A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

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Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen

Now that we’re back in Taiwan we can get back to regular posting.  Internet connections in northeastern Thailand are what nightmares are made of.  It took me literally all day to upload some photos to use in this blog post.  I didn’t dare try to actually publish another post from there.  The last time I did publish something from Thailand I had to start over once my connection droppped out and never returned – which is exactly why I’m not a big fan of offloading my local tasks to online services – you can’t use what you can’t connect to.

The old name for the temple is Wat Ban Na Muang (still called that on Google maps).  The new name is Wat Sa Prasan Suk and while the outside was breathtaking, I had no idea was was in store for us on the inside.

There are too many photos to show you here, so you should visit our flickr album and view the rest of them.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

Brunty explained to us that these are gods that correspond to the days of the week.  We didn’t know why there were 8 of them though.  This photo was taken near the entrance to the inside of the temple.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

A turn to the left and we see the main part of the hall, with the imposing columns.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

This is a lifelike figure of the abbot, Achan Bun Mi who died 3 years ago at the age of 95.  But this is not the “abbot in a glass case” although it is a glass case.

You really should read Brunty’s article about this temple.  I was there and yet I still learned a lot from his article.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

This is the jade Buddha that Brunty mentioned.  This end of the temple features some very impressive artifacts.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

I think this is probably the largest Buddha that we’ve seen yet.  That’s Hui-chen standing in front for reference.

Reclining Buddha

Compare this shot to the previous one and you’ll see how much bigger the sitting Buddha really is.  We thought the reclining Buddha was big!  (Shot taken in October, 2005).

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

This display of wreaths and flowers are presented to respect the deceased abbot, Achan Bun Mi.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

I found this scene quite sad.  Abbot Achan Bun Mi died 3 years ago and they are keeping his body in state in this glass case until his tomb is ready.

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

Part Two: A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case

This is his tomb currently under construction.  Once completed, the abbot will be creamated and buried there.

I want to thank Brunty again for taking us around Ubon and showing us a great time.  Brunty was our personal taxi for several days, making himself totally at our service for the duration of our stay.  We truly appreciate that, Brunty!

I made a video of our trip to Ubon, featuring this temple.  Please take a look to get the feel of what it was like to be there in person.


Our Visit to Ubon from MJ Klein on Vimeo.

Articles in series Ubon Ratchathani:

  1. Ubon Ratchathani, Part One
  2. A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case
  3. Hungry Fish, A Hoax, and an Awesome Grill Party!
  4. Our Last Day in Ubon
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7 comments

  1. Dear MJ,

    It has been a loooooooong time since I last visited your blog! I really should read more instead of hana hana hana on Flickr too long. ^o^ This is really impressive. I did see some photos about this dead abbot in glass case on your Flickr stream before. Amazing and a bit creepy that a dead abbot can be kept like this though I have known some other dead Taiwanese abbot still look fleshy and rosy. It just occurred to me that this is a big irony to the Egyptian mummification. 😀 Those Egyptian pharohs should have converted to Buddhism and worked on their inner Tao. 😀 Thanks for sharing this precious info and the link to your friend’s.

    1. Yu-Fen » thanks for visiting! i wasn’t sure about the title, but i had initially summarized our trip to Ubon using very simple phrases that i intended to use as titles or sub-titles. glad you didn’t find it upsetting. the scene was rather sad but so unusual that i had to report on it. i have no idea how they preserved his body but it does look rather like a mummy. i didn’t feel that it was proper to ask questions about the preservation method, you understand. the temple had absolutely nothing in English for visitors to read. too bad because from what little i’ve found out, that temple is quite important in the area.

    1. David on Formosa » thanks a lot. sensitive topic, i know. we stayed away from Thailand for a long time but i’m happy to say that our trip was successful business-wise and that we’ll be going back often. thanks for your comments David.

  2. MJ Great pictures, and also reporting. I came across a huge Buddha image yesterday, it makes this one look small. I am going to trek out to it in the near future to get some pictures.

    I had a great time with Hui-chen and you and look forward to meeting all teh Taiwan bloggers hopefully next year.

    1. Brunty » HC took most of the photos – she is really doing a great job handling the D80 i think. i’ll make sure she knows you said that, thanks.

      yes please do go and show us that big Buddha! there are a couple here in Taiwan that i should blog about, too.

      many Taiwan bloggers have expressed a desire to meet you too, Brunty. all you have to do is make it here 🙂

      take care.

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