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Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol—Roi-Et, Thailand.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ianatlarge
N 16° 19.932 E 104° 19.212
48Q E 427387 N 1805803
Quick Description: The big one. A huge Chedi in north eastern Thailand.
Location: Thailand
Date Posted: 7/3/2010 8:52:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM95XK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:
This a relatively new chedi, located in a remote area of north eastern Thailand. A chedi contains the remains of a Buddhist saint, and/or other Buddhist relics. This Chedi is dedicated to the memory of a local Buddhist saint Phra Thep Wi Sut Thi Mong kol (Loung Phu Sri Maha Vi Ro). The Chedi lies within the province of Roi-Et, and is designed to reflect the cultural background of the province.

In one particular this reflection is abundantly clear. The name of the province, "Roi-Et", is the Thai word for 101 (one hundred and one), thus the Chedi is: 101 metres high, 101 metres on a side, and covers 101 rai (a Thai area measurement, 101 rai equals ~40 acres). A large structure.

In overall design, the Chedi consists of a central tower (the Chedi itself), which is surrounded by gardens, within which are smaller buildings, which are again surrounded by a wall. The Chedi is situated on a small hill (330m high according to my gps). Everything is in white and gold, with statues of the Buddha in and around the buildings. There are several fountains in the grounds, but at this stage they seem to be non-functional.

As you approach up the hill (it is expected that you will walk the ~200m, uphill from the carpark, but there is a paved road which leads directly to the Chedi) you will have an excellent view of the surrounding rice farm lowlands. Your first glimpse of the Chedi will be a central tower rising over the trees. Then the wall and entrances become visible. The waymark was made at the south western entrance to the Chedi.

There are six floors in the Chedi, each has a Buddhist worship area, and a different set of imagery. The final climb to the 6th floor involved 117 steps. There is an excellent view of the surrounding lands from the top.

There were other tourists present when I visited. These were principally school students—bus loads arrived and departed while I was there. This is a mandatory sojourn for students in the region. Of course, these school students, like school students everywhere, did not run, play, hop, squabble, skip or jump around, but devotedly absorbed the cultural and social history of this locale. There were also, a few dozen adult Thai tourists in attendance. The carpark area is surrounded by shops selling traditional Thai cultural artefacts, and coca cola and snacks.

Construction began in 1994, and is still ongoing. The Chedi is perhaps only 75% complete. An excellent spot to visit, if you enjoy visiting Buddhist sights. I am not sure of the actual open hours, but I suspect during daylight, seven days a week.

Getting there: The closest major town is Roi-Et, approximately 80kms to the south west. As far as I could determine there is no public transport to the Chedi from Roi-Et. My enquires gave me two options. First, a tuk-tuk from the town would cost me 1,000 baht (~$30us); second, a car and a driver from my hotel (Roi-Et City Hotel—the best in town, three star) for a day would be 1,800 baht. I decided to go with the car, aircon and the opportunity to stop and see other sights along the way. This is the recommended choice, conversely a tuk-tuk is slow, noisy, dusty, and too hot for extended travelling.
Open to visitors?: Yes

Photography Permitted Inside?: Yes

Statue of the Buddha present?: Yes

Related Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Include in your log one or two complete sentences. Logs containing a few words like "visited it" are subject to deletion.

Photos of the shrine are strongly encouraged when permitted otherwise please refrain from taking pictures inside and in any case, generally have respect for the religious nature of the site.

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