Wat Khunaram

Razvan Orendovici

Unlike Wat Plai Laem, this temple is probably is not a good place to take the kids, as the main feature here is a somewhat grisly upright glass casket containing the mummified body of Koh Samui’s most famous monk, Loung Pordaeng. The highly venerated monk died in 1973 at the age of 79, and he told his followers to cremate his body if it decomposed. But if it didn't, they should put him into a glass case to serve as an inspiration for future generations to follow the teachings of Buddha. 40 years later the body is still in relatively good condition, and it is considered to be a miracle by Buddhists who believe that the body should be worshipped. Death is thought to be an opportunity to be reborn into a better life. One theory about the mummification is that the Abbot excelled in meditation skills, and he meditated for one full week before his death. It is thought that his small intake of food and low metabolism, caused by his reduced need for oxygen, may help explain why his body has remained so well preserved. As the abbot's eyeballs have dried out, so he is now (somewhat comically) wearing sunglasses to mask the otherwise unpleasant sight. Although this is a working temple, with plenty of locals coming to pray and make merit, there is nothing particularly remarkable here apart from the large range of Buddhist amulets that are on sale - possibly the result of locals cashing in on the spooky phenomenon… The temple is located west of Hua Thanon and South West of Lamai beach on the main ring road, Route 4169, about 13kms from Nathon. You can charter a songthaew from one of the beach resorts. Open: During daylight hours and admission is free.

Map of Lower Gulf of Thailand

Lower Gulf of Thailand-Map