Russian tourists are generating smiles and amusement on Big Buddha Hill as tour groups have taken to tossing coins into a figurine’s belly for good luck.
The statue of Phra Sanghkhajai at Khao Phra Yai Temple sits behind the statue of Lord Buddha. Posed as if in meditation, the statue features a small hole in the belly that Russians compete to hit with 10 baht coins.
The statue looks bemused as more Russian tourists toss coins towards its belly, allegedly believing that if the coin enters its belly, their wish will come true.
The Russians, at least, pay enough respect to make wishes or pray before tossing the coins, so the temple has allowed the odd donations to continue. But the coin-tossing has drawn smirks from Thais visiting the temple, who abstain from throwing money at their gods.
Apart from tossing coins, foreign tourists also take pictures as souvenirs, filling the temple with foreign and Thai tourists visiting to admire the beauty of Thai temples and learn of Buddhist teachings.