Mummy Monk in Koh Samui

Lamai Beach Attractions

Koh Samui’s Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram is an unusual sight yet it offers a unique insight into Buddhist and Thai culture. The monk Luong Pordaeng died in 1973 in a seated meditative position, and ever since his body has been on display in an upright glass case at the temple. Remarkably, even more than 30 years on the monk’s body shows little sign of decay. For some visitors, having a dead man in full view might be a shocking sight, but for Thais it is something to reflect upon and revere.

Far from being frightened by death, most Buddhist Thais are highly accepting of the end of life as the natural order of things and they view death as an opportunity to be reborn into a better place, one step closer to nirvana. There are other mummy monks on Samui and throughout Thailand, but Loung Pordang is among the most highly revered.

Loung Pordang is said to have told his followers shortly before his death that if his body were to decompose he should be cremated, but if not then he wanted to be put on display as a visual reminder of the Buddha’s teachings. For Thais, both the life and death of Loung Pordang serves as an inspiration to follow the Buddhist precepts and walk the middle path.


History, Highlights and Features

Loung Pordang was born as Dang Piyasilo on Koh Samui in 1894 to a prominent family within the tight-knit island community. Like many Thai Buddhist men, Khun Dang ordained as a monk in his early 20s, where he spent two years at Wat Samret before disrobing and marrying a local woman, with whom he had six children. Later on in life after his children were grown he returned to the monastic life, where he immersed himself into studying Buddhist texts and meditation. The name given to him as a monk was Phra Khru Samathakittikhun.

After spending some time in Bangkok, he returned to Koh Samui where it is believed that he did an intensive meditation session in Tham Yai (Big Cave), and lived out his days as a highly respected monk and abbot. In the week before his death, Loung Pordang, aged 79, stopped eating and speaking, and sat in a deep meditative state before his life slipped away. It is believed that his simple life, healthy diet and long meditation sessions contributed both to his long life and to his body’s amazing preservation after death. The only noticeable change to the body has been the disintegration of the eyes, which have now been respectfully covered by sunglasses.

Aside from the Mummy Monk, Wat Khunaram is a fairly typical Buddhist temple, where local people come daily to make merit and pray. Amulets and other Buddhist artefacts may be bought, and visitors are welcome to join or observe the daily rituals and have a look around.

 

Wat Khunaram

Opening Hours: The temple is open for visitors during daylight hours every day, and the best times to go are early morning or late afternoon when the temple is most active with merit-making and monk chanting activities. There is parking available on the temple grounds.
Location: Wat Khunaram is on Route 4169 (the ring road) between the Na Muang waterfalls and Hua Thanon, 13 kilometres south-east of Nathon Pier and about six kilometres west of Lamai Beach.
Remarks: Entry is free, though donations are welcome to support the temple’s upkeep. Since this a sacred place of worship, be sure to dress politely by wearing trousers or skirts that cover the knee and covering bare shoulders with a shirt, scarf or sarong.
Tour Available: Half Day Safari City Tour

Related Tour

Half Day Safari City Tour Half Day Safari City Tour

This tour takes you around Samui, making sure you see the most interesting and unforgettable sights of the island. Elephant trek, watch a baby elephant and monkey show, pay a visit to the famous Big Buddha then go shopping at the local market in colourful Nathon Town. Read More...

Related Pages

Big Buddha Temple Big Buddha Temple

Big Buddha temple sits majestically on a small rocky island off Koh Samui’s north-eastern corner. Known locally as Wat Phra Yai, it remains one of the island’s most popular attractions. Read More...

 
Wat Plai Laem Wat Plai Laem

Located near the Big Buddha in the north of the island, Wat Plai Laem is a colourful and interesting, newly constructed Buddhist Temple. The temple features very ornate decor and art, an 18-arm image of Guanyin. Read More...


LOCATION :  
HOTEL :  
CHECK IN : CHECK OUT : FOR : NIGHT(S)
IN : Loading...  

Send us your feedback

Help us keep this website up-to-date by sending us your comments and suggestions. If your question is about a hotel please use this link - For TOUR questions and enquiries please use this link


Hotel Quick Finder

City:
Check In:
Check Out:
in:
Loading...
Koh Samui Attractions
Download our Free {place} Guide

Asia Web Direct Travel Club members have access to our free travel guides, and lots of other travel specials and benefits from the Asia Travel Specialists.

Please enter your details and we'll send your free {place} Travel Guide to you straight away. We will also add you to our free Asia Web Direct Travel Club Newsletter.

All fields are required.

We will not pass your details on to any other company or individual. We take your privacy seriously!

in
in Loading... out