1. junction to Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol (Stainless Steel Temple)

1. junction to Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol (Stainless Steel Temple)

Although Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol is touted to be one of Hat Yai’s top tourist attractions, don’t be surprised when locals give you a blank stare when you ask them for directions to this Stainless Steel Temple. Hat Yai, and in general Thailand, has way too many wats and temples, after all.

2. winding road uphill on a tuk-tuk

2. winding road uphill on a tuk-tuk

 3. arrival at Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

3. arrival at Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

Located on the summit of a hill approximately 45 minutes’ drive east from Hat Yai city centre, this world’s first stainless steel temple is interesting to visitors who are religiously inclined.

4. Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

4. Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol

5. the stainless steel pagoda

5. the stainless steel pagoda

It is said that the temple looks more alluring at night. I was there during the day, but day time visit is better than no visit at all, right? You see, it is not easy to make one’s way to Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol, located off Punnakan Road, without private transport.

 6. golden Buddha statues

6. golden Buddha statues

 7. Goddess of Mercy altar

7. Goddess of Mercy altar

The best option to visit Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol, therefore, is by chartering a tuk-tuk. Negotiate the fare as it could go as high as ฿800 (return). Always be reasonable but make sure that your tuk-tuk driver understands that he is to drive up the hill and not wait for you at the base of the hill!

8. golden Buddha statues

8. golden Buddha statues

9. golden rabbit

9. golden rabbit

Your tuk-tuk driver will wait for you and send you back to the city, so your fare has to cover his waiting time as well. Pay him only after you get off the tuk-tuk in the city, or at an agreed destination.

 10. altar

10. altar

11. close-up shot of the  pagoda

11. close-up shot of the pagoda

The base of the stainless steel pagoda (or stupa) is made up of circular-shaped chambers that depict the days of the week. Each circular has been installed with one or two Buddhist deities and framed photographs on the wall.

12. the crest

12. the crest

13. circular chambers on the ground level of the pagoda

13. circular chambers on the ground level of the pagoda

On ground level, you can see two circular stairs to the top of the pagoda. Make sure to take the one with the UP arrow as the other is for descending. Surely there is a meaning to this, although many visitors missed the indications.

 14. stairway up

14. stairway up

15. stainless steel structures within the pagoda

15. stainless steel structures within the pagoda

On the upper level within the bowls of the pagoda are more stainless steel structures. Similar to the ground level, these too indicate time, in the form of Year and Month.

16. intricate craftsmanship

16. intricate craftsmanship

17. one of the stupa-like structures

17. one of the stupa-like structures

A visit to Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol does not require too much time. However, once you are there, you would want to stay longer to enjoy its tranquility, especially on the upper level of the pagoda. Do bear in mind to dress appropriately when visiting temples and wats in Thailand.

18. stairway down

18. stairway down

 19. vast compound

19. vast compound

This trip was made possible by Dexma Express, Malindo Air, and 尚游 Premium Travel. Malindo Air Malaysia flies direct from Subang SkyPark Terminal (SZB) and Penang International Airport (PEN) to Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday.

20. another section of the temple

20. another section of the temple

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