Situated at the center of Krabi town, the new Buddhist temple in the province, Wat Kaew is the latest tourist attraction there. Although the typical Thai temples are painted white, and designed with gold edges and elaborate decorations, the new wat in Krabi has a much simpler look with an all-white color without any gold trim. However, the traditional Thai-style is still present. The temple stands on top of the hill where one has to climb a series of steps to reach the western part of the town center. Upon climbing on top, the first temple you’ll see has a modern design and there are more temples as you go along the main road.
The Buddhist temple is a very important part of Thai culture since this is primarily the place of devotion, meditation and worship of the locals. When visiting Wat Kaew, you can see the beautiful steps lined with copper serpents and decorated extensively leading to the main temple. Besides the stunning look of the temples, you can also appreciate the beautiful view of the town from the hilltop. Similar to other temples, this wat also hosts festivals and religious events. During religious and cultural affairs, stage performances are showcased in front of the stage and there are also plenty of food vendors lining inside.
To get the most of your visit in Wat Kaew, you can participate in temple activities, from observing daily activities to even attending rituals and making an offering/sacrifice. The best time to visit is early in the morning since the air is cool, the temple is less crowded and the monks are busy with their morning activities. In this way, you may have a better opportunity to experience Thai Buddhism. Oftentimes, Thai locals regularly give offerings to monks and temples to receive religious merit. By helping the monastic community or Sangha, it may draw the person closer to the ideals of Buddhism and can gain increased chances of having better condition in the next life. There are a number shops near the temple selling buckets filled with daily supplies like soap, toothbrush and other basic necessities and bring it as gift offering to Buddhist monks to gain blessings and graces.
Another important reminder when visiting Wat Kaew is to observe proper clothing etiquette. For men, always come in clean clothing and don’t wear black clothes from top to bottom. Black trousers may be tolerable. For women, never wear clothing styles which may be construed as sexy such as hot pants, short skirts, backless tops, high heels, short-sleeve shirts, black clothing, too tight clothes etc. It is important for women to follow proper clothing etiquette.
The monks and those Buddhist mendicants practicing and maintaining the precepts shouldn’t be subjected to any forms of sexual temptation. Dressing inside the temple in revealing clothes may disrupt their hearts in practicing the precepts, particularly those who are still struggling with self-control from sexual desire so please respect the rules. If you want to join the meditation classes, you have to wear white loose clothing with long sleeves and trousers to cover your extremities.