Chinese style temples in Korat, Thailand.
These small colorful temples are scattered here and there in the city centre and immediate vicinity, but concentrated especially about the stretch of Pho Klang Rd running between Bua Rong Rd and Yotha Rd. Some of them represent a tourist attraction for Korat, mentioned in official maps and guides.
We counted 11 until now. They may belong to the community, perhaps donated by wealthy benefactors, or to private foundations of a pious and charitable character. Even when private property, they are normally open to the public on daytime. Their name is normally preceeded by the title Sanjao ( ศาลเจ้า ), meaning shrine or spirit house. It is the same name given to miniature spirit houses Thai people love to keep in their gardens or homes.
They consist of at least one small building hosting the main shrine. Often they include also one external shrine in the form of a concrete table, and an external incinerator in the shape of a small tower. More rarely, one or more additional buildings with accessory shrines and votive objects, including holy rolls, and a votive pole. When located inside internal courts, they are marked by one or more decorated portals on the main street. All those additional parts are normally decorated following the same pattern for each temple.
The list we give below is not exhaustive and it is subject to changes and additions. We tried to follow a logical route starting from inside the old city limits, proceeding west towards the Ya Mo monument, then rotating clockwise to re-approach the starting point at the end. Directions given here are for walkers (page in progress).
Sanjao Buntaisan ( ศาลเจ้าบุญไทศาล )
136, Chomphon Rd ; Tel 044 255310
This is the only one we found within the old city limits. It is in an internal court off Chomphon Rd, southern side, in the stretch going from Jakkree to Manat Rd.
When exiting the court, back on Chomphon Rd, turn left and proceed straight until reaching the old city gate (Pradtu Chumpol) and the Ya Mo monument, where you will find the next temple.
Sanjao Pofai ( ศาลเจ้าพ่อไฟ )
660 Ratchadamnoen Rd ; Tel 044 242255 (c/o Siangsiangdtueng Foundation)
The smallest one, together with Sanjao Jougongmaa (last one on this list). Just in front of the Ya Mo monument. It depends from the Siansiangdtueng Foundation (see below). The full name includes also the word Huaidtee ( ฮ่วยตี่ ) into brackets.
From here, go south on Ratchadamnoen until reaching the traffic light crossing with Jomsurangyart Rd, where is Klang Plaza 2. Turn right on Jomsurangyart to head towards the next temple, beyond the next traffic light crossing (Bua Rong Rd).
Sanjao Ngoujou ( ศาลเจ้าโหงวโจ๊ว )
231, Jomsurang Rd ; Tel 044 241396
Belonging to a Buddhist first-aid and rescue foundation. Not far from the traffic light crossing with Bua Rong Rd, heading west, on the right side. The Foundation is well advertised on the street with photos of their operations.
From here, proceed west on Jomsurangyart Rd and take the first internal lane you will find (Dtrok Dtee Lehk). It is very near. The lane is bifurcating just at the start. Keep right and you will soon reach the next temple.
Sanjao Maetaptim ( ศาลเจ้าเเม่ทับทิม )
333, Pho Klang Rd ; Tel 044 242774
This is among the most beautiful ones we visited. Not far from the traffic light crossing with Bua Rong Rd, on the left side, but accessible also from the side lane Dtrok Dtee Lehk. The large court facing the temple is used as parking lot, on payment.
From here, exit on Pho Klang Rd. Just cross the road and enter the lane opening right there in front of you. The next temple is less than 100 m. ahead, on the left.
Hasengdtua ( ฮะเซ่งตั๊ว )
278, Phoklang Rd ; Tel 044 245311
Belonging to a Buddhist vegetarianism association. It is found at the crossing of two internal lanes, and it is accessible from both lanes. The full name includes also the words Rongjeh Jamdteen ( โรงเจจําตีล ) into brackets.
From here, go back on Pho Klang Rd. Turn right (westward). You will find the next temple just before reaching the traffic light crossing with Yotha Rd, on your left.
Sanjao Watjaeng ( ศาลเจ้าวัดเเจ้ง )
455, Phoklang Rd ; Tel 044 242255 (c/o Siangsiangdtueng Foundation)
This is found at the traffic light crossing between Pho Klang and Yotha Rd., at the eastern end of a small square hosting some evening-time food stalls. Also this one depends from the Siansiangdtueng Foundation (below).
