Wat Sri Sunthon also known as Wat Srisoonthorn sounds like any another temple. Since there are more than 40 temples in Phuket, you might ask what can be different about this one? (Wat is the Thai word for ‘Temple’)
Everyone seems to miss the giant golden reclining Buddha peacefully contemplating the frantic road to Phuket International Airport. The statue is so big, how can you possibly miss it when you drive on such busy road? Amazingly, even residents hearing about the giant reclining Buddha of Sri Sunthon have no idea where the place is.
Best of all, Wat Sri Sunthon is really easy to spot. Just drive past the ‘Heroine Monument’ and keep going for a few kilometers… you will see a typical temple gate on your left and through that gate, this huge golden Buddha stare at you. But as you are on a speedway and people enjoy speeding in this area, you drive too fast and missed it too!
Like most temples the grounds of Wat Sri Sunthon are peaceful. The main temple is surrounded by several constructions, a bell tower and a large building on top of which the Buddha is resting. You can climb the stairs at the back on the building and walk around the Buddha, but the image really takes its full dimension from the distance, through the tree foliage.
As usual carvings and funny statues are scattered here and there on the grounds of the temple. Some are cute, such as pink elephants or exotics animals. Some are right down scary like the ‘Pret Pret’ on the photo below. ‘Pret’ is a demon or hungry ghost and according to Thais’ common belief, Prets are as tall as palm trees, have mouth as small as a needle; their feet and hands are as big as a sugar palm leaf. Their only food is blood and pus. That’s lovely.
People who curse their parents, those who commit adultery or had a greedy life will become Pret after their death. It’s another form of life co-existing with human beings, but human can’t see them. Well most human can’t. Worry not, it is not a permanent state. Once they did their ‘time’, they will return to human, become angels or go to hell.