Chinese Temple, Buddha's Footprint and Yellow Buddha

A test in devotion and endurance

Photo of , , Ko Si Chang

What we say: 3.5 stars

The Chinese temple north of Tha Bon pier is a test in devotion and endurance.

Climb 300 steps and you will be rewarded with jaw-dropping views, an abandoned funicular train, benches shaped like dragons, and more than six Buddha shrines, including Saan Chao Pho Kao Yai. The shrines, which live within the nooks and crannies of a hillside cave, are saturated in gold leaf and bedecked with mardi-gras beads, chandeliers and other festive accessories.

The odd encounter between the holy, the natural, and the synthetic might be confusing for outside visitors, but the temple is very much an active place of worship, requiring appropriate dress and behaviour. Further up a windy flight of stairs past purple flowers, coiling vines and hidden shrines awaits the Buddha's footprint and a bell. The site is nothing to write home about, but the stunning view and the accomplishment of reaching the top make this a worthy undertaking.

You might see orange-clad monks meditating, or hear the mystical chanting of prayers from below. Walking down the steps towards the street, you will exit a different way than you entered, but turn left to return to the main entrance.

The temple gates are open 07:00-17:00, but the regulations are loose and given the right manoeuvring you can probably enter at any time.

More details
North of Tha Bon pier
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00-17:00
Last updated: 6th November, 2012

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