Jao Mae Guan Yin Temple
Tamnak Phra Mae Kuan-Im (‘Guan Yin Bodhisattva Hall’)
Hours: Monday – Friday and Sunday 7AM – 7PM / Saturday 7AM – 9PM
This place is more of a tourist attraction than a venerable place of worship, but if you are interested in Buddhism, Chinese culture, architecture, photography, or sculpting, then this place should be right up your alley (or Chok Chai 4 Soi 39, also known as ‘Soi Jao Mae Guan Yin’ by Thai people).
The first site that you will notice from afar is the extravagant, 18-story pagoda. Upon entering this large, sculptural playground, you may find some familiar characters and deities from Buddhism or Chinese folk religion in the form of statues made from white jade stone — the Lord Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and more. There are 108 statues of Guan Yin in total, all in different postures.
The Guan Yin Bodhisattva Hall, built in 1988, was created based on the traditional Chinese belief that Guan Yin, traveled to “a deserted land” that called for a large shrine featuring 10,000 Buddha images to be constructed. This is why there are 10,000 Buddha images. The tall pagoda, known as Phra Maha Chedi Phra Phutthachao Muen Phra Ong (‘the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas’), features colorful, Chinese-style murals depicting the lives of the Lord Buddha and Guan Yin, and is home to 10,000 Buddha images. (If you wish to know more, follow this link)
Guan Yin is an East Asian bodhisattva associated with compassion and venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. She has many other titles, including ‘Canon’ or “Goddess of Mercy and Compassion”. ‘Guan Yin’ in Chinese means “The One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World”. In Thai, she is commonly referred to as ‘Jao Mae Guan Im’ (เจ้าแม่กวนอิม). Being who has sincere gratitude for her parents, she is best known as a symbol of gratitude. She teaches others to have gratitude for their mothers and fathers, who are givers of life.
The information given on the signs around the temple is limited, so it is recommended to either do research before going in, or bring a device with Internet usage to research as you walk around in wonderment of the beautiful sculptures.
Perhaps this can just be a stop along your journey to reflect about gratitude for the people, animals, things, or opportunities in your own life.