I have unexpectedly been stuck in Thailand for the past three months, while awaiting the issuance of a Professional Visa for Malaysia (we have to be outside the country for this particular visa to be issued).
Although things have not been easy, I have tried to make the most of it by photographing some of the temples in Hatyai to add to my previous collections from Songkhla. I was very much helped in this by students Silar and Kajal, who helped me as kappiyas on our trips.
One of the first temples we managed to photograph was the beautifully decorated Chinese temple, Wat Chue Chang, whose walls are covered in delicate and interesting porcelain tiles, some of which are purely decoarative, and others of which tell a story.
Nearby to Wat Chue Chang, and within walking distance, is another Chinese temple, Wat Thawon Warawon, which illustrates the syncretic nature of Chinese temples in Hatyai, where there is a large ethnically Chinese population, which has absorbed elements of the native Thai Theravāda tradition.
The majority of the temples in Hatyai, of course, are Thai-style Theravāda temples. One of the most popular of these for tourists is the well-known Wat Hat Yai Nai, which has one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in the world, besides many other interesting artifacts.
The first of the temples we visited, way back in February, was the little known Wat Khlong Ple. The temple features a large cloister of statues of the early and well-known disciples of the Buddha; and it is also has fine carvings telling the life of the Buddha on the doors and windows of its Mt Meru-like Uposatha Hall.
The last of the temples we visited was Wat Khok Saman Khun, which is home to the exquisite Phra Prang Sam Yot, or Three Towers Building, which has statues to some of the famous monastics associated with the temple, as well as very fine Buddha statues. The design of the building is striking and is influenced by the Cambodian style of building.
We also visited one large collection of Buddhist-themed materials, but I want to report on that collection in a separate post. For now, please enjoy the photographs, which are free to share and resuse.