Temple within a Tree – Wat Bang Kung วัดบางกุ้ง5 December, 2013
There are a lot of Buddhist temple in Thailand and there are a few unique and interesting ones – the Wat Bang Kung วัดบางกุ้ง is one of them. It is actually a temple built within a huge banyan tree! Wat Bang Kung is located in Amphawa district, Samut Songkhram. We visited Wat Bang Kung as part of our day trip to Amphawa Evening Floating Market with Rat Tours. The temple within the tree is normally know as Bot Prok Pho (โบสถ์ปรกโพธิ์), ordination hall covered by Bodhi tree, even though the actual name of it is Bot Luangpho Dam (โบสถ์หลวงพ่อดำ).
Within the tree, there is a large Buddha statue pasted with gold leaves by devout visitors who will walk around the Buddha It appears that a concrete structure had been built within the tree to house the temple. While the temple is quite small, air ventilation is ok through 2 windows by the side.
Just a few steps from Wat Bang Kung lies the memorial to Bang Kung Camp, once a strategic naval outpost. Back in 1767, after the defeat of old Siam capital of Ayutthaya by Burmese forces, general Taksin took his navy down to this area after Burmese ships blocked the route to the gulf. It was from here that Taksin led his troops to take back Ayutthaya from the Burmese and eventually becoming King of Siam.
Besides statues of soldiers dressed in 18th century military wear, there are dozens of life-size statues of Thai kick-boxers displaying different Muay Thai moves, which were added in the late 20th century.