Wat Hua Lampong
Wat Hua Lampong, Bangkok Temple Coffin
Wat Hua Lamphong or Hualampong was build during the Rattanakosin period. In 1996, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of King Bhumipol Adulyadej (Rama IX), this temple was renovated. The Golden Jubilee year showing two elephants flanked by multi-tiered umbrella was incorporated into the temple’s renovation. Guests who have been to the snake farm are suggested to take a visit to Wat Hua Lampong. It is a nice way to start a city tour of Bangkok. The temple has beautiful paintings and statues of Buddha.
Compared to the other Bangkok temples, visiting this temple has in a way a meaningful way of earning merit. Visitors can sponsor coffins and pray through the joss sticks in the altar next door. The coffins are for people who are poor and less privileged. They apparently are too poor that they cannot afford buying a decent coffin for their dead relative. Some of these coffins go to the homeless people who died alone. Who cannot be touched by such a humane gesture? It is an act of compassion even for those who are not Buddhist to donate coffins.
Cows are kept nearby to be sacrificed later on. Taking photos of the coffins are not allowed though. Remember to note that there are two slips of paper for the donation. The pink slip is for the coffin and the white slip is what guests/donors will burn at the altar for their deities. The temple is decorated with colorful mirror tiles of all kinds of colors. Wat Hua Lampong is known for its Chinese cremation ceremonies.
Inside the temple compound the viharn and ubosot was raised on a one storey high platform that can only be accessed through a wide staircase. This platform supports the temple’s chedi. Shrines were made to honor Ganesha the Hindu god, King Rama V, and other important Buddhist figures. On the temple there is a room where guesst can give their gifts for the monks. It is directly under the temple stairs. The temples exterior is beautifully ornate.
At the entrance leading towards the temple, visitors lay flowers, light incense and place these incense in pots as gifts to Buddha. There is no admission fee. Donations are accepted though. Donation boxes are scattered throughout the temple. As this is a temple, walk on foot when going inside since shoes and any form of foot gear are not allowed. There are no monks in the temple which means guests are free to kneel, pray or just look around. Some visitors love the ringing of the bells. Once a guest had said their prayer, they can ring the bell.
How to Get There
This temple is located on Rama IV Road in the Bang Rak District of Bangkok, Thailand. It is just a block away from The Montien Hotel and 1 kilometer away from Hua Lampong railway station. Poh Teck Tueng Foundation has an office beside this temple. It is an organization who has volunteer members who rescues victims of road accidents.