Category Archives: Holy Curiosities

See more Holy Curiosities or more stories from

Instead of getting glasses…

mianshaneyes3

If you're having any troubles with your eyes, head to the cliff-side Temple of the Eyesight Buddha on Mianshan Mountain to make your prostrations. After all, this Buddha would know - he has 5 eyes himself. But watch out, although he can cure diseases of the eyes, he is able to "perceive all things."          

by The WooLand Hotel / Leave a comment
See more Historical Wonders, Holy Curiosities or more stories from , , , , , , ,

The Mystery of Shuanglin’s Scooped-Eye Statues

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A $2 tuktuk ride from the ancient city of Pingyao 平遥, in the deserts of Shanxi Province, there's a wonderful little temple called Shuanglin Temple (双林寺). The name translates to something like A Pair of Forests Temple.  Cute.  Inside, though, you'll find a strange sight. Walk to the back, and you'll come across the Goddess Temple, ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
See more Historical Wonders, Holy Curiosities, The Occult or more stories from , ,

Keep the Evil Away For Chinese New Year

cypressfornewyears

In Zhangbi, an ancient Shanxi village surrounded by sprawling factories, we just discovered the perfect antidote for bad ghosts...  and it's....   Apparently, cypress! I'm not sure how prevalent this is across China, but every old Zhangbi door had a sprig of cypress shoved into it.  "避邪," explained the guide Lucy, who had no idea how to explain ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Historical Wonders, Holy Curiosities or more stories from , , , , , ,

The Story of (These Creepily Awesome) Big Head Buddhas, with video

big+head+buddhas+1-743637

Michelle's spent a slew of Chinese New Years here in Beijing, but she's never seen these before -- 大头娃娃 (Dàtóu wáwá or Dai Tao Fut) -- incredible paper mache masks that we found in the back of a junk store, in Bangkok's Chinatown.  In English, they're called Big Headed Buddhas, and for just a few ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
See more Holy Curiosities, Somewhat Perverted or more stories from , , ,

Strange Moments in a Bangkok Temple

Old Hag Gets Waylaid

Wat Suwannaram, a 12th-century temple, is hidden on the far side of the river in Bangkok. It's remote -- no tourists, only two praying women in short skirts (they'd left their high heels outside.) The real draw here is the mouth-dropping murals, which tell the most bizarre and glorious tales. While we tiptoed ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
See more Historical Wonders, Holy Curiosities or more stories from , , , , ,

Three (Really Huge) Wise Men

P1000621

An hour east of Beijing on the 930 bus, you'll pass a couple of ominous industrial (nuclear?) chimneys. They're real big. Springfield Simpsons bastards, if you pardon my French. Hop off the bus, and sneak behind them. That's where you'll find the most charmingly bizarre guesthouse, The Tianzi Hotel (天子大酒店). Apparently, business was bad. The ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Holy Curiosities or more stories from , , , ,

The Weirdest Temple in Chiang Rai

3

An insane Thai artist, who resides somewhere between Henry Darger and Moebius the Frenchman, realized he needed to return to his hometown, Chiang Rai, and build a temple. Not just any Wat -- it had to be something bigger, something bolder, something more... white. It was to be the most renowned tribute ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Holy Curiosities or more stories from , , , ,

The Weirdest Temple in Chiang Mai

Wat Umong 1

Out near the zoo, hidden in a dusty residential neighborhood, miles from the nearest high street, is a Chiang Mai forest. In the middle of that forest, lies this piece of majesty: Wat Umong. The koans, which you'll find nailed to trees at random, read like a stocking-stuffer self-help book. But they're great. Chickens peck ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment