If you think that Mummies are only found in Egypt, then you are undoubtedly mistaken! In fact, the mummified remains of a revered priest can be found in one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations: Thailand. Situated outside bustling Bangkok city, the Mummy of Thai priest Luong Pordeang sits serenely in Wat Khunaram temple and is a recommended stop on your travels across Thailand.

Not far from many Koh Samui Hotels, Wat Khunaram is a sight that commands the admiration of visitors and passers-by. The striking white façade of the temple contrasts with the intricate gold decorations that frame the entrance, windows and roof in typical Thai temple design. The Temple and its famous occupant are guarded by green, stone-carved snakes who watch as visitors ascend the steps to the temple. Unlike other Thai Buddhist temples, Wat Khunaram is dedicated to a famous Thai priest, whose mummified remains lie in a glass casing facing the altar. Priest Loung Pordaeng had a colourful past: ordained at age twenty following Thai tradition, he disrobed several years later to marry and raise a family. At fifty, he returned to the temple and was ordained as Phra Kru Samathakittikhun and dedicated the remainder of his life to Buddhist teachings. Loung Pordaeng excelled in Buddhist meditation and spent many years meditating in the caves near Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort.

Loung Pordaeng spent his latter years as the abbot of Wat Khunaram temple where he taught Buddhist meditation to his many followers. He famously predicted his death at age 79 and is believed to have spent his final week in quiet meditation refusing food and water until his demise in 1973. As predicted by Loung Pordaeng, his body miraculously did not decay and his mummified remains were placed in a glass casket amidst flowers and incense before the temple altar. A symbol of Service to Buddhism in Thailand, today the Mummy priest sits in a meditational posture adorning a yellow Buddhist robe receiving the offerings of countless worshippers and curious visitors who marvel at the sunglasses worn by the Mummy to hide its dried-out eyes.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.