They built the toilet block around the tree

August 5, 2014
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Over the weekend I went on a day trip with some friends to Chachoengsao to the east of Bangkok. One of the places that we visited was Wat Pho Bang Khla. This temple is famous for the 1,000’s of fruit bats that hang in the trees during the day. The temple dates back to the reign of King Taksin the Great.  It was believed to have been built in the late 1760’s to commemorate the spot where King Taksin stopped with his army during his march to liberate the country from the Burmese.

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The temple is worth visiting for the fruit bats alone. There are also some interesting Buddha images including an ancient Reclining Buddha. But, what caught my attention the most was the tree in the middle of the toilet block. It looks like they didn’t want to chop the tree down so they built the toilets around them. As you can see, they had to cut part of the sink to make room for the tree. The ribbons wrapped around the trunk make it a sacred tree. I have seen trees like this in the past where people have “ordained” trees in order to stop them being chopped down. Possibly the same story here.

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I think it is a good thing that the monks decided to accommodate the tree instead of chopping it down. But, it makes me wonder what they will do if the tree grows too big. Will they knock the toilet block down or cut the tree down? This picture and story has now been featured in the Khao Sod newspaper. Click here to read this story.


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