Wat Kiri Wongkaram - Kohsamui
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Directions to Wat Kiri Wongkaram
The mummified body of monk, Luang Por Ruam, continues to be a presence at the temple today, even though he died in 1966; in a purpose built shrine he is on display in a glass case.
After his death decomposition simply wasn't taking place. His body has remained in its mummified condition for over 40 years.
The fact that the air in Thailand is extremely humid all the time, and no preservatives have been used on his body, his earthly continuation is seemingly miraculous.
Apparently, both his fingernails and hair still grow and nail clippings are made into protective charms.
You can still see him today, sitting upright in his shrine, where his remarkable condition continues to baffle modern science, as well as everyone who comes to visit the shrine.
Luang Por Ruam was born near the temple in 1879 and in the early years of the 20th Century made a journey to Burma where he was initiated into Buddhist practices. He returned to Koh Samui living a life of purity and meditation.
The busy life of the temple continues today. Village activities are held there, and there is also accommodation for novice monks, a funeral building, and large meeting hall.
The Wat remains at the centre of the community. It is a friendly place, not at all intimidating, and nor is it in any way eerie, despite the on-going presence of its most famous monk.
In charge of the temple today, you'll find Pra Maha Jarn-Ruan the head abbot, and Koh Samui native.
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