There is a temple that is pretty famous in Thailand called Wat Thamkrabok. It’s where drug addicts go for rehab. The detox program is administered by monks at the temple and is quite severe. It involves a week long ritual of drinking a potent herbal concoction that induces severe vomiting and then follows by some intense herbal sauna treatments. In addition to the detox treatments the “patients” follow typical temple life which involves rising very early in the morning, doing temple chores, eating like the monks (restrictions on when they can eat) and I believe practicing meditation. “Graduates” take some vows before leaving about not falling back into the old habit.
I had heard that some foreigners go to the temple for the program. I didn’t know it was a little bit famous outside of Thailand but apparently so. Telegraph.co.uk has a photo gallery showing some westerners and Thais going through the program. The story says the temple is in Saraburi. We pass it whenever we visit my sister-in-law who lives in Lopburi. I thought it was in Lopburi, maybe it’s close to the border between the two provinces.
So I’m coining a new phrase. I’m calling this “extreme medical tourism”. Need to go to drug detox? Don’t have the money for all the pampering the stars get when they go to drug rehab? Or maybe you just like things a little more rough and raw. Wat Thamkrabok might be for you.