Wat Phra Bat Phu Pan Kham temple
During my last visit to Thailand I decided to visit Khon Kaen. During my stay my partner suggested that we visit the Ubolratana dam. This is a popular location for many Thai people to go to enjoy a day by the lake. When we arrived we spotted a Buddhist temple and decided to go and have a look around. The temple we had stumbled across was Wat Phra Bat Phu Pan Kham.
How to get there
The easiest way is to drive, but the entrance to temple can be difficult to locate. The temple is not easily signposted either. But as we had our Sat Nav in the car we were able to locate it quite easily. The GPS co-ordinates are: N16.76364-- E102.61957. Upon arriving you can park at the bottom of the hill and climb the steps or alternatively you can drive up the access road to the top. This is quite narrow and steep, so take your time.
As you can see from the picture above, the giant white Buddha looks out from the top of the hill to the valley below. Do not be fooled into thinking you have to climb all of the steps to get to it. There is a small access road that will take you all the way to a small car park at the summit. Once you arrive at the top you will be greeted with this magnificent temple.
Once we arrived we proceeded to look around temple. Be sure to take your shoes off before climbing the steps directly outside the temple. After a few moments of admiring the view out over the lake we decided to go inside. As soon as we entered the temple we were greeted by one of the local Buddhist monks. After giving the traditional wai and bowing we had a short look around. We noticed that there was a traditional blessing ceremony taking place and my partner wanted to participate.
Can you participate in a blessing ceremony?
Yes, the Buddhist monks will happily let everyone participate in the ceremony. Just remember to buy an offering to present to the monk. This is not very expensive but it is part of the ceremony. They will then perform the ceremony for you. This is a highly spiritual part of Thai society, so please remember to be quiet and respectful if you are inside the temple.
Can I take photographs inside the temple?
Again the answer is yes. I would advise making a small donation of 20 Baht into one of the boxes in the temple as a way of saying Thanks for allowing you in to look around.
Is there anywhere to buy refreshments from?
If its a hot day, and it usually is then you will need refreshments. There are a number of small vendors usually located at the bottom of the steps. If you are planning to climb up these I would recommend buying a bottle of water before you start. You will need it. There is also another small vendor at the top selling a range of snacks and drinks.
Now I am not easily amazed by every temple site I visit, but this one is quite impressive. If you are ever in the vicinity of Khon Kaen and you would like to visit a magnificent temple, then you should visit Wat Phra Bat Phu Pan Kham.