From here, take Yatho Rd to the north, in direction of Suranaree Rd and the George and Dragon pub. The next temple is just about 200 m. away, on your right side.
Siangsiangdtueng ( เสียงเซี่งตึ๊ง )
17, Yotha Rd ; Tel 044 242255
Belonging to a Buddhist first-aid and rescue foundation that controls also two other small temples (Sanjao Pofai and Sanjao Watjaeng). It is inside a wide open court. The shrine is on the second floor: you will have to enter a second, internal court, and climb some stairs. Also in this case the Foundation is well advertised on the street with photos of their operations. The Foundation’s full name is Muunniti Lak Siangsiangdtueng ( มูลนิธิลักเสียงเซี่งตึ๊ง ).
From here, head west towards Junt Rd or Dtrok Junt. It is a narrow road connecting Suranaree to Mitthapap. You can reach it quickly if you know the internal shortcuts; otherwise just keep west on Suranaree Rd until the next traffic light, and turn right to enter Junt Rd. The next temple is there, towards the northern end, approaching Mitthapap, on the right side.
Sanjao Bpaegong ( ศาลเจ้าเเปโกง )
Junt Rd, between No. 100 and No. 156 ; Tel 044 259314
This is another beautiful one and with a votive pole, too. On special occasions, it is generously decorated with red paper lanterns, along with the whole Dtrok Junt. That makes a suggestive view especially at dusk time and at night. The full name includes also the words Dtrok Junt ( ตรอกจันทร์ ).
From here, proceed north until reaching Mitthapap. Now you have to turn right (eastward) and proceed straight all the way until reaching the next temple, which is almost facing the northern city gate (Pradtu Ponsaen). It is a long way to walk. Considering that this temple is not always accessible to visitors, and considering also that the next temple is far away too, you may want to stop here or to take to some mean of transport.
Hianghutdtueng ( เฮี๊ยงหุตตตึ๊ง )
204/1, Mitthapap Rd ; Tel 044 246911
Belonging to a Buddhist vegetarianism association. It is announed by a portal and yellow sign on Mitthapap Rd, just before Wat Samakkhi and almost facing the northern city gate (Pradtu Ponsaen). However it is a bit distant from Mitthapap. From the portal there is a lane 300 to 400 m long, conducting directly to it, over the channel. It is a nice temple, very tidy inside, but the access gate is normally locked and you need to ring a bell or call to get somone come and, hopefully, open it for you. The Association’s full name is Rongjeh Lak Hianghutdueng ( โรงเจลักเฮี๊ยงหุตตี๊ง ).
From here, go back on Mitthapap Rd and continue your way eastward. Reach the the turning point into Thao Sura Rd. Follow Thao Sura Rd to the south almost until the traffic light crossing that is just in front of the eastern city gate (Pradtu Phollan). Take the last lane opening to the left (east side) just before the traffic light crossing. You are entering the Sanjao Posuea community. The lane bifurcates immediately. Keep left and proceed for about 400 m until reaching the next temple on your left side.
Sanjao Posuea ( ศาลเจ้าพ่อเสือ )
171, Soi 5, Thaosura Rd ; Tel 044 259246
This is clearly the biggest and most richly decorated we have visited. It is made up of a main building, quite spacious and with several internal shrines, plus five or six more external shrines (one of them placed on a second floor), a votive pole, an incineretor, and other votive objects and accessories. It is found outside the eastern city gate, on a lane extending to the east into the homonymous community. Internal decorations, ornaments and objects in the main building are gorgeous and they, alone, deserve a visit. If you are lucky you can assist a particualr religious ceremony taking place inside, as happened to us and immortalized in one of the pictures below. The full name includes also the words Tung Swaang ( ทุ่งสว่าง ).
Here ends our tour, for the moment… You can return to the city centre through the eastern city gate and following Chomphon Rd all the way to the old city gate and Ya Mo monument.
Sanjao Jougongmaa ( ศาลเจ้าโจวกงม่า )
Suranaree Rd, facing entrance to Maegimheng market
We left out this little temple as it is currently closed. It is located in the city centre, on Suranaree Rd, facing the entrance to Maegimheng market where all the flower shops are. There is a motorcycle taxi station just outside it. From the road you can hardly see it through the vegetation of the garden. We were able to take this photo especially our visitors after going through some difficulties, including a fierce battle against a horde of giant red ants!
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