A “recycled” temple: Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew

wat-pa-maha-chedi-kaewIn Thailand, glass bottles believe in reincarnation and some who became an extraordinary Buddhist temple. We have recently heard about this amazing construction and we are still speechless. This Buddhist temple is located in the city of Khun Han, about 400 miles northeast of Bangkok and near the Cambodian border. It is best known in their language as Wat Lan Kuada which means, roughly, the temple made of millions of bottles.

It has been built with the impressive amount of more than one million of recycled beer bottles coming from Heineken (green bottles) and Chang, a popular local brand that uses brown glass to bottle their beer. It took them more than six years to complete the construction as we know it nowadays. Only the big pavilion took two years to be built.

The idea dates back from 1984 when the monks decided to decorate their cells using the excess of used glass. During the construction of the Buddhist temple the monks were determined to gather as much glass bottles as possible as a good example of useful recycling. In order to be more effective, they got all the local community together in a sort of special cleaning mission that culminated in this unique and exquisite temple that beautifully reflects the sun.

However, the building complex is not finished yet. They still need more glass to raise other buildings such as a pagoda, a ceremony hall and toilets. The good thing is that people keep on donating bottles to make it happen so, one day, the whole construction is finished. In addition, bottle cups are not wasted, but used to decorate colorfully murals with their vivid colors.

The construction shows an incomparable beauty and sometimes even surreal visual effects can be seen, almost dreamlike images. Furthermore, the project is fully sustainable since the monks recovered hundreds of thousands of these glass containers.

Although we haven’t built any impressive monument made of recycling materials such as this temple, in NH Hoteles we also try to do our bit for the environment. Did you know that we don’t use plastic bottles anymore in our offices? We have replaced them with recycled-glass jars and water fountains to reduce the use of plastic.

Do you recycle? Any tips you want to share with all of us?

Photo credits: 1. Zean.com


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