Family Thailand Tour 2020
Nakhon Si Thammarat | Thailand
28 Jan 2020 | Tue
Day 03 of 18
Wat Chedi Ai Khai Nakhon Si Thammarat
Today is a travel day, heading to Surat Thani and then onward to Koh Samui. We were lucky to be passing near Thailand’s famous Wat Chedi Ai Khai in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Many Thai people believe that the spirit of a young boy (named Ai Khai, which is also slang for Egg Boy) lives at Wat Chedi Ai Khai. People from all over Thailand come here to make merit/offerings to Ai Khai hoping in return that he will grant them wealth (like winning the lottery), good health, and general prosperity. It is a Thai Buddhist temple, but in recent years, it has turned into more of a large tourist attraction, especially during the hard economic times brought on by COVID-19.
The temple grounds have an eclectic mix of Buddhist and Ai Khai themed displays – each set up for followers to make wishes and offerings to Ai Khai (and Buddha). The most important display in the temple is the statue of Ai Khai.
There are many ways to make offerings (merit) but one of the most common is to purchase, from the temple, layers of very thin gold leaf to apply to the statue. It is also common practice to apply gold leaf to the statutes of Buddha.
Thai people have their own unique and personal ways of making wishes, offerings, and merit at Wat Chedi. If one’s wish comes true, then they would need to return Wat Chedi Ai Khai and offer a gift – usually in the form of toys, sweets, firecrackers, and stucco chicken figurines. This is why there are thousands of various-sized stucco chicken figurines on display all around the temple.
It is also popular for Thai people to wear an amulet necklace of Ai Khai for safety and good luck.