Friday, March 4, 2011

Isaan Odyssey, Part 6: Making Merit In Lopburi

One of the chedi (towers) at Phra Prang Sam Yot in Lopburi

[This is Part 6 of a series. If you found this via a search or just happened upon it some other way you can find parts 1 through 5 by scrolling down the Labels in the right-hand column and clicking on "Isaan Oddysey".]

I awoke around 07:00, and although I'd slept well going back to sleep seemed like a good idea... until I realized I was in a new place on the second day of a week-long road trip. The drapes were open about half way, and the room was cast in the golden light of early morning.

Other than the quiet hum of the mini-refrigerator it was silent in the room, the silence finally broken by the chirping of birds on my balcony. I got out of bed and went over to the table across the room for some water before going to shower, dress and meet Supot downstairs for breakfast. I figured he was up so I didn't bother to call next door to see.

The strong coffee was a welcome sight, as was the warm toast, pressed into jam-filled pillows. The breakfast was small (one egg and one basic sausage with a couple slices of tomato) but along with the toast it was enough to do what it's intended to do: break the overnight fast.

After we'd finished, checked out of the Sabai Hotel and made a stop at a 7-Eleven to stock up on water and a few sundry items we drove the few minutes back into the center of town to Phra Prang Sam Yot, the monkey-ruled ruins you saw in yesterday's post. Before walking over to the ruins themselves we parked close to the active temple and walked around a bit.

I climbed the stairs and, leaving my shoes outside - as always at temples in Thailand - followed the locals inside to make merit. Normally I feel less conspicuous there if I don't join in with the candles, incense and kneeling with them, but I did stop to the side and follow my usual routine when in a temple of my belief, such as this one.

Making morning merit in Lopburi

There were many of the faithful there that morning, as I suspect there are every morning. Some made special offerings of chicken and pig, all carefully arranged on plates with incense added to them. Other than the murmuring of those in prayer it was quiet inside the small area, save for the rumblings of the morning commute traffic nearby.

Although they're obviously not smiling, the way the pig's heads are split to make the offering always makes me think that they are.

Yesterday I mentioned there'd be more monkeys in today's post, so here's a clip of the monkeys having their morning meal outside this temple and another shot of a couple of macaque monkeys (better known to some Westerners at Rhresus monkeys) grooming atop one of the ledges at the temple across the street.

[Coming up next in Part 7: Another spot in Lopburi - Phra Narai Ratchanivet]


krobbie said...

After discussions with Bobey over the weekend, we have all but decided a few days in Lopburi would be good for us. The Railcar leaves 3 or 4 times a day as do other trains, the Rail Car is quickest. On the way back we might stop for an overnight in Ayutthaya for more sightseeing. We've been there of course but it would be good to get reaquainted.

Cheers Bao-Bao

khunbaobao said...

It's nice to have time away from the hustle and bustle of the city - but you're not all that far away, either. Good to see you joining in again. :-)