Oldest Underwater Temple in Kwan Phayao

by Yin Teing on October 10, 2009

In Phayao, there are a few big lakes. In front of one of the big lakes there is this OTOP Phayao Stop.  It’s likely you will not miss it because there are a number of restaurants located nearby.

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The OTOP Shop Phayao sign opposite the lake.

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If you want to get to the Buddha in the middle of the lake, you have to take the boat across from here. Life jackets are provided.

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Here’s the legend, translated by the locals:

Once, someone was in the lake fishing when heavy rains suddenly came. Because he was afraid of the rain, he seek shelter near a big tree. But the wind was so strong that it toppled the tree. The man glimpsed the head of the Buddha (but not the entire statue). He told others and a chanting ceremony was held to invite the Buddha to emerge from the lake. The chant went on for 7 days before the Buddha was successfully removed from the lake (those days in this small town, sophisticated machinery were not used).

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This Buddha have been underwater for over 300 years and yet the face remain intact with no stratches or damage whatsoever.  One night, a government officer dreamt that the statue wanted to return to the lake where it came from. Thus the statue was taken back here, to the middle of the lake.

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We went there around sunset- so you can see as we were leaving, it was getting dark. The boatman usually finish taking passengers by 6pm but was kind enough to make an exception for us that day.  The brown thing you see on the left bottom corner is part of the boat.

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Here’s the view of the land of Phayao taken from the boat.

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