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A Million WAT? A Million Bottles? Full I Hope!

Posted by TravellingStrom on January 24, 2013

As I was tired last night I had an early night, and my 3rd alcohol free, I am trying to harden up 🙂 Of course this meant I woke up early, which was good as I had some plans. If I got away early enough, I was only 150km from Siam Reap in Cambodia, but with a border crossing, a bit longer than a few hours. I wanted some brekky, so I hopped on the bike and spotted a Lotus Tesco, the Thai equivalent of a Woolies, so I dropped in and grabbed some pastries and headed into the main part of town(very small) and found a relaxing spot near the main roundabout and had a feed.

After that I headed to the temple whose official name is Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaeo but commonly known as Wat Lan Khuat or Million Bottle Wat,
N14.61868 E104.41865

Lonely Planet review for Wat Lan Khuat

Officially it’s Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaeo, but these days nearly everyone calls it Wat Lan Khuat, the ‘Million Bottle Temple’. In 1982 the abbot dreamt of a Ъrah·sàht in heaven made entirely of glass. Realising that glass symbolised the need for clarity of purpose in one’s life, he decided to replicate the idea as best as he could on earth by covering nearly every surface of every building of his current temple with glass bottles. He also figured the idea would save the community lots of money on paint. The more you look around, the less the name seems like an exaggeration. He took the theme one step further by using bottle caps to create much of the adornment. It’s in Khun Han, 11km south of Hwy 24 via Rte 2111. Turn west at the roundabout in the centre of town.

This particular temple I had only read about on the forums from a ride report by Captain Slash. And I am glad he wrote it and I read it, a very interesting place. As I went inside there seemed to be nobody around, so I just wandered on in and started checking the place out. I did eventually find a few monks and greeted them, they seemed unconcerned and with gestures invited me to snap away, which I was already doing 🙂

A close up of the front entrance wall which stretched for about 30 meters in either direction.

The front entrance way

A fat and a skinny Buddha, not made from bottles 😉

Water storage tank

The open but covered shrine area behind the fat Buddha, you can see that the roofs are covered in bottles as well

Inside is a shrine and the murals on the walls along here are made from bottle tops. I am not sure if they went around looking for specific coloured bottle tops, or whether they were painted, but they were very well done.

The temple house behind the skinny Buddha.

Out the back there seemed to be private residences for the monks, also decorated with bottles, except the dunny/shower block underneath, maybe they are late additions and they don’t have enough bottles to finish them? Drink up people!

This temple or Wat is surrounded by a water feature, now Captain Slash reckons there is fish in there, but the water was so green I could see nothing, maybe they ate them all? Still, a nice structure and the walkways into it were also bottles.

I think this might be a furnace or an incinerator, but judging by the burning of all the leaves, green or dry on the grounds, I would say furnace, but that is a guess.

A small toilet block and a long block, maybe for monks and students respectively?

The bell tower, the sun was in a bad posi so the photo is dark.

Another shrine inside an open style building, maybe for prayer.

I had done a lap and arrived back at the entrance archway, so I turned the bike around and headed off 🙂

It was a very interesting place, but I could find nobody that spoke any English. I was thinking of seeding a Geocache here, to get more tourists, but that was not to be. And as it turns out, none of the bottles are full 🙂

I went back to my hotel room and went surfing on what to do and see in Cambodia, I had a good internet connection, so I might as well use it. In the end I felt like sticking around for another day, I saw a few Geocaches back to the east a way, on the way to the border crossing and started to study them, to see if they were current, quite a few had been muggled, that is found by locals who removed them, spoil sports 😦

So, I relaxed for the day, I went and found some fried food at the market, then in the evening another roadside stall for dinner and decided I would most likely maybe get up early and head here to see if this Geocache is available:

Prasat Si Khoraphum (Isaan- Surin Province)

According to the logs, it has not been found, so a First To Find in Thailand would be a nice way to leave 🙂

Cheers from Khun Kan

6 Responses to “A Million WAT? A Million Bottles? Full I Hope!”

  1. ron2wheels said

    Fascinating place that bottle Temple and you’ve covered it well.

    re ” I was thinking of seeding a Geocache here .. ”
    That Tiger ‘Zoo’ back at Kanchanaburi would have been an interesting place to leave a cache!

  2. Ron2whels said

    Getting old!

    ‘Wat Lan Kuat’ = Temple, Million Bottle.

  3. biwoz said

    Have seen some of those “furnaces” in Buddhist temples before. it turns out they were where people set off huge strings of firecrackers they had purchased. Could this be something similar?

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