Wang Saen Suk is a garden full of statues depicting what is supposed to be Buddhist hell.
While the garden attracts plenty of families, there are gruesome scenes depicted there. After passing a “Welcome to Hell!” sign, visitors encounter sinners boiled in copper cauldrons, sinners being torn apart by hell’s dogs, and emaciated sinners with protruding ribs. “If you meet the Devil in this life, don’t postpone merit-making which will help you to defeat him in the next life,” a sign in the garden reads. “Donate a little each day and you’ll have a happy life.”
According to the “Traibhumi Phra Ruang,” when a Buddhist dies, he or she goes before four celestial beings who check the dead’s record of good and bad deeds. If your good deeds outweigh the bad, you will go to heaven; if your bad deeds outweigh the good, you will be punished.
Punishment in Buddhist hell varies depending on the sins committed, but every form of punishment is a torture, and many of those are depicted in the garden. Hell has 136 pits, but individuals are able to be reborn from each. Loganta, a special pit reserved for those who have hurt their parents or monks physically, is the only cold pit and those sent there are said to remain until a new Buddha is born.
Know Before You Go
This is located in Chonburi and takes some time and work to get to from Bangkok for tourists not familiar with the area. If you have a lot of time in Bangkok or can see it as a side trip on the way to Pattaya, then it is pretty interesting to see. Otherwise, plan on it taking up the majority of your day if you're traveling from Bangkok.
- Gossip Rocks: Buddhist Hell and Heaven: http://www.gossiprocks.com/forum/faith-religion/40272-buddhist-hell-heaven-wang-saen-suk-hell-garden.html
- Unexplained Mysteries: Thai's Hell Garden: http://unexplained-mysteries.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=113642&p=3&topicID=17846146
- Fortean Times: "The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden, Thailand" (February 2007): http://www.forteantimes.com/features/fortean_traveller/1/the_wang_saen_suk_hell_garden_thailand.html
- The Bohemian Blog: Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden: http://www.thebohemianblog.com/2013/06/wang-saen-suk-hell-garden-thailand.html