Friday, 11 March 2011

Wat Lan Kuad, the Million Bottle Temple

Dave from the Newport group put me onto this story from Thailand. A temple has been built by monks in north-east Thailand using over a million recycled beer bottles to make the walls and roof.

Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known as Wat Lan Kuad or 'the Temple of a Million Bottles', is in Sisaket province near the Cambodian border, 400 miles from the capital Bangkok. Altogether there are about 1.5 million recycled bottles in the temple, and the monks there are intending to recycling even more.'The more bottles we get, the more buildings we make,' says Abbot San Kataboonyo.

The Buddhist monks began collecting bottles in 1984 and they collected so many that they decided to use them as a building material.

They encouraged the local authorities to send them more and they have now created a complex of around 20 buildings using the beer bottles, comprising the main temple over a lake, crematorium, prayer rooms, a hall, water tower, tourist bathrooms and several small bungalows raised off the ground which serve as monks quarters.

The bottles do not lose their colour, provide good lighting and are easy to clean, the monks say. A concrete core is used to strengthen the building and the green bottles are Heineken and the brown ones are the Thai beer Chang.

The monks are so eco-friendly that the mosaics of the Buddha are created with recycled beer bottle caps.

A tourist guide states that, 'Even though drinking is contrary to one of the five "training" precepts  in Buddhism, this still seems like a positive use of beer and lager bottles.'

Representing the cleansing of the human mind, the beer-bottle-temple is now on an approved list of eco-friendly sightseeing tours in South-East Asia.

No comments:

Post a Comment