We are still enjoying our hols and decided to pop to Wat Plai Laem for a visit. Wat is Thai for temple and though it may not seem like fun to visit a temple, this one is geared up for tourists and has a fish food machine out of which, for a mere 10 baht, you get a tub of food to feed the fish, chickens and pigeons. It is unusual to see pigeons en-masse in Thailand - certainly in Koh Samui - perhaps because they all congregate here. My little one loves it here and worked her way through about 4 tubs, the pigeons were walking wonky by the time we left.
We were lucky enough to choose a day when the temple school students were selling their artwork and popped in to say hello and buy some of their wares.
Temples have schools attached in the same grounds and these provide education for students whose parents cannot afford to pay. The facilities are basic and the style of teaching is disciplinary and, ahem, old school (I visited a classroom a few years back that had a selection of canes behind the teacher's desk) but you'll always be greeted by smiley or shy or cheeky faces. Children are universal.
The coconut trees and depictions of Buddha in the artwork reflect the children's home setting and religion; art reflects culture. These kids see the monks going about their daily routine every day; Buddhism is a way of life here.