Even though the norm is for vehicles to move quietly when in the vicinity of religious places, the norm changes drastically when within proximity of the vibrant Boon Kaw Kong Shrine in Phuket, Thailand. Tooting the horn while ascending the Patong Hill is considered a mode of displaying respect to the sanctified grounds! Located at the summit itself, the temple is well visited by passersby and depicts strong resemblances to a Chinese temple. This influence is as a result of the large number of Chinese descendants that reside in the area along the Phuket coast.
The structure of the temple is bright in hues of yellow and red and though the temple itself is small, at night it is well lit with Chinese lanterns and ornate decorations. The interior and exterior are decorated with dragons, monkeys and lions and a touch of Taoism as is customary at Chinese temples. In spite of Buddhism having been practiced in the country for over a millennium, the shrine is only a few decades old.
Devotees who flock to the sacred premises make wishes and vows and once their wishes are fulfilled they return in glee to light firecrackers at the temple. Most find their prayers answered and there is a great belief amongst the locals of the powers of the shrine.
The period of time that the shrine becomes most iconic is when the week long Vegetarian Festival commences in October. Disciples of the temple pierce their bodies with sharp objects, supposedly oblivious to the throbs, out of pure reverence. Simultaneously several food stalls are put up in the area to sell an assortment of vegetarian and vegan goodies that are not easy to come by at other times and even non devotees are welcome to share in the festivities and comestibles.
The blazing excitement in Thailand is reflected even through this place of worship and a Phuket resort located around the corner from the temple is a suitable abode for the religious, the spiritual and the adventurous. Millennium Resort Patong Phuket is one of the stalwarts among those looking for a Patong beach resort and offers a truly unforgettable holiday in this enchanting island.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.