August 17, 2022

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Wat Phu Tok – Visiting The Most Thrilling (and Harmful?) Temple in Thailand

“The sixth stage is probably the most spectacular… and most scary.”

A couple of folks advised me as we handed one another, and I began climbing the rickety picket stairs and ladders up the purple rock mountain of Phu Thok (ภูทอก), Thailand’s most adventurous (harmful?) temple.

Welcome to Bueng Kan province, far within the northeastern Isan area of Thailand. It’s one of many lesser visited provinces in Thailand, and you’ll find it irresistible for those who take pleasure in peace, by no means ending area, nature, and off the crushed path points of interest.

No doubt, Wat Phu Tok (วัดภูทอก) is among the most unusual, thrilling, and scary temples I’ve visited in Thailand, and it’s so unimaginable. Right here’s a fast information about how one can go to and what to anticipate.

Wat Phu Tok (วัดภูทอก), the lonely mountain

Wat Phu Tok, Bueng Kan, Thailand

Wat Jetiyakhiri is the official identify of the temple, though the extra generally used identify is Wat Phu Tok (วัดภูทอก), Phu Tok being the native Isan identify for the mountain and Wat that means temple.

What struck me instantly is the way it’s in the course of nowhere, and impulsively, there’s an incredible rock mountain formation. It reminded fairly a little bit of a smaller model of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.

It’s 359 meters excessive, and the mountain identify actually means “lonely mountain,” – you’ll determine why as quickly as you get there!

Based by Monk Luang Pu Juan

Actually fast historical past

Only a actually fast historical past that you need to know to present this temple extra that means earlier than you go to.

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The mountain, due to its rugged terrain and distant location has at all times been an space of wildlife – particularly harmful snakes. This additionally makes it a beautiful place for meditation. Peaceable, nature, distant, and a component of hazard which one should overcome.

Monk Luang Pu Juan based the temple and commenced to construct picket staircases, ladders, and walkways all through the mountain, connecting quite a lot of shrines and locations of mediation. Finally the monks constructed seven ranges, to correlate to the seven phases of Buddhist meditation.

Sadly, Luang Pu Juan handed away in an airplane accident. However Wat Phu Tok is maintained and stays an imposing sight.

Right here’s the place the path, and staircases begins

In the event you’re in Bueng Kan metropolis, the drive to Wat Phu Tok takes about half-hour.

There’s a giant temple on the backside, in addition to a giant lake, and big park space. There’s loads of parking.

You’ll be able to’t miss the doorway of the path and the picket staircases – simply begin strolling in the direction of the mountain. The principle path enters a gate, after which fairly shortly modifications to picket plank staircases.

The steps begin off fairly simple.

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Then it will get a bit steeper

Then, they begin getting steeper, virtually to the purpose the place they flip right into a ladder.

And though the picket planks are generally on an angle, and bow if you step down, the precise development feels fairly secure and safe.

The primary few ranges, there’s not likely an excessive amount of to see. I feel I glanced at some shrines, nevertheless it’s greatest to maintain on going up.

I feel that is the principle ordination corridor

fifth stage

On the fifth stage of Wat Phu Tok is the place you’ll actually begin seeing a number of temples, shrines, and halls. You’ll be able to stroll round this stage, and a lot of the path is on floor, not cliff walkways.

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I imagine the most important ordination corridor is situated right here on the fifth stage of the mountain.

Off the principle path, however effectively value taking this detour

Together with the sixth stage, most likely the spotlight for me visiting Wat Phu Tok was this small rock temple on the aspect of the principle mountain.

To get there simply observe the trail, and impulsively you’ll end up strolling on an elevated rock walkway related to a small picket bridge to the distinctive temple on the finish of the mountain.

Together with the sixth stage walkways, this can be a spotlight

It’s just a bit detour from the principle circumference path, however effectively value it.

wat phu tok in bueng kan, thailand
Essentially the most thrilling and adventurous temple in Thailand!

sixth stage

One other flight of picket stairs up, and also you’ll arrive to the well-known sixth stage.

I’d say that about half of the circumference of the sixth stage is product of picket plank walkways, anchored into the aspect of the rock cliff, and the opposite half is on floor.

After all, you’ll wish to stroll your approach round to the picket plank part, which is indisputably the spotlight of visiting. So cool, thrilling, and a bit bit terrifying.

Picket walkway, anchored into the cliff

Total, identical to the staircases, the picket walkways felt fairly secure and effectively maintained. I’m normally afraid of heights, however I used to be okay doing this.

Nevertheless, that being mentioned, do maintain your eyes on the path, one slip might be deadly!

Wonderful view from Wat Phu Tok over Bueng Kan

You’ll see the spectacular view of the Mekong River basin under, and the inexperienced bushes of Bueng Kan – the view is spectacular. You’ll be able to stroll all the best way across the sixth stage, and the views in each course and the breeze is improbable.

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The 7 ranges of Wat Phu Tok

seventh stage

Lastly the seventh stage! And I had learn that the seventh stage is understood for venomous snakes, so they are saying go up at your individual danger.

I went up simply out of curiosity and actually shortly. There’s no picket walkways or shrines to see on the high, nevertheless it’s simply the highest of the mountain, and for those who go up within the right spot, you’ll have extra nice views. However actually I feel the sixth stage is probably the most distinctive and what you come to see.

You probably have a couple of minutes, watch the total video expertise of visiting Wat Phu Tok. You may get a greater sense of the wonderful cliff hanging picket walkways.

Once more, some of the wonderful and adventurous temples I’ve ever been to in Thailand. A tremendous expertise.

Fast ideas for those who’re planning to go to:

  • Takes about 2 hours – I took about 2 hours going at a medium tempo, however stopping to take a number of photographs and movies alongside the best way. Give your self 2 hours to take pleasure in it.
  • Put on acceptable clothes – regardless that it’s a hike, it’s a temple, put on pants and sleeved shirts, footwear are additionally greatest for the hike
  • Loads of parking for those who drive your self there, or you may get a taxi or tuk tuk from Bueng Kan
  • Watch out for your self – there’s no actual tips or precautions

Have an ideal journey to Bueng Kan and luxuriate in Wat Phu Tok!