16 April 2014

Krabi - The Immaculate Wat Kaewkorawaram

Date of Exploration : 11 Jan 2014

When I came to Krabi, I thought that most of my 6D5N would be spent by the beach toasting the sunshine with ice cold wine. But instead, I devoted more time touring the inland sights and discovered that this Thai destination is pretty full of surprises... and one of them is the immaculate Wat Kaewkorawaram (known as Wat Kaew in short).

Zen is in the air. Wat Kaew is all white except for dark roofing tiles which bestow the temple with a modernist streak in traditional Thai monastic architecture.
Built around 2007, Wat Kaew is a relatively new addition to Krabi Town. In a small township dominated by low-rise shophouses and dwarf complexes, Wat Kaew's position on higher ground makes it easily visible. We didn't know about this temple until we caught sight of it upon our arrival in Krabi Town and decided to drop by for a look around.

Getting to Wat Kaewkorawaram

If you are staying in Krabi Town, Wat Kaew is a short walk from the junction with 4 cavemen traffic lights along Maharat Road (Thanon Maharat) in the direction of Vogue Department Store. The temple is near the mall.

Entrance to Wat Kaew from Maharat Road. Sitting on a 'white' hill made, the white temple with blue roofs seem to be floating when viewed from afar.
If you are coming from Ao Nang Beach, hop on a songthaew that goes to Krabi Town (there are lots of them). The ride takes approximately 20 minutes and should cost 30 - 40 baht (some drivers will ask for more during peak tourist season). Krabi Town is the end stop and all passengers are required to get off. Wat Kaew is a short walk from the drop-off point.

There are 2 entrances to Wat Kaew... from Maharat Road and another along an arterial road which I don't know the name off.
Visual Relaxation

The best way to visit Wat Kaew is to get in from the Maharat Road entrance and ascend a flight of stairs elegantly rimmed with 2 rows of golden nagas. Due to all that white and open spaces, it was instant visual relaxation as I stepped onto temple ground. Its xanax for the eyes!

A half-heartedly landscaped garden with an untended pond and ragtag collection of dioramas to the left were a disturbance to this masterpiece in white.

A heavenly sight to behold! Except for the sentry of golden nagas, Wat Kaew's pale visage and clean form is a refreshing departure from the vigour of colours and patterns that Thai Buddhist temples usually come dressed in.

Instead of looking tacky or scary, I thought the nagas slinking along Wat Kaew's stairway like a graceful bracelet added a touch of glam to the exquisite temple.

View of Maharat Road and the street of the songthaew drop-off stop.

It felt really peaceful here and a great place to just sit under one of its pavilions (called sala in Thai) and meditate.

Sala roofing support with a naga carving.

I was lucky that a lotus was in bloom in one of the few giant earthen urns dotting the temple's perimeter for a shot that brought together two different kinds of beauty.

The interior of Wat Kaew returns back to the Thai tradition of temple decorations.

When visiting the temple, dress decently. That is, no singlets, bikinis, shorts and revealing clothes.

A statue of Shakyamuni soon to be covered in gold 'leaves' offered by devotees.

The spirit is bigger than the person.


Wat Kaew offers a sanctuary for the senses... and a break from sunburning the skin.

Wat Kaew is definitely worth dropping by for some shots and a mind massage!

Related Posts :

Shrine in the Sky : Krabi's Tiger Cave Temple

Wat Sai Thai

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