Wat Bang Riang is probably one of my favourite temples here in Thailand for although there are many temples here and each with their own unique qualities. They range from tiny ancient temples, which have an air of being lived in and in need of a little TLC which adds to the overall charm, to some absolutely awesome temples ones which are quite majestic. Although very nice I prefer the ones off the beaten track where monks live and pray.
Wat Bang Riang can be found in the district of Phrang Nga , the first time we visited this temple we had such a mission to find it… The second time we traveled there was to show our daughter Wat Bang Riang it was even worse. It is such a lovely temple but very remote… The roads are quite twisty with lots of sharp corners.
This time we went armed with pictures and like the earlier time when we didn’t find it.. on showing a little Thai lady our pictures her face broke into a smile as she pointed at this sign, very much hidden by a large bush and we were only 5 minutes away……. Little do we know how many other intrepid travellers did the same as us and drove in, saw nothing but an abandoned temple and drove away…. disappointed??? For us… not this time… We found it!
However, as road signage and the average person’s knowledge of locations, coupled with the language barrier is not the best. My advice is to do your homework before you go. Head for Thap Put, find the Thap Put District office and go from there it will be easier to find.
Wat Bang Riang is also known as Wat Rat Uppatham locally and quite often this is where confusion arises. As tourists come along and ask for one name and the locals know it as something else, so now I always ask first for the most common name it is known by. I also mention the other name and then more often than not you see that look of recognition for the other name… Quite confusing at times.
A delightful temple tucked away in a valley… absolutely beautiful, we were so pleased we had found this gem on this trip and could show our daughter this beautiful place.
The dress code is very strict here and shoulders have to be completely covered and dresses or shorts must be knee length. If not you will be given a top and or trousers to put on… They are proper Thai trousers which have a crossover and are wide legged. There was much fun among the tourists as they donned this apparel… A definite camera opportunity and one for the albums…lol. I always carry a pashmina in my bag as it serves to cover my shoulders or I can wrap it around as a skirt… You never know when you will chance upon a temple here in Thailand.
Monks live here and it is a peaceful, respectful haven where you will see lots of beautiful statues, a lovely seated golden Buddha, a large imposing statue of Kwam Yim who is the Chinese goddess of mercy. This is my personal favourite.
There are a lot of steps down to see her but for those who cannot there is seating and they can watch and drink in the views which are all around you, neatly tended fields on the side of the mountain and so steep….How the farmers get there I don’t know but they do they must be as nimble as mountain goats.
It is well worth the trip to see this white lady as the views are as stunning as she is and seeing the monks going about their daily work almost oblivious to people walking around their beautiful home is worth the drive.
There is also a small restaurant in the carpark where you can get a cold drink or something to eat.
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