dec 2012: teak log coffins

i always thought things i watch on the discovery travel and living channel to be a bit out of reach, and so, i was pleasantly surprised to come across the ancient teak log coffins while exploring soppong. it’s like finally seeing with your own eyes what you thought you’d only see on tv. it’s just as well i have a bit of a morbid fascination with death and paraphernalia, so this was actually exciting for me.

here’s one you’ll see if you explore the tham lod caves

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given the rather atmospheric dim lighting from the gas lamp, i was actually quite pleased that there were no remains to see – am a coward at heart. relooking at these photographs, im mildly worried that the flash from my camera may have caused light damage to the delicate wood – oops. i now comfort myself by showing you more photographs of coffins that indicate the teak wood is a lot hardier than i give them credit for. you do not have to go all the way to tham lod to see the teak log coffins, there are a couple in soppong itself.

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there’s a fellow traveller i met who pointed out the coffin to me, which is on the upper-right of the photograph. a closer look below if you are interested…
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given that these coffins are estimated to be more than 1200 years old, it’s amazing that they still exist. i speak particularly about the ones in soppong – weathered by the elements for centuries but still staying strong. little is known about them, but here is an article by karen coates for further reading if you are interested. the answers regarding who once inhabited these lands remain elusive, but the article sheds light on the difficulty of research (and how taking samples from the wood for research are unfortunately distressing for the spiritually-inclined villagers).

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