Wat Huay Mongkol
Wat Huay Mongkol, Thap Tai, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
This temple complex close to Hua Hin is famous in Thailand for it’s gigantic statue of a very well-known Thai monk, called Luang Phor Thuad. Construction of the temple was commissioned by the Thai queen Sirikit, and it is one of the first things that visitors see as they approach Hua Hin. The monk himself is famous amongst Thai people for the ancient stories of him being able to perform miracles to save people’s lives, and the legendary level of enlightenment that he achieved during his lifetime.
What to See and Expect
The temple complex itself it centred around the enormous golden pavilion holding up the 12 meter tall monk statue, but there is also another pavilion dedicated to the spirits from Thai teak trees which are believed to have magical powers. There is a small elephant sanctuary on the site, with a lake and sunflower fields which offer a fantastic photo opportunity.
The temple is set in a park-like environment, there are waterfalls, some small streams with bridges to walk over, some smaller pavilions, and several small restaurants serving very good value Thai foods. It is a relaxing place to visit, make sure to allow at least an hour to see everything.
How to Get There
The temple is around 19km from Hua Hin, it should take half an hour by taxi or minibus, either of which you can book at your hotel or at a travel agent in Hua Hin. Make sure you agree a return trip as there are not many taxis at the temple.
Opening Times, Admission Fees & Dress Code
The temple is open daily from 05:00am until 10:00pm, admission is free but a small donation is appreciated. Dress should be conservative, especially for women who must cover knees and shoulders. Be aware that this temple is especially popular with Thais and can get very busy on the weekends, therefore it is recommended that you try and visit on a weekday.