When I was a child, I lived a nomadic life. We lived wherever my dad was working. As a laborer he was building town houses outside Bangkok at Nong Chok, and we lived in block temporary houses made of steel sheeting, alongside the other builders and their families. A trip to this temple was a childhood treat then, it was the local famous temple, and with good reason... animatronics make this a playground for kids.
I was about ten years old, and each day I'd set off to school at 4am on a series of very slows buses, several hours journey each way. So life was a drudge, but it was good nonetheless. How things have changed since then, Thailand is much richer, a seriers of governments have spread some of the wealth among the poor, and now small children no longer spend 3 hours each way to go to school!
What makes this temple special is all the animatronic statues depicting heaven and hell. Down in hell, eyes boils and giant birds peck out in the inards of victims, all in animatronic gore-vision. While heaven is the stairs above the temple that lead you up into the eaves of the temple itself, right into the arch of the highest roof line. Staircase after stair case after stair case. I remember my aunt couldn't make the last few stairs, it was too much for her! But as a child, I practically skipped up.
I was delighted to see the temple is still there, even expanded a little, now with a helicopter perched above for you to climb into an explore. Most of my childhood favorites are there, the rice donation, and and even the buffaloe feeding and fish feeding ponds.
Any ten year old kid would love this, and any adult with a ten year old kid inside would love it too! It might be a big frightening for very small children, but they don't need to visit hell.
Some animatronics could do with a bit of maintenance, and this can be quite expensive once you've added up all the 5 baht coins, but that aside, this is worth the trip out of Bangkok. It's North East of Bangkok city, north of the new airport.
On the way back I decided to take the back-roads, driving south on long empty roads lined with flowers. Whoever maintains the roads in Pathum Thani, deserves credit for doing such a good job.
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