From Bangkok or Pattaya, Wat Khao Sukim is a journey about five to six hours away. To visit the temple from either city requires a journey akin to driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Although Google maps says it’s a three and a half hour journey, I’ve made the trip twice and can assure you the actual travel time is longer.
Still, the journey is quite beautiful and well worth the effort.
Wat Khao Sukim overlooks over 1300 acres of temple grounds from it’s vantage point atop a hill. To reach the temple requires a ride in a cable pulled car or a long trek up a series of stairs flanked by Naga. Wat Khao Sukim was built in the mid-1960’s by devout Buddhist followers of Phra Ajarn Somchai Thitawiriyo. Built as a center for meditation, the temple serves as a peaceful retreat, as well as home to numerous Buddhist treasures and antiques. There are also a number of wax sculptures of well known Buddhist monks. Currently, construction is underway for a new temple.
I remember the first time I arrived at the temple. Riding up the cable pulled cart so slowly, being filled with awe at the size of the building, feeling humbled talking to (via translator) the monks there, and standing on the roof surveying the beautiful vista.
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Also on the roof were the three (?) rooms filled with Buddhist treasures and artifacts, as well as many wax figures of the most revered monks in Thailand. In all, I didn’t spend that much time in the temple. Perhaps a little under two hours (just a wild guess), although it might have been a little more, as I did spend some time talking with the monks.
How to find Wat Khao Sukim, photographs, and more after the jump.