Wat Ban Rai (วัดบ้านไร่) is a wonderful and marvellous elephant-shaped Buddhist temple, located between Korat and Chaiyaphum in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern Thailand.
Located in the middle of a lake comprising an area of 48,562 square meters, it is one of the most fascinating temples in Thailand. Besides its stunning design in the shape of an elephant, Wat Ban Rai features amazing paints and statues.
The temple was conceived by the revered monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho พระเทพวิทยาคม (คูณ ปริสุทฺโธ), who passed away at 92 on Saturday May 16, 2015. Wat Ban Rai is one of the most significant temples for Isan people as well for all Thais.
Worshippers from across the country come there to pay their respect to Luang Phor Khoon. Wat Ban Rai is a 100 million baht temple (around 2,626,000 euros) which was built from donations and personal contributions.
During my road trip Last year in December 2017 I took a road out from Phayao toward the Doi Phu Nang National Park. About 10klm out there is a place edged by huge plastic sunflowers and a giant entrance and you can’t fail to see these amazing restored and fully working Classic cars and pick ups! They all have their papers in and some you can open the doors and sit in and have your photo taken. I have in my past been a great classic car fan and restorer, these I could not pass by and the quality of the restoration is as good as anywhere in Europe or America.
In 2016 I landed in Thailand after 5mths in India, for a rest, well I was far to intrigued with the natural beauty of Thailand to stand still and Phu Phra Bat Park was one of my favourite first visits to the North East of Thailand.
I hope you enjoy it too and venture far enough up North to visit! Phu Phra Bat historical park in Udon Thani province in the North East of Thailand is a forested hill with natural rock formations shaped as caves with large rocky overhangs. The caves were used by ancient man as shelter and as temples where Buddha images were enshrined. What makes this site unique, is that it contains traces of several different civilizations and cultures spanning thousands of years. The hill contains traces of prehistoric man, the Dvaravati period and Khmer presence. The sandstone rock on top of the hill has been cut out during many centuries by glacier movement, wind and rain.
Some of the rock formations provide natural shelter, others were carved into by man thousands of years ago creating cave like structures. Many of the rock formations harbour ancient Buddha images and served as ancient wats (Buddhist temples). A number of walking trails have been been made through the park and there are a number of view points, from where visitors will have great scenic views of the surrounding area. Phu Phra Bat is set in a beautiful, natural and relaxing environment.