Pattaya Hill and Big Buddha Temple, Pattaya, Thailand

At the top of Pattaya Hill a left turn brought us to the home of Pattaya Radio, a small temple, and the monument to HRH Admiral Krom Luang Jumborn Khet Udomsakdi, while a right turn took us to Wat Phra Yai with Pattaya’s 15 meter tall Big Buddha.

The Navy’s temple is home to many beasts, especially young dogs and cats (one of whom looked very much like our cat Aran, except “he” was a pregnant she),

and a sign-posted “wild monkey” chained by the neck to his perch in a tree, a sight which was very distressing. Why would the monks or temple workers chain up this poor creature who looks like he’s about to expire? He may be wild but could he not be returned to the forest to live out his days with other animal companionship?

The Admiral’s monument occupies the highest point of Pattaya Hill and is also the site of a shrine with many, many elephant, horse, zebra, dancing warrior, and rooster models, so many that the shrine has had to be extended with a long metal table to accommodate the overflow.

After wandering around this hill for a bit, and admiring the expansive view out over Pattaya City and Bay, we walked back down the hill along a newly-made cement path through the woods, then up again to the Big Buddha.

The big guy sits at the top of a long set of steps guarded by two freshly-painted golden Naga serpents. Along with BB are several other Buddha statues, including nine that represent the different days of the week.

The Buddhists believe that saying a few words to the Buddha born on the same day as oneself will bring one good luck. As well, the belief is that:

•Monday’s Buddha will bring peace.

•Tuesday’s Buddha will give peaceful sleep.

•Wednesday’s Buddha means one is a giving person.

•Thursday’s Buddha allows one peace of mind to meditate.

•Friday’s Buddha will give happiness.

•Saturday’s Buddha will ensure protection from the elements.

•Sunday’s Buddha will search for the needy and care for them.

At the entrance to the temple, young girls sell tiny birds in cages which, judging from the empty cages left behind next to the various Buddhas, quite a few people were inspired to set free. This practice is supposed to bring one luck, but the more birds that are sold, the more that will be caught and caged … what happens to the unsold birds?

See more pics here.