Betong is Thailand’s southern most city resting next to Malaysia-Perak’s state border. It is about 2.5 hours driving time from Ipoh. We are excited to bring you this travel journey in order to provide Buddhist devotees and amulet collectors a complete coverage of Phra LP Thuad talismans from this southern-most part of Thailand.
To enter Betong, we have to reach a small town called Pengkalan Hulu (known as Kroh in the ancient past). If you were to follow our travel guide to Rajamuni Samiramo Park, simply go further up toward Gerik and reach Pengkalan Hulu. From Pengkalan Hulu town, it is a mere 7km before reaching the Malaysian Customs and Immigration check-point which is located at Bukit Berapit. Once entering the Malaysian Immigration, visitors can stop at the Duty Free Complex before heading toward the Thai Immigration.
Betong city is surrounded by hilly mountains, resulting in a cool climate and high rainfalls creating frequent misty fog in the morning. It is therefore dubbed The City of Mist with Beautiful Flowers apart from being surrounded by rubber plantations. Malaysian tourists often visit this part of Thailand due to its proximity that is ideal for weekend shopping or simply spending a short holiday. The food is outstanding here and has a lot of tourist attractions besides temples.
Betong is a vibrant little city with plentiful of nightlife after dark. Hotel accommodations is not a major problem during off-peak seasons. You can get a very good deal with the many budget hotels offering clean rooms. If possible try to avoid going there during Chinese New Year as places will be crowded with tourists, hotel rates and food prices will increase exhobitantly.
Language is not a barrier in this small but vibrant city as most of the Thais here can speak Chinese dialects and the Malay language. Visitors will find communication is a breeze here and travelling within the city is easy by hiring "Tuk-Tuk" to get around the city center. To get to this magnificent small city, please refer to our guide provided at the end of this webpage article.
Venerable Luang Pu Thuad
Most temples in this southern part of Thailand adores and venerate Phra LP Thuad talismans for 2 specific reasons - to grant safety from accidents and success in business/career. Phra LP Thuad's protective talismans are mostly affordable and could be easily obtained from these good temples in Betong. Most seasoned collectors will agree that LP Thuad amulets made by Archan Tim, Wat Changhai are the most sought after but then it comes with a very steep price that is not easily affordable. This is a common misunderstanding in the minds of many Buddhist talisman collectors by thinking that the more expensive it is, the more protective power it will be. The main purpose of any given talisman is to remind us the teachings of the Master and in return we wear the talisman for own protection.
With faith in wearing the talisman, we get the ultimate blessing. Faith plays an important part in wearing all Buddhist protective talismans just like faith in Buddhist teachings. Without faith no matter which amulets you wear will not work for you. Therefore, a newly made and affordable Phra LP Thuad amulets blessed by qualified monks or reputable temples in Betong are equally good for the ones having a strong faith and respect for Phra LP Thuad.
In this travellogue, we hope to bring out the charm of Betong's majestic temples especially to would-be first time visitors planning to go to Betong in the near future. For amulet collectors and hobbyist, we hope to bring LP Thuad's supreme votive tablets made by Thai's Southern masters to add to your collecting experience.
Wat Kilo 7 (Wat Chanthada Pasalam)
The temple is located deep inside a small village from the main road. It is a lush land area surrounded by green trees offering visitors a fresh sense of belonging.
Translated from Thai wordings - Magic Series Phra Luang Pu Thuad Wat Kilo 7. Consecrated on 15 Sept 2005 during a very rare bright moonlight where the moon was surrounded by rings of extreme colorful lights. This batch was given free to devotees on 8 Oct 2005. Since then a donation of THB500 or RM50 a piece.
There is an array of Porthan Klai consecrated votive tablets mainly LP Thuad votive tablets that are available at the amulet counter attended by a temple monk. The temple accepts both Thai and Malaysia currency like most other places in Betong. Therefore, currency exchange is not a problem here but in other cities e.g. Hadyai, Bangkok only Thai Baht is accepted.
Most of the amulets and talismans on display at the counter are issued by the temple itself. Have some courtesy to seek information of the amulets before renting so that you get accurate info and the heart is not in doubt. This is an art of collecting amulets and a good way in adding amulets to your private treasure trove. Prepare the mind with "kusala citta" state or good intent to conduct charity in this case through donation to temple in the form of renting amulets. That is the advice from a collector's perspective that one can choose to follow. Once obtained the amulets with pure state of mind, if luck is on your side you can seek re-blessing of the rented amulets from the Chief Abbot or senior monks of the temple.
