Viharnra Sien Chinese Temple in Pattaya
Viharnra Sien Chinese Temple in Bangsaray, Pattaya
In a country renowned for its Buddhist practices, Thailand is positively filled with historic and awe-inspiring temples. Traditionally, each town or city’s wats have been the epicenter of Thai daily life for generations, and the abbots and monks who live in these temples are some of the country’s most respected persons. This is still true to some extent today, especially with regards to the respect accorded to monks. Even ublic transportation will have special seating areas for monks, and many devout citizens will still give alms in the early morning regularly.
Although Pattaya is more famous for beer than Buddhism, it is still home to Viharnra Sien temple, which is one of the most impressive spiritual spots in Thailand. More of a museum than a normal temple, Viharnra Sien houses an impressive collection of art and antiques from China and Thailand. Viharnra Sien opened in 1987 with a royal blessing from King Rama IX, the current and widely respected monarch of Thailand. Ever since, history buffs and those seeking inspiration have come to take in the incredible amount of history in this place’s halls.
Chinese Influences in Thailand
The site itself is pretty large at 7 rai. Throughout the entire complex are hidden surprises and treasures that leave a lasting impression. One of the best exhibits are the lines of miniature terra cotta soldiers, exactly like the ones famously discovered in China in 1974. This is the only such exhibit of its kind that may be found outside of China.
There are also many beautiful pieces carved from teak and many exhibitions detailing the history of Thailand’s monarchy, from before the current dynasty to the present day.
While Viharnra Sien may not be a traditional temple, it is in its own way a place of reverence and respect for the history of Thailand and China.