Looking to increase religious tourism to the region, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Pattaya Office officially opened a museum to honor Luang Pu Tim, a monk many considered to be the Buddhist Saint of the East.
TAT Pattaya Deputy Director Akarwit Thepasit on June 16 cut the ribbon on the Bunyapirat Museum located at the Pattaya Shooting Range in Huay Yai.
Akarwit Thepasit, Pianwit Jarusathit and Pipat Supakiwattana cut the ribbon to officially open the Luang Poo Tim museum.
The two-story facility was founded by Pianwit Jarusathit and Pipat Supakiwattana, two followers of the priest known by the religious name of Isariko, who became abbot of Lahan Rai Temple in Rayong before his death in 2009.
Pianwit, who said he served Luang Pu Tim 30 years ago and stayed close with him until his death, says the mystical monk had as many as 30 million followers around the world.
Born as Ngamsii Tim in Rayong in 1937, he was ordained a monk at age 19 and spent his first year at Thatkaow Temple in Chiang Mai but retreated into the forest for three years before returning to study Dharma at Lahan Rai Temple in Rayong.
Despite his popularity among mystics, he also gained the respect of traditional Buddhists due to his strict and diligent adherence to Dharma. A pillow and sleeping mat were about all his worldly possessions and he lived in hut with no electricity until the day he died.