Porthan Klai will usually receive visitors and devotees from all walks of life at the Kuti behind the Ubosot.
Along-side of the Kuti’s altar, we can see photos and statues of other high ranking monks whom may have been his teachers. We are very fortunate to have met Porthan Klai personally and managed to seek his blessing. The best time to visit Wat Kilo 7 or any Thai temples is in the morning before 11.00am to offer food and donation.
The temple ground is serene and peaceful offering every visitor a sense of happiness. Visitors could sit down and take a rest in the temple compound. Taking a stroll around the temple compound will help to explore the many wonderful places of worships for first-time visitors.
Below are some beautiful votive tablets from our private collection that are issued by Wat Kilo 7 in our recent trip.
Phra LP Thuad with Porthan Klai signature B.E.2548 - Magic Series.
Chinnarat B.E.2553 new batch by Porthan Klai. Made from rare materials
and produced in limited quantity.
Wahn Medicinal Herbs LP Thuad votive tablets
Kuan Yin Temple Betong
We would like to include this popular Kuan Yin Temple that is located inside Betong city. This temple's strategic location at a hilltop offers a breathtaking view for any visitors who come here. It's a beautiful temple with intricate designs that represents the Chinese community in Betong that is worth a visit during your stay.
Wat Sonom Brom
This temple is located inside a forest and rubber plantation. You can reach this temple by following the road sign towards Hot Spring and Piyamit Tunnel. Therefore, to visit this temple one can firstly stop over at Betong's Hot Spring and Piyamit Tunnel - Betong's popular tourist spots, before reaching Wat Sonom Brom.
To contribute to the auspicious fund raising event in making LP Thuad statue of Wat Sonom Brom, benefactors may partake the merits by donating funds for the necessary materials for building the structure.
Bronze rods for the making of LP Thuad
Wat Phuttathiwat and Phra Mahathat Chedi
Climbing higher to the hill is where Phra Mahathat Chedi is located. This is a sacred pagoda chedi that contained Lord Buddha's relic.
Wat Putthathiwat also made popular Phra LP Thuad amulets and highly venerated past Buddhist master Porthan Kai of Wat Tat Noi Nakhon Si Thammarat. Here we presented B.E.2553 LP Thuad batch for raising funds to this temple. Amulets are mass chanted by Keji monks from all over Southern Thailand.
The amulet counter also has images of LP Thuad and Porthan Kai at a very reasonable donation price.
What To Do?
Betong offers tourist attractions for visitors apart from enjoying the various tasty gourmets. An evening walk around the city after dark while doing shopping is also enjoyable. There are many merchants selling fruits, clothings, cooking wares, camouflage hats, outdoor camping equipment, etc.
To begin your shopping is to head to the Market not far from the Clock Tower where tourists can enjoy shopping sprees.
The Hot Spring also offers resting area for family and groups with its unique bangalow style accommodation. Hot Spring is 4 Km away from the city center. This is a quieter place than staying in the city for those preferring tranquility.
How To Get There?
From Ipoh, head toward Kuala Kangsar using the North-South Highway. From Kuala Kangsar drive toward Pengkalan Hulu following the road signs.
At Malaysia Immigration
1. For Malaysians, just produce your passport and you can drive through the checkpoint.
2. If you don't want to drive over to Betong, you can find a private parking near the checkpoint and pay a fee. Then hail for taxi service that ply the route.
At Thailand Immigration
1. Get your departure/arrival form filled for you for RM2, or fill them up yourselves.
2. Get in line and wait until your turn for your passport/border pass to be verified and stamped.
3. If you’re driving/riding over the border, show your original car grant (or photostated one, but verified by the police – Balai Polis Air Panas over at Pengkalan Hulu can serve you well) and get a declearation form (that’s how it’s spelled) for your vehicle. RM3 fee is chargeable for your car to enter Thailand.
4. Remember to return your vehicle declaration form to Thai Immigration upon exiting or else risk being fined RM200.
Betong city center is a few kilometers from the Thai Immigration. Just travel ahead and you should find the Clock Tower greeting your arrival.
Upon entering the city, seeing the Clock Tower turn 9 o'clock (Left) will lead the way towards Hot Springs, Piyamit Tunnel, Wat Sonom Brom and Wat Kilo 7. If you go 12 o'clock (Straight) will bring you to Wat Putthathiwat. After all the locals are friendly and do not be afraid to get assistance for direction if unsure.
We hope you have enjoyed our travellogue and may you also gain valuable information for your next travel plan to this part of Thailand that is close to you. May you also find peace and solitude in visiting the various temples in Betong.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!