Minister OK with Pattaya temple’s sky-high amulet prices

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Minister Tewan Liptapanlop (right) together with a team of government officials inspects the amulet stalls at Wat Nongket Yai.
Minister Tewan Liptapanlop (right) together with a team of government officials inspects the amulet stalls at Wat Nongket Yai.

Top government officials inspected Wat Nongket Yai Temple after complaints about price gouging for amulets.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Tewan Liptapanlop, Chonburi Gov. Pakarathorn Thienchai, Banglamung District Chief Amnart Charoensri and Banglamung police chief Pol. Col. Kornrawat Hanpradith joined officers from the Office of the Consumer Protection Board in the Nov. 19 inspection.

Complaints about expensive amulets at Wat Nongket Yai date back to the beginning of 2018. Vendors renting space from the temple are selling the small talisman’s with Buddha images for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of baht.

Consumer protection officials found little wrong with the sales, noting that prices were clearly marked. However, some vendors didn’t list the gold content in the amulet frames, a problem they ordered corrected.

Temple caretaker Jaron Imtieng, 94, said the wat only collects rent and derives no income from the sales. Vendors said the temple charges them 50,000 baht a month on three-year contracts.

In the end, the government bigwigs left without ordering any change to prices or the system, saying that if customers don’t like the prices, they don’t have to buy the amulets.