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Did you know that there is a large Chinese community here on the island of Koh Phangan? This is because many Thai families have Chinese ancestry.
During the 8th to 10th centuries people migrated from China down throughout Southeast Asia, with many settling in Thailand. Another group are the Chinese traders who shared many of Thailand’s common goals and so also settled here.
Many Thai people you meet will have Chinese in their blood and so celebrate some of the Chinese traditions such as New Year.
Koh Phangan has two Chinese Temples, one near Chaloklum and one in Thong Sala. The one in Chaloklum is called ‘Chinese Temple of Mercy’ and took two years to build. The wat (temple) consists of three beautiful ornate buildings, each of them is located on a different level. The main building is in the middle and the statue of goddess Guan Yin is inside.
The Chinese Temple in Thong Sala is more modest but is the base for many Chinese community events such as Chinese New Year Celebrations.
Chinese New Year 2020 will start on Friday January 24th however the celebrations begin on January 17th, see if you can spot some on the island and head to the temple to witness the dancing, fire walking and other traditions.