Luang Pu Supha Temple

On a grey and wet morning I awoke early for a visit to a temple which has suddenly become famous. Local news last week reported that the revered Monk, Luang Pu Supha could be the world's oldest living man, having just celebrated his 113th birthday. This has yet to be ratified by Guinness. Luang Pu Supha is a well traveled Monk having visited Laos, Burma, China and Europe. He returned to Phuket in his 60's and dedicated time helping the sea gypsies. The temple he resides at now was named after him by HM Queen Sirikit.

Update 2013 .. Luang Pu Supha died in September this year.

The main temple is still under construction. All activities for now take place in more modern looking buildings. The temple is not far from Wat Chalong, up a side road leading towards the hills. There is talk that this road will one day link up with Patong.. Indeed on a mountain bike or hiking you can follow this road up and over the hill, but it might take a while before the real road actually gets built.

The main hall, where the birthday celebrations had been held just a couple of days earlier, houses a large Buddha statue and the floor is decorated with giant lotus flowers. Given the current fame of the temple, I was not surprised to see a fair number of people there at 8am on a drizzly Saturday morning. In the main hall prayers were being said...

Outside a number of mobile food and drink stalls had arrived. Passing them I headed to the other main building where the Monks were eating. A large table was piled with donations of food. The Monks were all seated as more people arrived with offerings. Just outside the hall, a row of poor people were seated waiting for their chance to eat. In fact anyone can eat the food at a temple, but must wait for the Monks to eat first. Phuket may be a relatively rich province but of course not everyone benefits from the wealth of the land.

I shall go back when the temple is complete. I have read that the decoration inside is quite special. As it was a wet morning and the sky was dark, it was not ideal for taking photos this time. I drove further up the road. The land up here is hardly built on, though there is a safari/elephant trekking company. With the low clouds and drizzle, plus some grazing cattle and the associated "country smells" it felt like England! Along the road, a small side track headed into the hills. The sign (below) attracted my interest, but just then the drizzle turned into a heavy downpour, so I will explore up this little road further sometime soon...