…A Work In Progress. Or Not!
Do you ever wonder where all the buddha statues come from? Probably not. But I think I’ve found out. There’s a park, almost at the westernmost point of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. It’s easy to find if you know it’s there as it’s adjacent to, and very visible as you travel along highway 41, which pretty-much everyone uses to get from Malaysia to Bangkok.
I don’t do that, so I only discovered it by accident when nosing around on Google Maps/Earth. I was sort-of in the area a couple of days ago so I decided to take a look.
Yes, they have buddha statues. But where do they come from? Do they breed them? I guess not since they’re all male. Perhaps they grow them from seeds. Or maybe they grow them somewhere else and park them there, since it is a “Park.”
Whatever the answer, they’re not doing any of it now. The place is completely deserted, and looks like it has been for a long time. It’s possible work stopped when the virus hit, but everything looks like it hasn’t been touched in years.
There’s a stout locked gate preventing anyone from stealing the statues, with a wide trench running around the park, which I’m guessing would be a moat if the place was ever finished.
And guessing is all I can do. I can’t find any info online. Why is it there? Is it supposed to be a theme park? Who is, or was, building it? Well, I have a theory, of sorts.
Around the park there is a huge quarry. Trucks are moving constantly around the park, creating a nice haze of limestone dust. I’m thinking that as part of the agreement to operate the quarry, the mining company agreed to build the buddha park. But somewhere along the way, decided it was too expensive.
So there the buddhas sit. Some with nice golden clothes, some in their white underwear, but most completely naked…
As you can see, I have some photos. I stuck camera through gate, and I sent up Minnie to get a better look…
Whatever it was supposed to become, I have a feeling it would have been, or will be, pretty grand. There’s an area for a parking lot that could fit a hundred buses and a thousand cars. There’s a large building at the rear that semi-built. There’s a few other half completed statues. But mostly it’s acres of gravel and dust.
Another place not destined for your bucket list.