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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Tambun Sala Koy

Tambun Sala Koy

Here's a very old Samui tradition that I happen to stumble over today. My wife asked me to bring our son to her Mum and Dad at Wat Plai Laem but if they weren't at the Temple or Wat, they would be at the sea. Good luck finding it and if you have problems call Dad!

After a couple of attempts to reach empty beaches, I finally spotted a group that looked like local Temple goers to me. They were gathered at this Sala with a Grand Dad and Grand Mum inside, overlooking the ocean and taking care of and securing the health and welfare of the Plai Laem village.

This Sala used to be a lot more up North on the beach but due to a lot of construction and a lot of Westerners using the beach to party, the sala was moved south to a quieter location and can be reached now to go direction beach at the waterworks in Plai Laem.

A small boat is build, with a captain, sail and everything and set out to sea.

This boat carries pieces of nail and hair from the local Plai Laem families and food and is carried to the ocean after it's been being blessed by monks and set out out to sail the ocean and carry all bad luck away from Plai Laem.

Here's the captain of the little sailing vessel and he's named Rua Kloh or loosely translated; the person/boat that brings the bad luck away. In front of him you can see the bags filled with nails and hair of the local families.

Apparently this is done all over Koh Samui island and possibly also in other parts of Thailand as long as they're near the ocean I imagine. In Chaweng a similar sala has been build on the beach recently.
According to my wife a couple was waiting at a beach for each other and the boy found a small boat and wanted to bring it home and use the wood etc. After bringing it home he turns kind of crazy and starts to speak in various tongues.

This ceremony goes back for over 30 years that my wife can remember and she figures it's at least 50 years old if not more. The ceremony is held each year around this time of the year and if you find a small vessel like this on a beach, don't take it home, it brings bad luck!



martyn said...

Camille I don't know how the hell I missed this post because it is a fascinating one.

I love all the Thai rituals and ceremonies and the stories behind them. I think living in the former Siam many years ago would have been an adventure and a half. Great post.

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Martyn,

Glad you found it at last and I'm glad you enjoy the post. There must be more of these stories and events around but just like this one, many times you need to stumble upon them rather than anything else. It took me 11 years to stumble over this one!!