“To practice in Buddhism simply means to apply Buddha’s teachings to your daily life.”
One way to experience the real Phuket is to experience Thai Buddhism – for its culture and religion cannot be separated. Many Thai people spend a great deal of time at their local wat (temple or monastery), a place where people come to worship, attend sermons, seek advice on family matters, meditate, receive advise about traditional medicine or in many cases send their children for academic purposes.
Thais are more than welcoming when it comes to foreigners coming to practice the teachings of Buddha. The extremely supportive environment of a good Thai wat or Buddhist practice centre provides both inspiration and an opportunity for spiritual development that is rare in the world today.
Choosing a Wat or Buddhist’s practice centre in Phuket
Wat Khao Rang
Built long ago on the hillside of the popular Khao Rang Hill in Phuket Town, Wat Khao Rang features Phuket’s original Golden sitting Buddha. The atmosphere of the temple is very peaceful and it is not a touristic attraction. Wat Khao Rang’s grounds are divided into two areas. The original building, with its numerous rooms and the sitting Buddha situated on its roof, with its back against the stunning green hillside backdrop. The new building, this stands at the long set of concrete steps decorated with the usual green Naga snakes, more quiet than the original building but with good views of a temple located across town.
Practice Time: Daily 6.00pm – 6.30pm
Location: Khao Rang Hill, Phuket Town (take the road Soi Vachira, leading from the Vachira Hospital)
Wat Sapam is the local temple for Ban Sapam, a small fishing community on the east coast of Phuket. The temple is built on a small hill overlooking Sapam Bay, with the main temple at the highest point, the monk’s rooms on the hillside and the monk’s dining hall lower down. It’s a beautiful location, and also being so peaceful is suitable for meditation. Around the interior walls of Wat Sapam you will find some very colourful paintings depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. Wat Sapam is tranquility at its very best.
Practice Time: Daily 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Location: Thepkrasattri Road, Koh Kaew, Muang, Phuket
Wat Jareon Samanakit
Wat Jareon Samanakit sits on a hill behind Phuket Provincial Court and is divided into three levels: the top level is home to all religious buildings, the second level is the monk’s dormitory and the lower has a chapel, kitchen, visitor’s shelter and the shrine hall (or ubosot) which is where most religious ceremonies take place. This beautiful building with its triple roofs gets busy on important Buddhist days such as Buddha’s birthday and the Sart Thai Festival. Wat Jareon Samanakit is considered a holy object by Phuket residents. Over the years, the local government has also used this place as a training centre for different subjects such as culture, health and careers.
Practice Time: Daily 7.00pm – 10.00pm
Location: Toh Sae Road, Talad Yai, Muang, Phuket (Behind Phuket Provincial Court)
The Five Precepts of Buddhism
- I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life.
- I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.
- I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.
- I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.
- I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.
- Wear only white clothing.
- No mobile telephones.
- Come and go quietly.
- No drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of intoxicants on the premises.
- No smoking.
- No engaging in idle gossip or loud meaningless chatter.
- Sit in a dignified manner.
- Participants should, at all times, maintain a respectful demeanor.