Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Even though I am not a Buddhist I still find a pleasurable experience spending time at Thai Buddhist Temples.

Unique entrance to Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Unique entrance to Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

I am overwhelmed by the sudden calmness of spirit as soon as I step foot on the premises. It is as though the structures and grounds are in deep meditation.

Often you will see similar designs and architecture at the many temples drawn from the long history of Buddhism. Yet each building and temple grounds have their own unique personality and their own story to tell.

I recently visited Wat Sa Prasan Suk here in Ubon Ratchathani. It was formerly known as Wat Ban Na Muang. I am not sure about the reason for the name change but it usually has something to do with improving good luck or kharma.

It’s easy to realize this temple’s unique identity. As soon as you turn onto the soi which lead to the temple’s entrance you are confronted by the image of a giant elephant. The purpose of this enormous statue seems to be two-fold, it serves as the gateway to the temple and also guards it.

I journeyed beneath the underbelly of the massive creature and gazed up in awe at the size of it. What came to mind about then was driving through a redwood tree in northern California in my younger days.

Ordination Hall at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Bot at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Coming down from the elephant rush my attention was grabbed by the totally unique ordination hall off to the left of the entrance. The hall was a sight to see with it’s elaborate decorations and designs. It was set on a foundation that resembled a royal barge, complete with oarsmen. The craftsmanship that went into it’s construction was amazing.

Seated Buddha image at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Seated Buddha image at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Off to the right hand side stands the main vihan or sermon hall. Inside I immediately noticed it was deserted of people. A large seated Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara was sitting on a platform at the head of the vihan surrounded by many smaller Buddha images and pictures of revered monks. To the left and behind there were the mummified remains of a highly revered monk who once was a teacher there. About 10 meters in Front of the platform sits a lone Chinese Buddha image.

Chinese Buddha image Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon

Chinese Buddha image Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon

Back outside I headed to the majestic bell tower that stands at the end of the drive. It is used for summoning and honoring. Inside is housed not only a bell but also a large drum. At first glance it would seem this is the extent of the temple grounds. But if you assume that and leave you will miss out. As I did on my first visit.

Bell Tower Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Bell Tower Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Take the small road that runs off the left until you reach a reservoir. There you will see a beautiful sight “floating” on the water. A large structure is the image of a boat with a small vihan mounted on it’s deck was moored there. The colors make it stand out amongst the backdrop of trees and water.

Floating Vihan Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Floating Vihan Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

The quietness experienced there for me, is more like being on a boat out to sea then sitting in a small wooded area at the edge of town.

Vihan Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

Vihan Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon Ratchathani

After having taken in all the wonderous sights of the temple grounds there was one last activity to partake of. The reservoir is stocked with fish and they need to eat. The fish are invisible due to the cloudy water until you toss a handful of fish food pellets over the side of the boat. Suddenly seemingly hundreds of gaping holes emerged attached to the bodies of fish. Quite a sight.

Last look at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon

Last look at Wat Sa Prasan Suk Ubon

If you would like to visit Wat Pra Sa Saen Suk in Ubon Ratchathani, head up Chayangkun Rd Soi 42. When you reach the end at a T-intersection turn right for about 100 meters. You will come to another T-intersection where you need to turn left and drive about a kilometer. Again you reach the end of a road at a T. Turn right and about 100 meters you will see a small soi on the left. Turn down it and you will immediately spot the giant elephant and know you have found it. Enjoy.

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