Hoping for Long Life In Thailand

Khao Yao National Park Thailand photo by author

Khao Yao National Park Thailand photo by author

I recently hiked a trail through a dense high altitude forest here on my vacation in Thailand. I crested a staircase in the middle of a bamboo thicket and saw the image above.

Not at all natural, it looked like a sculpture. I asked my Thai guide about it. He shook his head and explained that many Thai people believe they will have a long life if they wedge a stick in place under such a boulder and it stays put.

He insisted he did not believe it, but given the collection of kindling under this boulder, many people do.

I continued to see this throughout Khao Yao National Park, even under river-side boulders where water is sure rush during the rainy season. I imagine people set up more than one of these as surely as they make offerings to monks and as often as they do good to make merit. You can never have too many efforts to live longer or live better eternally.

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