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Introducing Surat Thani Province

Surrounded by lush forest, Wát Suan Mokkhaphalaram, whose name means ‘Garden of Liberation’, charges 2000B for a 10-day program that includes food, lodging and instruction (although technically the ‘teaching’ is free). English retreats, run by the International Dhamma Hermitage, begin on the first day of every month and registration takes place the afternoon before. Founded by Ajan Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, arguably Thailand’s most famous monk, the temple’s philosophical teachings are ecumenical in nature, comprising Zen, Taoist and Christian elements, as well as the traditional Theravada schemata.

For details on reaching the temple, located 7km outside of Chaiya, check out www.suanmokkh-idh.org/idh-travel.html.