Koh Samui Mummified Monk
hailand is a country filled with countless amazing marvels and you often come across things that take you beyond the ordinary and show you a whole new world. A lot of these things also tend to cross the barrier where you feel comfortable in believing things and the simple fact is that this extraordinary factor is what makes it much more interesting to visit. One of the most beautiful places in Thailand is the island of Koh Samui and it is considered to be a really amazing tourist destination. That is obviously based on facts since the island is surrounded by magnificent natural beauty and the life on the island itself is also equally entertaining and fun. As a tourist, anyone who would ever get a chance to visit that place would surely testify to its beauty and perfection. However, talking about the extraordinary, there is something on this amazing island that falls into the same category and if you are visiting the island then we highly suggest that you take a trip to see this marvel. The thing in question is the mummified body of a Buddhist monk and only those with the heart to see a preserved dead body should go to visit the Koh Samui Mummified Monk.
The body belongs to a monk named Luong Pordaeng who was deceased in the year 1973 and his death occurred in the meditative position that you will find the body in. Seeing a dead body on open display is something that might put fear into the hearts of many but the local Buddhism followers are very comfortable with the idea and the acceptance of death as a way to reach a better place (Nirvana) is what gives them their calmness. However, for those of you seeing such a phenomenon for the first time, we would still advise caution.
Away from the beaches and the crowds lies one of Koh Samui’s most remarkable temples, the Wat Khunaram. This temple has become famous for the mummified monk that is kept on display here. The Wat Khunaram is located West of Hua Thanon and South West of Lamai beach on Route 4169. You can get there by chartering a songthaew public bus from one of the beach resorts.
Being found in the meditative position, it is a very prominent thing in itself for the believers of Buddhism. You will find that a lot of people revere that particular position as a reason for the preservation and the “holiness” it brings to the whole spectacle. The stories that you get to listen to about the monk’s life and his work are also a great source of entertainment, and for the more religious minded people, learning. One very interesting story is about the monk telling the people who followed him to make sure that his body was cremated in case it was decomposing. And that if it didn’t, he would want it to be put on display for the people to watch and be reminded of the teachings of Buddha.
The monk had stopped eating and speaking in the final week of his life and it is said that the reason for the preservation can be attributed to the monk’s simple and healthy lifestyle. The eyes are the only part that showed signs of disintegration and the people covered them with sunglasses out of respect. Now that is a scene you won’t get to see, twice so our advice is that you take special time out for a visit to the Koh Samui Mummified Monk.
Admission & Opening Hours
Wat Khunaram is open daily during daylight hours. Admission is free, donations for the upkeep of the temple are appreciated. As in every temple in Thailand, please dress appropriately, meaning long pants or sarong like dress, covered shoulders and long sleeved shirts.