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|Subject: The Big Buddha||Date: 11/4/2010 5:18 PM|
|Author: Starrob||Number: 275 of 291|
Among the coolest things I did in Phuket, Thailand is to go see The Big Buddha. The Big Buddha is incredible and will probably be known as
one of the World's greatest wonders at some point in time. The Big Buddha location is still under construction. I think the statue itself is complete but I could see they are still building a lot of the infrastructure around and under the Big Buddha.
The Big Buddha sits on the top of a big mountain in the middle of a tropical rain forest.
One thing I did not know about Phuket before visiting is that Phuket is located in a fairly mountainous region of the coast in Southern
I was not really expecting some of the mountains that we had to go up and down to get to various regions of the island.
The Big Buddha is located on one of the steepest mountains in Phuket. Going up to the Big Buddha is incredible. It is almost like going
back into time.
We started off in civilization when we started climbing that hill and we slowly when back in time to another age.
For a little while on the way up the mountain, I could see the power lines going to all the houses and businesses but as I go further and further up, I began to see less and less power lines.
I could also see how many of the building structures start to change from modern structures to older style Thai Housing that looks like this the further up the side of the mountain we went:
Finally, we started going up really steep hills where my ears began to pop similar to like when my ears pop when ascending on take off in a airplane. I started noticing that there was no more power lines either. It was like time traveling further and further back in human development.
Finally we reach the top and there it is: The Big Buddha
The Big Buddha is the largest Buddhist statue in Thailand and is probably the world's largest cross-legged seated Buddha. The thing is HUGE!!! My girlfriend decided she wanted to pray to Buddha. There is a whole ritual associated with that. First shoes must be taken off before entering the temple. Then you buy some incense and you light the incense and place it a pot filled with sand. I think you are supposed to place the incense in groups of threes. There are also some candles that you light.
After that I observed that people went into the temple and sat in front of a Buddhist Monk, where they made their prayers. After their prayers, the Buddhist Monk gives them some sort of rope/string that has a few beads on it that people placed over their wrists as bracelets.
I did not do this with my girlfriend because I done it once long ago in Bangkok and I knew that if I went in and sat in front of the priest that I would have to either sit cross-legged or bend my legs a lot. I am not as flexible as I used to be and I did not want to do something by accident that would offend any Thai people.
Ok...the average Westerner does not know too much....but the rumbling, bumbling, stumbling American often offends other cultures without even knowing. You can really offend a Thai person by pointing your feet at them. The feet are considered the lowest part of the body...something almost unclean and using your feet to point at a Thai person is almost the same as giving him/her the finger.
I did not want to go into the Buddhist temple and by accident during my creaking and bending my legs around to accidentally point my feet at either the priest or Buddha because that could be considered a severe insult.
If you want a Thai person that is Buddhist to start practicing Muay Thai fighting on you then either point your feet at them, touch them with your feet or touch their head....Those are all very insulting things to a Thai person.
Ok....before all the people that don't know what they are talking about start saying, "Starrob, you don't know what you are talking about"....Read this:
"The feet in Thailand are considered spiritually as well as physically the lowest part of the body. Don’t step over people’s legs, even in a crowded place such as on a train; wait politely for them to move out of the way. Do not point things out or pick things up with your feet. And do not wave your feet around people's heads! If you accidentally touch someone with your foot, apologise. Food in Thailand is often eaten on the floor. Stepping over food is a real faux pas."
Ok...end of cultural lesson for the day.
After my girlfriend prayed. We went and bought a basket. The basket was filled with things like soap, perfume, cleaning fluids, different sanitary items, etc. These are presented to the priests as a offering. The Buddhist priest don't have a salary...they own nothing....They exist strictly off of donations like this from the people.
It is a very interesting thing to see.
I took a ton of pictures....both of the Big Buddha and the scenery. The Big Buddha is located on one of the most scenic places on earth. This place is a must see if visiting Phuket. It is one of the wonders of the world.
Next up...I'll write a bit about Bangla Road.
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