Asia Dive News : Diving Thailand's sub aqua temples
Pyramids and temples symbolize the superior nature of human kind so it seems funny when a country deliberately tries to submerge one of these structures. Wat Tilokram is a well preserved 500 year old Buddhist temple located in Phayao, Thailand that offers a glance of what the Kingdom was like hundreds of years ago and can still be seen today if you are willing to don on your scuba gear. The temple is fully submerged and is an awesome way for a diver to experience Thailand.
Thought to have existed during the Tilokanart dynasty of the former Lanna Kingdom, the temple was flooded in order to make way for Kwan Phayao, a large artificial lake in the vicinity, 68 years ago. This was done in order to provide irrigation for the surrounding areas. The artificial lake was a success and the surrounding areas flourished with life as a result, but not too long ago the governor of Phayao launched an initiative to restore the temple at a very high cost (roughly one billion dollars USD).
This has been met with ample resistance as people have claimed it to be too expensive, potentially hazardous for the ecosystem, and argued that not enough data has been collected in order to start the project.
As opposed to spending the estimated one billion dollars to restore the temple and build a thick concrete wall around it, why not just launch an eye-catching tourist campaign that advertises the temple as a dive site? The lake is the largest fresh water habitat in northern Thailand and acts as a source of resources and recreation for the local people. The lake has a wide pH variety making it highly allowing over for over thirty-six plants and over twenty-two fish species to thrive and acts as a semi-natural wetland attracting various types of migratory birds. If they were to advertise the submerged temple, Phayao could become one of Thailand’s most interesting diving destinations.
Source: Diving Discoveries