A few weeks ago, The Guide Phuket took a trip to Wat Chedi, in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, to explore the temple of Ai Khai Wat Chedi, which is known for its chickens and firecrackers.
During the month of July, the team of The Guide Phuket headed to the province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat to visit the temple of Ai Khai Wat Chedi, located in the district of Sichon.
This temple is most likely the most famous in the area and has been made precious over the years because of its strange involvement with chickens combined with the local production of firecrackers.
The origins of such reverence are unknown, but you won’t help but noticed the thousands of chicken statues that lead the way to the entrance of the temple from the main road, all with different sizes and made with different materials, from the basic stone-cut chickens to the full-on golden and silver ones.
Once on the temple’s ground, a similar view should occur, as hundreds of chickens are standing across the property.
Right in the middle of the temple is where people gather to pray to the various statues of Lord Buddha, while other worship areas are located in the various corners of the temple.
You will also find some century-old houses within the grounds of the temple, which are perfect for your next Instagram pictures.
Sadly, parts of the temple were still close to the public given the Covid-19 situation, so we were not able to visit the inside of the Ubosot, or Bot, which is the ordination hall and most sacred area of a wat.
We then ventured back to the large parking lot and hopped into our car to drive back to the lovely island of Phuket.
So why all the chickens? Well, there is no real answer to that one, even when we look at the history of the temple. According to the legend, a monk by the name of Luang Phu Thuad was traveling from Ayutthaya to the south with his young disciple, Ai Khai. Once they arrived at the location of the temple, they found many treasures, so the monk asked Ai Khai to stay there and watch over the fortune.
Sadly, no one knows what happened to the little boy, but it is believed that his ghost is still present within the temple, hence why many visitors make donations to his statue and use gold leaves to restore his glory.
As touching as the story goes, there is no mention of chickens, and this will remain a mystery for future generations to solve. In the meanwhile, feel free to purchase one of the thousands of chicken statue to decorate your garden or your house.