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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wat Buddharangsi : Hanging Around in a Thai Buddhist Temple


For the first weekend of 2013, let me share with you my trip in Homestead, Florida where my friends and I visited the Wat Buddharangsi - a Thai Buddhist Temple.

Wat Buddharangsi is located on five acres of property at the rural town of Homestead, a short drive from Miami, Florida. The Buddhist temple welcomes everyone who is interested or practices Buddhism. It serves not just as a religious function but also as a welcome center.

Entrance is free and the temple is open every day from 5 Am to 7 PM. Everyone is welcome to visit during those hours and talk with the monks.




The gardens at the Buddhist temple are full of flowers and the architecture of the temple is amazing creating great spots for pictures. There is a six-bedroom apartment on the grounds where several monks live, sleeping on hard platforms. There is a screened-in kitchen with picnic-style seating, covered by what appears to be a tin roof.




The temple was designed by Nopporn Poochareon, a Thai native who has worked as a general contractor and now owns two Thai restaurants in Miami.



Poochareon had to go to Thailand to get most of the decorative details for the temple, including the gold roof etchings and wooden-carved chairs for inside. He hired workers there, he says, to ensure the temple resembled those in Thailand.




But Poochareon's vision still needs some work. Finishing touches need to be completed on the adjoining buildings, which are missing the typical Thai decorations on the roof. There are also plans to build a larger meditation hall on the grounds to hold the increasing number of visitors.



On Thanksgiving Day alone, for example, nearly 3,000 visitors attended the religious services. On other Thai holidays, the temple sees half that number. Five to 10 people go to the temple everyday, with significantly more on the weekend.


Inside the temple were multiple gold statues that make a great background for pictures.







It was nice to enjoy the Thai foods and delicacies, plus a sweet dessert, and equally nice to be outside the metropolis of Miami-Dade.



You can visit the temple anytime but the best time to go is during the Thai Festival usually in February or March. The address is 15200 SW 240th St Homestead, FL 33032.

The visitors of the temple ask for blessings from the monks. The monks offer daily prayers, counseling, marriages and funerals. They usually sprinkle visitors with holy water to wish everyone a happy, healthy and bountiful life.

Just like in Thailand, everyone is welcome to give or donate food to the monks. Cooked food is accepted in the morning while non-perishable food, flowers and donations are accepted all throughout the day.




Remember to be considerate because the monks are very receptive of their pictures being taken. The monks are also prohibited from any physical contact with females, but can have conversation. They are not allowed in close proximity to them and may not receive any item directly from them by hand. A handshake between male visitors and the monks is permissible but is not a common custom.

For more information about Wat Buddharangsi, please visit www.watmiami.org.

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5 comments:

  1. such a great experience indeed

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  2. It would be nice to experience the temples and appreciate the different culture. I saw the temples in Angkor Wat but not yet in Thialand.

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  3. Havent been to a thai temple ever and I'm sure the experience was wonderful. I want to visit one soon!

    Rovie The Bargain Doll :)

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  4. The country has bounced back and forth between being called Siam and Thailand a couple of times since it was founded, and the history here is as rich and deep as any other place in the world - with evidence of inhabitation dating back for 40,000 years. http://eliburan.com/chiang-mai-travel-guide/ In particular the fine clothing, cheap street wear produced by local brands, exquisite Thai silk and all kinds of handicrafts.

    ReplyDelete
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