DGT #21: The Dragon Temple (Wat Sampran in Thailand)


              

Yes, this building actually exists in the world. It's called the Dragon Temple, a.k.a. Wat Samphran, located near Bangkok, Thailand. And like the ancient Panda Village in Kung Fu Panda 3, it's shrouded in mystery... I searched over 15 google articles and could not find out any details about the temple such as when it was built, who designed it, or why this 17-story tower is in the clutches of a massive, beautiful dragon.  It doesn't even have a wikipedia page. I guess the locals want to keep all of this a secret, which can only mean one thing: it must have been made by a dragon.

About 40 km west of Bangkok lies the district of Samphran, where there is a rather odd-looking Wat or Buddhist temple. At first sight this looks like a highly commercial attraction you would expect to see in Disneyland. However, nothing is further from the truth. This unique temple, named Wat Samphran, is actually far off the beaten tourist path and is often excluded from tourist guides. The pink building is about 17 stories tall, with a giant dragon spiraling to the top. Its grounds include many sculptures of other beasts and a giant buddha made of bronze. This article has some good pictures of the Dragon Temple and the other statutes that are on the grounds of this mystical place: Wat Sampran Dragon Temple.

The dragon is hollow and it's possible to climb through its body all the way to the top. The head is at the top where there is a shrine and the tail is on the ground floor.The only danger is that the stairs are in such poor condition that only a few isolated sections of the dragon are safe to climb. Some parts of the temple are also closed to the public or to foreigners.  The temple's lack of maintenance is apparently the result of it having a bad reputation caused by a rape scandal that involved a Buddhist abbot of the temple in the 80s.

Ok, let me get this straight. There's a 17-story building somewhere off the beaten path in Thailand, with a giant dragon wrapped around it, that isn't listed in most touristy guidebooks, that has an unknown origin story, and is reported to have a mysterious and mystical aura around it by those who have found it. Sometimes this world just keeps on amazing me. I definitely have a new adventure at the top of my bucket list, which especially sucks since I already went to Thailand and had not idea this existed. Maybe it is my destiny to visit this mystical temple. Either way, I definitely have a new blueprint for how I am going to construct Drankgon HQ one day.

This new discovery also makes me wonder what other magical dragon landmarks are out there. Fortunately, this question was not too difficult to answer as someone else has already beaten me to the punch! Well done random Internet poster dude who is posting as a dragon, well done: 

http://www.jafiradragon.com/Lair/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=174


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