Continued from Thailand – Laos Travel: Day 5 – Part 1 – Review of Tong Mee Hotel and Hua Hin Railway Station. For pre-travel, please refer here.
It’s almost noon and we just finished eating at the stall in front of Hua Hin train station. We stepped back onto the main road which is the center of Hua Hin town.
The weather is a bit hot at this time but not so sweaty.
Once again we passed next to the Pone Kingpeth monument. This time because it was daylight and sunny, you could see his face.
This is the usual atmosphere of rush hour traffic in Hua Hin City. At first, I thought it might be because of the New Year holidays, but it wasn’t. Then the three of us crossed to the other side of the road to…
To the Wat Thao Takiab…
Unfortunately, we headed to the wrong destination … I’ll tell you in a moment…
After crossing the road, we wait for the newly arrived tuktuk. I at first did not remember the exact location name and was confused about the name between “Wat Hua Mongkol” and “Wat Khao Takiab”. Probably because there is a similarity of the name ‘Wat’. So, I asked the tuktuk driver, “Takiab?” He shook his head saying “Mongkol”.
Coupled with the confusing situation, I think that “Mongkol” is the same place as “Takiab”. I agreed and we ride the tuktuk.
There you go! The one-way trip takes over half an hour and I estimate the distance is almost 25km! Even though the real “Takiab” is less than 8km. Hah! Aqif, on the other hand, has started to feel sleepy and drowsy.
From one small town to another, tuktuk stops frequently. I just enjoy the situation. In my heart, “Let it go. Wherever my feet lead, I’ll just follow, hahaha”.
I stand as tall as this western man. Looks like I’m shorter? That’s why I didn’t go inside to stand. Otherwise, I had to bend my head all the way. So, standing on the stairs of this tuktuk makes it lower and there is no roof of the head. But my hands were a little tired because I had to lean on the roof beams.
GPS location of Wat Huay Mongkol: 12.552537, 99.824396
I don’t know which sugarcane field he brought us. I didn’t have time to go through the GPS and itinerary because I was standing. Then I remembered …
“Ohhh… This Mongkol is a Wat that has a big statue like a giant.”
Ok good. But in fact, Wat Mongkol has become our last priority considering its location is inland and far away.
It was so much fun because a variety of sights could be seen even if we got to the wrong destination. The weather at this time is a bit hot but not sweaty because the wind is howling fast and cold. Did you see the rows of hills and mountains? There is no difference in the landscape here and in Switzerland. Just replace the greenery with the whiteness of the snow in the mountains coupled with the cold temperatures and the blue skies.
Sugarcane fields in a more close-up.
More rows of mountains and hills.
When the tuktuk approached Wat Hua Mongkol, traffic began to be congested. I can see the fruit stalls here from the inside.
The vehicle that took us went inside and dropped off right in the middle of the Wat. As we got off the tuktuk, many people lined up outside to get on. Fortunately, Thais have a good habit of queuing and controlling patience.
Entrance is FREE.
At this Wat, the atmosphere is like a party. Too many people especially in the Hua Mongkol statue area. As I recounted in a previous blog entry, they celebrate the New Year with worship.
The mini monk in the picture above is very cute.
Aqif likes to be photographed in front of an artificial waterfall.
From the waterfall, we stepped deeper.
Along the way, there are also souvenir sales and some mini Buddhist statues. As Muslims, we are just looking around.
From a distance, I saw a wooden elephant. Made of wood! It is not easy to make this carving. So, I consider it unique.
Before bumping into the crowd, we took a picture first. This is Hua Mongkol.
History of Hua Mongkol:
It is famous for a very large statue called Luang Phor Thuad. The statue is 12 meters high and 10 meters wide and is placed on a high place like a hill. As a result, it is too big, it can be seen from a distance if you climb a tall tree.
This place is very famous by the Thai people who come for worship and homage to Luang Phor Thuad and then ask and beg for wishes, good luck, health, luxury and happiness.
There are two elephant-shaped wood carvings. Locals will circle the bottom of the elephant’s belly while uttering and begging for wishes. The complex also has a Buddhist temple and inside there is a statue of King Taksin with his horse and a place to sell Buddhist trees.
Around this area, there are also lakes, waterfalls, river streams, bridges and several rows of shops. Thai food is also available here.
Luang Phor Thuad (also spelled as Luang Phor Thuat), lived 400 years ago in southern Thailand. He is like a saint because he is said to have various sacred things. It is said that he once converted salty seawater into fresh and drinkable plain water. The tree with his picture is said to be able to provide protection especially for natural disasters such as tsunamis, major floods and road accidents. Older amulets are considered more powerful and priceless and are sold in the shops available here.
Let’s see what they do under that elephant?
So many people were near the elephant. We took a picture for a moment on the stairs here.
Ok, a new group came. The majority of them appear to be wearing black shirts. From what I saw, they seemed to be surrounding this wooden elephant. They follow a clockwise round from the front then enter the bottom of the elephant’s stomach.
See the elephant’s belly in the back? I will take a close-up photo…
This is the elephant’s stomach. I’m sure his stomach was deliberately holed, there must be a figurative reason, fact or metaphor.
This statue is really big.
After I stepped up the stairs, the size got bigger.
Activity at the bottom of a large statue.
This is the first time I’ve seen thousands of plugs here. In front of me, in the middle, there are only a few. But on the left and right there are many more.
Actually, I’m the only one up here. Tatie, on the other hand, felt lazy because she did not want to enter an area that was too crowded with people. Plus public holidays.
Eh, I saw a rather unique statue, which was coated in gold paper and appeared to lift a stick placed on its shoulder. Don’t ask because I really don’t know about this statue.
More plug activity atmosphere.
I approached the golden statue earlier. Many are sticking gold papers here.
Look at the back … Try to look closely … it looks like someone is sticking a coin.
There is also a place to burn plugs. So, people are also scrambling here because everyone can burn a lot of plugs.
Anyway, I went to another side. Here there is also a statue coated with gold paper.
Wat Hua Mongkol from the edge. If you come here just to do research and visit like me, you can just look around and ‘get along’ with the people here. They don’t even care.
This is the elephant on the right (if facing the Hua Mongkol statue). But I find, the elephant on the left is more popular.
In this part of the square, there are not many people like before. Maybe they have a certain time to start the ceremony and finish it.
Crowded at the top.
My last picture as a keepsake.
Then, before moving back to Hua Hin, we regrouped at another Wat located at the entrance of Wat Hua Mongkol.
Aqif was busy playing with the toy car we bought at Hua Hin Night Market yesterday.
Choi !! There is another picture of Hua Mongkol. I’m sorry because I only came to this place once and maybe I won’t repeat it in the future. No other place has a statue that looks realistic, right?
Videos around Wat Hua Mongkol.
We returned to the entrance to the main road. Only this time we felt the heat of the sun. It’s already 2.19 pm.
I just tried my luck stopping the tuktuk that is passing in front of us. Indeed, I myself am not sure whether or not to wait here. Tatie said we should have waited inside the place where we were dropped off first.
That’s right, but I’m tired of seeing so many human crowds inside.
Eventually, we were able to get on the tuktuk even though I had to stand up again. But luckily for Tatie and Aqif. They got a seat. I forgot to tell you, the one-way tuktuk fare is THB60/person. Children are excluded.
Next? We headed to Thailand – Laos Travel: Day 5 – Part 3 – Wat Khao Takiab. This time for real!