I've been visiting Chaiyaphum (south Isaan) for the Songkran festival and on the way back looking for sights to see. I can't believe I passed this in the dark without noticing it on the way here! In the daylight this thing is massive, its really difficult to miss! Well that sorts out my find for the return journey.
There are two parts to this temple, the religious part full of monks and prayer, and this giant elephant part which is more a day out. They don't charge to enter, but it really is a way to fund the temple. Before you enter, you care grouped together with a guide, the guide explains how donation cards work, and how to operate the chants and receive your gifts.
You wave your card where indicated, a gift drops out, a chant is heard and the credit on the card is debited. It isn't long before you've spent 500-1000 baht. The cards make it too easy to donate. Oh well. (Video after the break).
At the top, a 200 baht donation will get you a Buddha wallet to put special documents in, and just when you think its over, down you head into the basement which is themed with 7 colors. Each color represents a human trait. Kindness, Wisdom, Strength and so on.
Green, (Kindness and Peacefulness), put up a fight, it refused to come out of the machine. That gave me a chance to see inside the dispenser as the mechanic comes to fix it. I thought the inside would be circular too, but of course its a standard square vending mechanism.
Since green has distinguished itself as special, I will give that as a gift. I've mentioned before that these religious tokens are like a game, you collect them till you complete a life. Just like a game, the ones that are harder to get are worth more!