One Day in a UFO-look-alike Temple in Thailand
Have you ever been in a place that looks futuristic? A place that is so surreal that you expect Tom Cruise to show up with a huge surreal shotgun and start killing aliens, clones, and enemies defending the ‘good guys’. Well, this weekend I visited an alien-looking place just outside of Bangkok.
A temple is called Wat Phra Dhammakaya and it belongs to a very alternative Buddhist community. Some of my Thai friends consider it a sect. They even warned me to be careful when I go there as some people might try to convert me.
Imagine walking around a place where everyone wears white robes. That sure does look surreal.
They didn’t let us inside the temple for a meditation session as we weren’t dressed appropriately. Here you can find the right kind of dress for this temple:
The golden dome of the temple is decorated with 300.000 golden Buddha statues, you can find 700.000 statues of little Buddha inside the temple. Here is a close-up picture:
There is a big sitting area nearby the temple where people can rest. Many families bring their blankets, little chairs, food and other things to spend the day by the temple. They can nap and chit-chat. Imagine going to a Sunday prayer in your church to take a nap. This would be considered outrageous in the West and it is totally fine here.
The community is very rich and has a lot of followers in Thailand. It is some sort of a Buddhist version of Scientology Church that attracts a lot of rich and influential people. I was astonished by the amount of food on display. This food isn’t meant to be eaten it is a gift for gods who live in that temple.
Imagine huge crystal bowls of fried chicken, caviar, rice, shrimps, M’n’Ms, Ferrero Rochere, elegant cakes, dumplings, and much more just sitting under the tent at +35. All this food was wasted by the end of the day.
Everyone was taking pictures with the food.
Even though we seemed odd in such a setting, Thai people were extremely friendly and welcoming. They gave us food and showed us around. No one tried to convert us to their kind of Buddhism or convince us to donate some money.
Here is our lunch:
Despite all the weird stuff, I totally enjoyed my trip to the temple.