Sunday, September 13, 2009

City pillar shrine of Suphanburi

As I am fascinated by the city pillar shrines, which it has in almost every provincial city and also some others, after I saw the photos of the shrine in Suphanburi in the tourismthailand blog this particular site not too far from Bangkok was quite high on my list of places I need to visit. The dragon museum showing an exhibition on the history of the Chinese, located right next to the shrine, made the place even more interesting.

However already when we were underway in Suphanburi I could get a brochure from the museum, and once seeing the entrance fees the interest shrinked a lot. No one of my Thai family was considering it worth the 300 Baht, and as a foreigner I would even have to pay 500 Baht - the infamous Thai double pricing. As a little reality check - the Louvre in Paris is 9 Euro for a normal day ticket, or as of today close to 450 Baht. And I doubt it has anything spectacular like the Mona Lisa in the dragon. So I only took a few views from the outside and will delay the inside until the pricing gets more reasonable. Yet if you're interested in a report on what to expect inside, Richard Barrow was there already.

But even skipping this museum the site definitely was worth the visit, as the city pillar shrine is probably the most lavishly decorated one of all Thailand. But this is also due to the fact that it is one of the few city pillar shrines built like a Chinese temple, which are known for their colorful decorations. The central part are of course the pillars, two gold-covered statuettes. In front of the shrine many people pray, light the incense candles, just like in the Buddhist temples.

But not just the place in front of the shrine and the inside of the building is worth looking at, even on the backside it has paintings. There are also some additional buildings in the behind - the furnace for burning larger gifts to the ancestors is a standard found in every Chinese temple. It further has a large meeting hall, and still partially under construction at my visit a huge tower,

Since I have taken more photo than would fit into this posting, I have created an album in Flickr to show the whole set.


Talen said...

Another place to add to the growing list of must see's in Thailand. Beautiful photos they will be very popular on Flckr.

Eat at Benems said...

I passed this several times when I was in the bus, but I think the price is too high too and probably Richard Barrows was the only westerner to see it ;)

My auntie is very popular for her acting at the chinese opera in Thailand and she performed at the opening ceremony, sadly I was not in Thailand that time.