Thailand: Koh Samui – Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram Temple
Now for some bizarre stuff – there is a mummified monk sitting in a glass display at the Wat Khunaram temple. The famous Koh Samui monk – named Loung Pordaeng – died in 1973 and his body didn’t decompose. The monk was born on Koh Samui and became a monk in his teens. At the age of 25 he un-monked and disrobed, got married and had children. At 50 he became the monk again, and dove deep into meditation techniques, becoming the abbot of the Wat Khunaram temple. At the age of 79, he predicted he would die within weeks and stopped eating and drinking and went into a deep self-induced meditating stupor (not sure about cause and effect relationship of his death here). Before death, he wrote that he should be cremated if his body were to decompose, but if it didn’t – he should be displayed as an inspiration for other Buddhists. The body didn’t decompose and remains mummified ever since. For many – it is a true miracle, but more likely explanation is the complete lack of food and water intake and metabolism and breathing reduced through meditation before his death that preserved the body in somewhat of a cured meat fashion. It’s a bizarre site of the monk sitting upright and looking at you through his dark sunglasses, kind of like Michael Jackson.