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Kelantan Thai Temples

This is our travellogue in exploring interesting Buddhist amulets in Kelantan. This is an introduction for amulet collectors who have never been to this far. Following our success in publishing Wat Uttamaram and World of Pidta, we hope to bring you the insights and wonders of Wats or Temples in Tumpat district and at the same time to review great Phra Pidta amulets and talismans.

Continuing further in exploring the wonders and legendary Phra Pidta amulets made by Tok Raja, we shall bring you again to Kelantan. Following the direction to Wat Uttamaram, you can easily reach Kota Bharu city following the road sign boards. Once you are in the city, you may need a full 2 days to visit various Siamese Buddhist Temples and collecting good amulets surrounding Tumpat which is approximately 15-25km distance from Kota Bharu.

From Kota Bharu township, please find road direction toward Sultan Yahya Bridge, which is a prominent bridge that will bring you across the river to the other side. It is pretty easy to find by asking the locals for direction to this bridge as it leads you to Pasir Mas/Tumpat. Once cross over this bridge, you will begin to enter the world of hidden jewels to visit some Wats that are said to be as old as 400 years ago.

In this episode, we will bring you some temples such as Wat Photivihan (Reclining Buddha), Wat Machimaram (Sitting Buddha), Wat Phikulthong (Standing Buddha), Wat Maisuwankiri, Wat Phikulyai, and Wat Prachumthartchanaram.


After crossing the bridge, you will find the 1st Round About and go straight toward 12 o'clock. Further in front you will find the 2nd Round About and go further straight 12 o'clock.

The driving distance is quite far from the 2nd Round About. Do not worry that you will be lost as there will be a brown color road sign showing Wat Phothivihan and Wat Machimaram on the road shoulder. You will then reach "Cabang Empat" town. The name of this town comes from the busy cross road. At this Cabang Empat cross road, take the left turn toward the direction of Wat Phothivihan. Continue going further up the trunk road surrounded by villages and you will find the temple on your left hand side.

Wat Phothivihan
Kampung Jambu, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Wat Phothivihan is situated at Kampung Jambu, a Malaysian Thai village in the district of Tumpat about 15km Northwest of Kota Bharu. The construction of the Wat began in 1973 and was completed about 6 years later.

The main attraction here is a magnificent Reclining Buddha which measures 40 meters in length, 11 meters in height and 9 meters wide. This statue of Lord Buddha is believed to be one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The Chief Monk of the Wat was the man responsible for the architecture and design of the Wat. The cost of construction of the Wat was borne by the local Thai community besides donations from various bodies.

The Thai festivals are celebrated annually at Wat Phothivihan. Among the celebrations are Ketik Pasir Festival (usually on Wesak Day), the Songkram Festival in the 5th month of the Thai calendar (usually April) and the Loy Kratong festival in November.

Than Hua is the current Chief Abbot at Wat Phothivihan. He is a very cheerful monk and is always ready to assist anyone. The picture here is the main shrine hall or Ubosot. The Ubosot is quite big and housed a beautiful sitting Buddha.

Phra Lersi is also inside the main Ubosot. The amulet counter is located at the side of the Ubosot. You can enter from inside the Ubosot.

Wat Phothivihan is famous for its 6 hands Pidta Pakawan. Shown above is a fine example in black herb Pidta Pakawan with 1 piece takrut at the bottom.

After visiting Wat Phothivihan, the next stop is to Wat Machimaram, Wat Prachumthartchanaram (also known as Wat Than Neang) and Wat Phikulyai. All the 3 temples are located very close by to each other and they are located at Kampung Jubakar.

Wat Machimaram
Kampung Jubakar, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

From Wat Phothivihan, head back to the direction of Cabang Empat cross road. Upon reaching the cross road, take the left turning (9 o'clock). There are no temple road signs along the kampung road. Just simply drive along the road and you will see many paddy fields alongside. Later on, you will spot a big Buddha structure from the main road you are travelling which signals that you are almost reaching Wat Machimaram.

Note: Just before reaching Wat Machimaram, you will reach Wat Prachumthartchanaram first. It is on the left hand side of the main road and it is only about 100 meters away to Wat Machimaram that is on the right hand side.

Wat Prachumthartchanaram
Kampung Jubakar, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Only snapshots of the temple surrounding was taken as this temple is undergoing construction of its main Ubosot and it is very quiet.

Wat Phikulyai
Kampung Jubakar, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Once exiting Wat Machimaram gate entrance, turn to your Right hand side to go back to the main road. Wat Phikulyai is just a short distance drive approximately 50 meters away and is situated on the left side. You will see the large compound of this ancient temple Wat Phikulyai as you are driving on the main road.

Wat Phikulthong
Kampung Terbak, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Wat Phikulthong is famous for its standing Buddha. From Wat Phikulyai, head toward the main road leaving behind Wat Machimaram. Further up front you will come to see a Police checkpoint. Turn to the Right and drive alongside the village and paddy fields. After passing by a local district Hospital and a small town, you will reach a traffic light junction. Wat Phikulthong is situated just at the junction and you may need to go furhter up to make a U - turn.

Chao Koon Eak

Wat Maisuwankhiri (Phor Than Di)
Kampung Bukit Tanah, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan

Next stop is Wat Maisuwankhiri which is associated with Phor Than Di that is located at Kampung Bukit Tanah. To reach here, you will have to exit out from Wat Phikulthong's main road and head toward the traffic light junction again. Make a U-turn and drive further up. Please keep a look out for the small signboard direction on the left hand side of the road. The distance is not very far from Wat Phikulthong.

There will be another temple road sign again at a T-junction. Take the right hand turn by following the signage. Not far ahead you will spot this magnificent temple located downward at a valley slope. You will be required to make a tight Left turning and go downhill into the gate entrance.  Wat Maisuwankhiri main entrance (picture above) was snapped from inside the temple compound. The main road is behind the hill. Look out for road sign leading to this temple.

Phor Than Di wax made statue at the side of the main altar inside the Ubosot. Phor Than Di was the previous Chief Abbot of this temple. According to temple source, Phor Than Di passed away about 6 years ago in 2003 or B.E.2546. 

Above are 2 pieces of beautiful Phra Pidta made from lead material and Rian Medallions by Phor Than Di before passing away.  There is a vast array of amulet talismans from various temples too.

Inside this shrine hall (picture above) is where Phor Than Di glass casket was kept for devotees to offer prayers and to obtain blessings.

In order to get back to Kota Bharu, please find the main road. From the main road, turn left and it will bring you to Pasir Mas/Kota Bharu by following the signboard. You will come back to the round about (2nd round about) that you passed by earlier. At this round about, turn left or 9 o'clock. Further up, you will see another round about (1st round about) and go straight 12 o'clock. Not far up you will find Sultan Yahya Bridge again to cross over to Kota Bharu town.

There are many other Thai temples that visitors can visit in Kelantan for example Wat Uttamaram, Wat Ariyakiri, etc. The above are just a few of the many temples that we published here.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this travellogue journal. Simply be brave to explore the wonders of Thai temples and amulet collections in Kelantan.

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