat Chalo, Bang Kruai, a temple shaped like a European trading ship from the past.

Near the entrance are several stalls where devotees can buy whatever they feel is necessary to offer to the monks.

Its swan head is quite something.

Covid has made an impact everywhere as you can see, only the Buddha statues have been spared from face-masks...

Certain combinations of decorations definitely keep me surprised, e.g. the electric guitar underneath the garlands!

The roosters and sweet drinks at Wat Sarari are standard, but the toy guns definitely not!

This wall painting in Bang Yai provided an unusual background for this monk.

Some monks do their rounds by boat.

Lots of little animal statues can be found at temples and spirit houses.

Many years ago I went to Luang Prabang, Laos, and remember being impressed by rows of monks going through the town each morning.

Surprisingly enough I can observe a miniature version nowadays in my own area!

These highly politically incorrect characters can still be found in front of some houses.

Of course a revered phallus had to be included here as well!

Wat Bang Krai Nai has a small crocodile shrine!

This was done "to commemorate Mr. Kraithong who defeated crocodiles in Phichit city"...

Nearby is this semi-military shrine...

And finally the big zebra mystery... When I first came to Thailand (Dec. 1984), there were no zebra statues to be seen anywhere. Only in the last 10 years or so, have they started popping up at lots of temples and shrines. I've asked several Thai guides for an explanation but none have come up with a satisfying answer so far. The story that this animal represents safety seems far-fetched considering how zebra crossings are being ignored by drivers here! Another tale I heard that someone dreamed of a number of zebras and won the lottery seems more plausible!

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