When was the last time you saw monkeys that were every color of the rainbow?

Or saw animals dancing while wearing human clothes? This may sound like a psychedelic trip, but I assure you — it’s real. No drugs or alcohol needed.

 

This latest entry is about a 1/2 hour northeast of Nakhon Ratchasima, which is about a 3 hour bus ride from Bangkok. At 77,000 square meters large, this is also one of the largest temples I’ve been to in awhile.

I’ll note this post is NSFW, so scroll down once you’ve put the kids or boss away.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

The weirdness starts as soon as you pass through the entrance — a pair of elephants and a number of other animals await you out by it.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Once inside, take in the wall of colorful monkeys, complete with all sorts of various poses. Established in 1977, this ‘hell temple’ shows the punishments that await those who don’t follow the Buddhist precepts.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

After entering, lead left for statues that show a slice of Thai life — and a statement regarding the IMF crisis in 1997. I’ll let you dig into the history of that if you want — for now, I’d rather get back to staring at weird stuff.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Your first example of how the temple stays open, perhaps — not pictured just in front are coin boxes to accept your 5 or 10 baht coins (15 or 30 US cents, respectively). Each animal has one, but one coin makes them all for 15–20 seconds. The messages are all in Thai and the symbolism is usually lost on me, to be honest — but it’s fun watching them shake their virtual hips.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

I… got nothing. Above this interesting hybrid of woman and creepy crawly thing are a number of buckets to throw your coins in. I suspect a few people might aim for her intentionally, but I doubt it…

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Would love to know the reason why naked girls hang from trees at hell temples. They don’t appear to be in pain — in fact it’s a rather peaceful look considering…

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Admit it, you’ve always wanted to watch a man box a kangaroo.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

If you’re finished messing around in level 1 of the weirdness, proceed deeper into the temple. This is one of the few statues that looked like it could be animated but doesn’t appear to be.

As you approach the hell garden, you’ll notice some figures like these make up part of the wall.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

That’s not even a fair fight.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

In some cases it’s fairly clear what someone did to deserve their fates… in other cases, like this one, not so much…

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

I’ve got nothing… again…

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

One of the Buddhist figures reading out your fate — as found with dozens of other statues, a bit of frightening-sounding audio plays when you put a 5–10 coin in the box.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

If anyone can tell me what’s going on here, I’d love to know.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Not sure which punishment is being given out here, but damn it’s gruesome.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Come to the red man to be judged.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Yeah, about that splitting headache…

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

After an interesting walk through the hellish part, how about some dinosaurs?

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Go on — bow to the Buddha and place a donation in his belly button.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Overlooking the hell garden are the monks with their alms bowls. No audio or animation here, just the satisfaction of giving to a good cause.

Walk back by the hell garden area if you like, head back on for some more gruesome times, or make your way back to an area where you can make some merit and avoid this fate for yourself.

Destination: Wat Pa Lak Roy — one of the weirdest hell temples thus far (NSFW) - Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand - Thailand -

Unlike a lot of other hell temples / hell gardens in Thailand, this one still feels fresh and plenty colorful. Plenty of places to make donations certainly helps, and it certainly appears those 5 and 10 baht coins are adding up. That there’s someone in the temple actively changing bills for coins seems a common sense touch, but it’s actually the first time I’ve seen someone in that role. I’ll continue to say Wat Pa Thewapithak near Roi Et is still the weirdest hell temple around, This place, however? A close second or third.

Name: Wat Pa Lak Roy (also spelled Wat Pa Lak Roi — วัดป่าหลักร้อย)
Address: Mu 9 Ban Lak Roi Rd., off of Suranari rd. (route 205), Ban Non Thai, Nakhon Ratchasima (GPS: 15.172397, 102.074339)
Directions: From Nakhon Ratchasima, head northeast on route 2 until you reach route 205 — about 8–9 kilometers from the central part of town. Once on route 205, go about 17.5 kilometers and look for a yellow sign with Thai writing pointing you down the left side street. Once there, follow the yellow signs with Thai writing through the small Thai neighborhood to the temple — you’ll see it on the right just after the road curves to the left.
Hours: dawn-dusk
Admission: free (donations accepted)
Phone: none
Website: none