The Mummified Monk in Samui

Samui is a popular destination for foreign tourists who go there for the sun, sea and surf. But, there is also something there that reminds us that we are not permanent fixtures on this planet. In Buddhism, people are taught about the impermanence of life which is why sometimes you might see corpses at Thai temples. They act as a reminder. A macabre example of this can be seen at Wat Kunaram, towards the south of Koh Samui.

Luang Pho Daeng used to be the abbot of Wat Kunaram. He used to be a happily married man with children. But, when he was 50, he decided to devote the remainder of his life to the monkhood. He ordained in 1944 and became well known for his meditation techniques. As a result he had many followers. When he reached the age of 79, he knew he was soon to die and so decided to sit and meditate until the end. He died a short while later in 1973.

Apparently it was his own wish for his body to be kept in this upright position. As you can see, his body is remarkable well-preserved considering that he died nearly 40 years ago. There is even some hair on his head. I am told that he is wearing sunglasses as his eye balls fell back into his skull some years ago. You are allowed to take pictures at this temple, but please do so in a respectful manner.

4 responses to “The Mummified Monk in Samui

  1. Oh wow! There’s a macabre beauty to the mummy. I can understand why tourists are keen to visit and take pictures, but as you say, it’s important to remain respectful during your visit.

    Best wishes, Alex.

  2. Koh Samui Villas

    I stumbled across this post, and I’m glad I did. Very haunting but also beautiful.

  3. The sincerity of all the Thai people is heartning and so thoughtful. Well one can see how the training of the novice youngsters makes ,forms, the Thai people the wonderful thoughtful people the are. I spent three years in Thailand. I will return again hopeing to visit the monasterys, learning some about the budist “way”. Thank you for providing this so very profound message.

  4. There is a much deeper story if you are interested.
    search for “tukdam”

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