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Phuket temple faces investigation over Chinese tourist rip-offs

PHUKET: The chief of the Phuket office of the National Office of Buddhism (NOB) has been called to investigate an allegedly illegally built chapel at Ladthiwanaram Temple – locally known simply as “Wat Tai” – in Chalong, where overpriced items and artefacts are sold to Chinese tourist who are brought to the chapel in droves.

tourism, Chinese, culture, religion, crime, economics,

Thursday 23 November 2017, 05:47PM


Buddhism authority officials are to investigate the operations at Wat Tai in Chalong for price gouging Chinese tourists and even possible illegal construction. Photo: Chulcherm Yukol
Buddhism authority officials are to investigate the operations at Wat Tai in Chalong for price gouging Chinese tourists and even possible illegal construction. Photo: Chulcherm Yukol

Winya Pluskwa, who heads the Phuket NOB office, told The Phuket News that he intends to inspect the goings on at the temple tomorrow morning (Nov 24).

The investigation follows complaints by Chulcherm Yukol filed to the Phuket NOB office as well as to Chalong Mayor Samran Jindapol and the Damrongtham Centre (Ombudsman’s Office) at Provincial Hall.

“I received the complaint from Mr Chulcherm. He had also filed complaints to the Mayor of Chalong, to the national Buddhism office, the Damrongtham Centre, and gained much attention through a post on social media,” Mr Winya said.

“Mr Chulcherm claims that the chapel within Ladthiwanaram Temple was built by Chinese businessmen on the temple grounds with the aim of attracting Chinese tourists,” Mr Winya explained.

According to Mr Chulcherm’s post on Tues (Nov 21) on his “Chulcherm Yugala” Facebook account, the chapel “especially takes in Chinese tours” and “allows them to receive blessings from a monk inside”.

QSI International School Phuket

The post also added that the chapel sells “fake gold that is four times as expensive, incense and candles for B50 a set, ice cream for B50 a stick, coconuts for B50 each…”

Mr Chulcherm concluded the post with, “There are at least three of this kind of operation in Phuket,” and signed off the post under the name “Chulcherm Yukol”.

Mr Winya told The Phuket News today, “I don’t know who the complainant is or his affiliations, but regardless, we must check all complaints filed.”

“Myself and other officials from the Buddhism office will go to check the complaints tomorrow, including the goods being sold and whether permission had been granted to be build the chapel,” Mr Winya said.

 

 

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Nasa12 | 26 November 2017 - 14:42:09

For a few years back, the same business people had a store inside the Wat in Karon. But the local people chased them out for the kids get sick problem to breathe and to much trouble whit noise busses and Chines, The children don't here what the teacher say. So they locals throw this company straight out from this Wat.And after that they bilding this in Wat Tai in Chalong same people. ;

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Mika | 25 November 2017 - 11:20:39

Thank's to someone for the extensive summary of the conditions at Wat Chalong and Wat Tai.Very very alarming,especially the part about the breeding kids.That needs a thorough investigation.

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Nasa12 | 24 November 2017 - 16:55:37

@ Miki take a trip to this Wat and look, every day its about every 50 to 100 Busses whit Chines people, and the charts from 1000 Bath To 10.000 Bath fore 1 Budda some cost in the marked 50 Bath, I'm live close this Wat and se every thin all day. But the most bad are all the kids in kindergarden close the busses 50meter and big school some breading in this Diesel smoke all day, WHAT about the T...

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Nasa12 | 24 November 2017 - 16:05:06

This Monk in Wat Latthiwanaram in Chalong start to be like this monk in Chalong Wat (Rich) some time my wife make food in the morning and go to the street to the Monk from Wat Latthiwanaram in Chalong, but some don't want the ask about money (Sick). Before this Wat was a good place bat now only money and more money, ask Old thai people living in the area, the never go to this Wat no more.

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Nasa12 | 24 November 2017 - 15:55:49

Back to business in Wat Latthiwanaram in Chalong on Friday 24 Nov Time: 13.00. Still Scamming in the morning there was 4 Police car bat they whas very good friends whit this Scammers, a can look right at them all day.Maybe a sett up a Web Camera right to the scammers, And Yes a do that.

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Mika | 24 November 2017 - 15:02:03

50 Baht for icecream,coconut or a set of candles!That's what i call the scandal and the scam of the year! Probably we will see some complains about paying 150Baht or more for a coke in some clubs on Bangla Road soon.But what i can't find here is the"comment about amulet prices"as stated by someone below. And who denies or lies about something? Can't find that part either.

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Kurt | 24 November 2017 - 13:47:50

Wat Chalong? From entrance until the end, it is just a money making 'Luna park'. 
You hardly see a monk. They hide during tourist hours.
Just during early morning hours they put some money in all the transparant money boxed to invite tourist to 'top-up'

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Nasa12 | 24 November 2017 - 10:13:33

And take a look at Wat Chalong ? One of the BIGGEST marked in Phuket every day, you can bay every thing food +++++. But a thing a Wat should be a quiet place for after thought and get calm, And not push  fake things all the time on these 2 Wat in Chalong. And to have Shops in Wat every day are illegal.

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Nasa12 | 24 November 2017 - 09:38:19

A send you fore about 10 mounth ago about this Scamming +++ in this Wat Latthiwanaram in Chalong. But nothing happen from Phuket News side,and  a send you many picture. Plus 1 of a Thai Security he want to kill me if a took more picture inside the Wat and all the busses about 60 busses and picture from inside his business in Wat Latthiwanaram,You remember Phuket News ??
You can use the pictures i...

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Kurt | 24 November 2017 - 09:32:24

Sickening denial and lying.
The funny part of the story is the comment about amulet prices.
May we read that as:.. "it is up to the stupid tourists if they get cheated" ..  

It is all about business, making money. Nothing spiritual.

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