There are only two temples on Koh Samui, made in the same color. Chaweng White Temple and Hua Thanon Red Temple. Hua Thanon is the next village after Lamai if you go from Chaweng to the south of the island. The Red Temple, of course, has its original Thai name - Wat Ratchathammaram. Wat Ratchatammaram, whatever that means, is a very beautiful and photogenic temple on the outskirts, where you must definitely visit for at least three reasons, and at most five.
The content of the article
- one Red Temple on Koh Samui and Sila Ngu Pagoda
- 2 The first tourist on the island
- 3 Information to visit
- 4 On the map
Red Temple on Koh Samui and Sila Ngu Pagoda
The first reason I will name is the Ratchatammaram temple itself. It has been in a state of protracted construction for a long time, since all work is carried out according to the degree of accumulation of donations, and the temple is located in such a place that tourists come mostly not in packages, but single and tight-fisted. The temple is beautiful, picturesque and unusual. It is also sometimes called not Red, but Terracotta.
Sometimes they ask, what is it made of, clay or not, and what is the reason for this color. Of course, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that everything is quite simple - this is concrete, which was painted with red paint. At least the tiles around the temple are accurately painted, it can be seen with the naked eye. Basically, why invent something. Especially if you imagine how much the construction of this temple would have cost if it had been made of something else. They've been building it out of concrete for years and never finished. I saw this temple 4 years ago and it was still under construction. Although in general he, then, what now, looks almost complete.
But in any case, the Red Temple looks wonderful and generally quite unusual. Not typical for ordinary Thai temples and I personally like such temples..
The second reason is the Serpent Stone Pagoda, which is one of the three oldest pagodas on the island. Its age is about 250 years, it keeps the relics of the Buddha, brought from Sri Lanka already in 1955. The place is so sacred that it was honored with their presence by members of the royal family in 1962, and for the island, where the tourism boom happened only in the 80s, this event was very out of the ordinary.
The fourth reason is the gazebo overlooking Hua Thanon. Quiet, secluded place, although the view is slightly spoiled by overgrown trees. Under the gazebo on the right, on the seashore, the fifth reason hangs on a tree - a rope swing over the water. Great place for a la bounty photos. And by the way, no, I haven't forgotten about the third reason, but we need to make a separate chapter about it. See after photos below.
The first tourist on the island
Darrell G. Berrigan. A dark horse, about which little is known on the Internet, except that during the Second World War he served in US intelligence, and after the end of the war he moved to Bangkok as a journalist. Being closely acquainted with a businessman from the island of Koh Samui, he was impressed by his stories about a beautiful island in the south of the kingdom, and one day he went there by sea. It was 1952, Berrigan then turned 38 full years.
According to Berrigan, it was an incredible travel experience, at the end of which he got to the pier in Nathon, where he was surrounded by surprised Thais, who had never seen Farangs so close before. Then there was a long road in the back of a truck full of coconuts. They drove from Nathon to Hua Thanon for several hours, because in those days there was no electricity and concrete roads on Koh Samui - only track dirt roads and three large villages: Nathon, Menam and Hua Thanon.
The former intelligence officer was fascinated by the island and it was with his suggestion that tourists from other countries began to pay attention to Koh Samui, who read the Bangkok World newspaper, where he was the editor-in-chief. The newspaper, by the way, has long and successfully competed with the Bangkok Post for the title of the first among the English-language editions in Thailand. In his will, Berrigan asked his friends to cremate him after death and bury him in the cemetery near the old Sila Ngu pagoda. Unfortunately, friends had to fulfill this request after 13 years - Berrigan was killed under unclear circumstances, and the range of reasons ranged from dark affairs with intelligence, to banal everyday life motivated by jealousy.
Information to visit
The place is free, donations are at your discretion, when visiting, be sure to observe the dress code. Monks live on the territory of the temple, and their thoughts can be distracted by half-naked female legs and shoulders. But as in any holy place, you should not expect aggressive behavior from holy people, but especially ardent parishioners will consider it their duty to make a displeased face, scold you, or even start to send you out. Men, in theory, this dress code also applies - it is better not to come in shorts..
Berrigan's Tomb - Down the stairs to the sea, on the left side, third row from the top. On the swing, you can walk along the shore, to the right of the stairs. If there are a lot of cars, people in the parking lot of the temple, and music is playing in the room to the left of the entrance - do not run there with cameras, there is a funeral.
On the map
Red Temple (Wat Ratchathammaram)
Red Temple (Wat Ratchathammaram)
Long-term construction from red limestone. A very peculiar structure, in the courtyard there is a large banyan tree, and closer to the sea there is one of the three oldest pagodas in Samui and a small cemetery.
More about the temple.
Long-term construction from red limestone. A very peculiar structure, in the courtyard there is a large banyan tree, and closer to the sea there is one of the three oldest pagodas in Samui and a small cemetery..