Wat PA Ban Huai Lat is a beautiful temple just outside the town of Phu Reua. The temple is set off the main road at the foot of a mountain and surrounded by trees, a very tranquil setting. If you are traveling on the Loei to Phu Ruea road, you will see the roof of the temple off to the left 2 kilometres before Phu Ruea.
The temple is large and very ornate. If you are looking for a wonderful example of Thai temple architecture then this is a good choice. As soon as you come through the main gates to the car park you are immediately greeted by the scale of the temple with the lush background. The stairs that lead up to the main entrance doors of the temple are also impressive. As you reach the top of these stairs you will see 3 areas of different types of drums and gongs, these are for people to hit once they have completed their religious routine of ‘tum boon’. Tum boon is the activity of giving, in Buddhism this is encouraged to create good Karma. If you are kind and giving then you will receive kindness and good things for your kind acts.
Each drum or gong has a notice to tell you how many times you are to hit the drum or gong, it is important to follow this notice, it is part of the ritual.
Once you enter the main door you are greeted by a very large main hall, your attention is immediately drawn to the large white Buddha statue at the far end and also the two rows of gold coloured statues of prominent monks from Thailand’s past.
Just inside the main entrance doors on the right you will see a counter of flowers to complete the ritual of Tum Boon with flowers, it is here that you make a donation for the up keep of the temple in return for the flowers. If you choose to complete the ritual, then after making your donation choose your flowers and go to the front of the large white Buddha statue, you will see a statue of a monk, it is in front of this monk that you should sit and place your flowers. Next to the monk there will be some Thai text which is a sermon of the monk. After you have placed the flowers and read the sermon you can then ask the monk for what you wish to have, this could be good health, job security, happiness or anything that is important to you. After you have finished your request you then go to the three drums/gongs outside and hit each one in turn according to the number on the notice attached to each one. The hitting is to add extra weight to your request, a ‘please’ make my request come true.
Outside the temple in the car park there is a coffee shop, restroom facilities and a small mini-mart. The coffee shop is just off to the right of the car park, situated within the tree line it is a very relaxing, cool place to take a coffee break.
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