Thailand is a truly major nation when it comes to culture, religion and temples. If you are a fan of culture and want to experience the real Thai way, visiting one of its thousands of Buddhist temples is the best way. If you are traveling through the beautiful Chanthaburi region in eastern Thailand and want to explore the area’s Buddhist roots, we would recommend you make a special pilgrimage to the breathtaking Wat Khao Sukim Temple.
Buddhism has been a significant part of daily Thai lives for almost 1,000 years before even modern-day Thailand was even born. It penetrates every part of their society, so you can never truly understand Thailand or the Thai people unless you get to experience their Buddhist temples and festivals.
There are believed to be over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand with approximately 33,000 of them currently in use. And although Chanthaburi has dozens, if you want to visit one of the best, we would recommend you visit Wat Khao Sukim.
Learning More About Wat Khao Sukim
Wat Khao Sukim is located on a hill in Chanthaburi over a space of 1,320 acres. The temple was built in relatively recent times in 1966 by a group of serious Buddhists who wanted a peaceful temple to meditate and contemplate. The massive temple grounds are a thing of beauty, surrounded by stunning orchards that offer some much-needed shade.
The temple is known to hold some very precious Buddhist relics and antiques that donated to the temple from the general public. You greeted by some tall wax sculptures of 20 revered Buddhist monks that give the temple a certain grandeur. There is a grand mural painting in the main ceremonial hall, called the Ubosot, which was painted by the famous Thai artist, Chakrabhand Posayakrit.
There are also some fish ponds in the vicinity that give the area a friendly atmosphere, and you can feed the fish while you are there. Everything at this temple was created to evoke peace. This why this temple is one of the most popular for those who want to meditate.
Chanthaburi itself is one of the most off-the-beaten-track places for those looking to explore the outer reaches of Thailand. It is a region that seldom gets the same tourist numbers as Pattaya, Bangkok or Phuket, but is somehow more authentic and real than those destinations, which is what makes it so unique.
How to Get to Wat Khao Sukim
The temple is located approximately 20km from Chanthaburi Town and is relatively easy to find. The temple is situated very near to the impressive Khao Khitchakut National Park, which you can reach via three different ways. You can get to the temple by travelling along the Sukhumvit Road Highway 3. You can also access the temple via Km. 305 (Ban Huai Sathon); at the Ban Noen Sung intersection; or Km. 324 (Khao Rai Ya intersection)
It is important to remember that whether you are a male or female, you should wear clothing that is conservative when visiting a Buddhist temple. Wearing short skirts and flimsy clothing is seen as disrespectful when visiting a Buddhist temple.
It is also important to point out that Wat Khao Sukim is not one of the flashy and tourist styles Buddhist temples and is also not set up for significant tourism. It is a good thing because the temple made for meditation and peacefulness, so the more laidback, the better. Just don’t expect to be met by something the size of Thailand’s more major and iconic temples. But that’s what is great about visiting Wat Khao Sukim. You are experiencing something real and authentic, which is one of the best aspects of visiting places such as Chanthaburi.
Map & More
Wat Khao Sukim
Address: Sukhumvit Road at Km. 305, Chanthaburi, Thailand
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
GPS location for the temple: 12.763878, 102.032606