Wat Sri Khom Kham

Sinners be warned

Photo of , , Phayao

What we say: 3 stars

Although best known for its impressive 17-metre sitting Buddha, what really turns heads at Wat Sri Khom Kham is the scuplture garden within the temple's grounds.

Sometimes called the Heaven Hell Park, the somewhat dilapidated sculpture garden sits just north of the temple entrance and contains a collection of statues representing heaven and hell, with a focus on the latter. In temples throughout Thailand it is not unusual to see heaven and hell portrayed in temple murals, but sculpture gardens like this are less common.

Most of the sculptures are related to a particular sin. The disembowelled woman had an abortion, the long tongue represents a liar, the people climbing up a thorned tree while wild dogs chew on their legs were lovers (we think). There's also a big pot where a bunch of sinners are being boiled up (parliament house perhaps) and towards the rear you'll see a bunch of human forms with animal heads praying to a serene Buddha statue -- discovered the error in their ways?

While the sculpture garden at Wat Sri Khom Kham is somewhat rundown, it still makes for an intriguing few photos.

Aside from the garden, the Buddha image on site gives the temple its unofficial name of Phra That Ton Luang and the grounds are peaceful to wander around.

An annual fair takes place here in May.

More details
On the lakeshore, 1 km north of Phayao
How to get there: The temple is about a kilometre out of town, on the lakeside. To get there walk out of town for about 15 minutes. It is about 100 metres past the Cultural Centre.
Last updated: 16th March, 2012

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