Eastern Thailand

Unable to find a temple home, monk living in bus terminal

PHOTO: A monk was stranded at the Trat bus terminal, unable to find a temple to take him in. (via Khaosod)

The Thaiger recently covered “The Terminal, Bangkok Edition” – a story of a woman stranded in the terminal at Suvarnabhumi Airport for two months waiting for her pickup. Now, in the Trat province, a uniquely Thai version of the Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks has transpired. A monk in the eastern province of Thailand found himself stranded in a bus terminal after not finding a temple to take him in.

The monk had planned to move from a temple in Bangkok to one in Trat and hopped on a bus to make the long journey. Since he arrived, he has had no luck finding a temple willing to accept him as a resident monk. He found himself stranded and just stayed at the bus terminal waiting to figure out what to do next.

Monk Kitti Sorto is 51 years old and originally from Bangkok. He joined the monkhood in 2013 in the temple in Kanchanaburi province. After his time there, he moved east to the Khao Saming district in Trat where he stayed at a famous temple. After that, he moved to another temple in Bangkok.

Recently the monk decided that he wanted to stay in a temple in Trat again, so he set off on the bus with his simple belongings. Carrying only a bag of clothes and 500 baht, he arrived in Trat but then hit a snag. No temple was willing to take him in, according to a report by Thai Residents.

An employee selling tickets at the bus station wanted to help the monk. They asked where he wanted to go and he named a nearby temple. They drove him there and dropped him off. But to their surprise, the monk reappeared at the bus station a short time later.

That’s when they called in the police who contacted authorities with the provincial Social Development and Human Security Office. They came and took a closer look at the situation and the monk himself. He tested negative for any drugs, and they found no history of any special medical needs or problems in his past.

Officials transported the monk from the bus terminal to the Trat hospital. There he’ll be tested and if given a healthy diagnosis, police will take the monk to stay and whatever temple he wants. Otherwise, they will drop him back at the terminal to take a bus home to Bangkok.

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.