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The Monk On Walking Street
By day it is quiet but at night it is a kaleidoscope of colour and an assault on the ears. There is almost too much to take in. Here 'Rent-a-date' is available from the numerous bars and clubs. Beautiful, stunning, incredible girls. Gorgeous Kathoey and almost edible young men. Walking street is fun, a circus, a pantomine, a contagious jumble of pursuits.
Walking Street - Spot the monk
Walking Street - Another View
In spite of all it appears to be Walking Street is all good clean fun and very popular on the tourist circuit. You are safer here than you would be in many Western Cities.
The bar girls, dancers and all here are religious. They are dedicated to their families and are devout Buddhists. They give recognition to their beliefs when they arrive at work and when they leave on a 'date'. They will visit the temple at least once a week.
But a monk on Walking Street? 'He' has been here since before the street was a street, before Pattaya emerged from the testosterone saturated leave of US troops. Barring accident or disease he will be here for perhaps a thousand years.
The monk on walking street is a tree. An ordained tree. He is also the home of tree spirits. Spirits that were there before Buddhism emerged.
The worship of Tree Spirits pre-dates Buddhism. In fact it was whilst Siddhartha was seeking enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree that he was found by Sujata. She was bringing rice pudding as a gift for the Tree Spirit. Instead she gave her offering to the Lord Buddha.
Tree spirits were recognised by ancient Britains and ancient Greeks.The tree spirits are in our own roots.
A tree which is a monk can not be cut down. To damage, destroy or kill is exactly the same as killing or hurting a human being.
Many trees have become monks since 1991 giving them protection.
Tham laay paa khee tham laay chaat,
"To destroy the forest is to destroy life, one's rebirth,or the nation."