Thailand, Thailand

A prolonged – and awaited – post of photos from Thailand

This first series is from a rehab temple in Saraburi.  Which is exactly what it sounds like, a rehabilitation temple where one can go to get well and study Buddhism.  There were many Thais there, along with wester foreigners, and other SE Asian foreigners. We met a nice Monk, Gordon, who was happy to sit down and chat with us for awhile – see the photos below – and give us facts about the temple and tell us stories.  Apparently of the 200+ members, over half are soldiers.  Gordon told us it’s a pretty intense program once you get there (and you have to check your self in) you’re not allowed to leave until you’re better; when you leave this place you’re either cured or dead, Gordon’s words.  Gordon himself had been there for 30 years, he said he had fought in Vietnam and was a mercenary for hire.  There is no info about the temple online, or in a brochure somewhere; it’s all spread by word of mouth.  “A drug dealer knows 10 people, and those 10 people know 10 people, it’s all spread by word of mouth.” – Gordon

He felt like you almost couldn’t believe a word that he was saying, but I also could have sat there for hours and listened to this guy, and his stories.  Gordon was apparently born into, and grew up in the Black Panthers, and was raised Muslim, but is now a Buddhist monk.  We met him by wandering through the temple grounds, this guy started yelling at us “hey, you guys need some help!  You here to visit or to get well?  Come over here, ask me some questions.”  When we left he said, “you can always come back to visit, but don’t come back to stay.”

Above: I didn’t take any pictures of the inside of the rehab center.  But the temple its self was huge, lots of big buddhas.
Our man Gordon.“I’m from a little place called Harlem.” – GordanThese next photos are from a monkey temple in Saraburi, no photos of monkeys here, but I swear they were there.This next series is from a trip to Lop Buri for a Monkey Festival.Bat Temple.  Just underneath the golden structure on the edge of the cliff in the left of the image was the mouth to this huge cave where we watched millions of bats come pouring out at dusk.One kid playing with some other kids.Monkey feast!

These are only traveling shots/snap shots, but critiques are still good… I think. 🙂

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