THE giant image of Praya Tao Ngoi turtle in northeastern Sakhon Nakhon province has turned into the most famous tourist destination among speculators and believers after some of those who came to pray got a lot of luck upon returning home, Sanook.com reported last week.
Most Thais are familiar with a song sung by Jintara Poonlarp where Ngoi turtle is mentioned, and this underscores how famous and popular this image is.
Today Sanook! Travel columnist Peeranut P. takes us to this legendary center of faith in Sakhon Nakhon.
It is said that around 400 years ago Thailand went to war with Laos and defeated the latter, after which Laotians were brought to live in Thailand.
When one group reached a stream in this province, they saw a lot of turtles living on the banks, so decided to settle down at this spot as it seemed to be suitably abundant.
They called their village Baan Tao Ngoi, and that is the name of this district to this day.
Recently residents and government officials wanted to build a symbol of the district, so got artisans at Kut Na Kham Ceramics and Crafts Center to create this giant turtle and placed it at a public park.
It is important to note that each scale of this giant turtle is decorated with an image of a monk while on its back is a lotus within which is a Buddha image, a gold necklace and other religious items.
Believers say those who come to pray will not fall sick and live to ripe old age, plus be taking a lot of luck back home.
Top, in-text and below: People praying to Praya Tao Ngoi image. Photos: Sanook.com