… Somewhere In Surat Thani Province.
I guess the longer the name, the harder they are to find!
It’s odd. The wat seems to dominate Google Maps. Even if you look at an area 100kms across, there it is. Slap bang in the middle. Actually, slap bang in the middle of nowhere. Why would they build a wat there? What’s so special about it? Enquiring minds needed to know.
So, on my way home from Laem Sak last week, on a route that cut across the middle of Surat Thani province, I decided to pay the place a visit. Shouldn’t be hard to find. Should it? A place that features so prominently on the map. Must be signs everywhere. Right?
Before I left home I made sure Ms. Chuckles – my sometimes irritating GPS lady – knew exactly where it was. It’s a long name to type. I wasn’t going to get it wrong. She was sure. I was sure. So, no problem.
I’d already figured where I needed to turn off highway 44 and the general direction I needed to go. Then it would be easy – I’d just follow the signs. What signs? No sign of signs!
No problem I thought, I’ll wake up Ms. Chuckles.
Now, how do you figure this? … The day before, she knew exactly where the wat was … Today, not a clue. “Searching.” For ten minutes?
Eventually I found Ban Pracha Tam. Well, that’s part of the name of the wat, so I must be close. I was right. And then Ms. Chuckles woke up and confirmed it. I was about 1km away. She picked some roads that weren’t really roads, but eventually – voilà – Wat Nai Prap Rat Pracha Tham.
Now, I have to confess, I wasn’t too excited by the place…
Unfortunately the weather was gloomy, so the buildings lacked their usual sparkle. And having struggled to find the place, I was also somewhat sparkle-reduced. Perhaps Wat Laem Sak had skewed my perspective.
A strong coffee might have helped. But I wasn’t going to get one anywhere within a fifty kilometer radius. No town seemed to have more than four buildings. Really remote. So, why the wat? Must be holy ground.
Anyhoo, I don’t want to spoil your fun. Thanks to Photoshop, these are slightly sparkle-enhanced. Enjoy…
And really, I only mention all of this because if you’re in the area you might be tempted to pay the place a visit. Unless you have some strong religious reason to do so, I’d like to tempt you not to bother.