On the west side of the Bangkok River stands a Chinese pagoda that is unmissable by anyone travelling by boat. The striking orange roofed tower has a prominent appearance yet a low profile – often people wonder what it is but cannot find any answers. Wonder no more. The structure is part of the Chee Chin Khor Moral Uplifting Society temple complex that has been hiding in plain sight for decades.
The society, founded in 1952, is a charitable one and has carried out acts of kindness for the last half of the century. They have distributed rice, blankets, coffins and other needs to the poor and have involved themselves in disaster relief efforts. Community connections are also established through provisions like student lunches. In 1993, the society finally found its foothold and established its headquarters in Klong San where the pagoda stands.
A visit to the complex is highly recommended for anyone appreciative not only of charity work but also temple architecture. The society has merged Thai and Chinese Buddhist styles and produced an eye-catching temple. Thai styled Buddha images stand with Chinese deities in rooms with East Asian interior decors and grottoes. Catch a river crossing ferry from River City Bangkok to Klong San market and walk north along the bank past The Jam Factory to spend a quiet, contemplative afternoon within the society’s compound and perhaps inquire how one can contribute to their altruistic goals.