Koh Samui’s mummified monk at Wat Khunaram is an unusual sight, but it offers a unique insight into the Buddhist and Thai culture. Apart from the mummy, Wat Khunaram is a typical Buddhist temple to which the locals come to sacrifice and pray.
The monk Luong Pordang died in 1973 in a sitting meditative position, and since then his mummy is exhibited in a showcase in the temple. It is remarkable that the body shows little signs of decay after so long.
Loung Pordang was a highly respected monk and abbot in Thailand. In the week before his death at the age of 79, he stopped eating and talking and sat in a deep meditative state before he died. He said shortly before his death that if his body begins to decompose, he should be cremated, but if not, then he will be exhibited as a visible reminder of the teachings of Buddha.
Another mummified monk can be found in the Wat Kiri Wongkaram in the south of the island. The temple is not included in the usual tour of the island and therefore much quieter.