So, you think you've done Bangkok's temples. You've been awed by the Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaeo. You've marvelled at the porcelain rococo finery of Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn. And you've survived the jostling elbows and popping flashes to get an eyeful of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Now, how about a little side trip to the weirder shores of Buddhism? Bangkok and its environs offer a fascinating selection of saffron-tinged oddities for those prepared to get off the beaten tourist track. Consider Wat Hua Krabu (Buffalo Head Temple), an unassuming little wat in the southern seaside suburb of Bang Kunthien. It just happens to have more than 5,000 buffalo skulls stacked amid the incense sticks and amulets. No one is sure when the tradition began but, for hundreds of years, Thais have been depositing the horn-topped skulls of their favourite beasts of burden at the temple in the hope of speeding them to a happy reincarnation. 'People think buffaloes are stupid, but they're wrong,' says the abbot, Phra Kruwibul Panankit. 'They're loyal, gentle and clever. In the past, warriors rode them to war. And farmers rely on them for their livelihood. It's nice for them to rest here, with other buffaloes, and listen to the prayers and chanting.' In nearby Samut Prakan province's Laem Fapa district, monks chant to the sound of lapping surf. Erosion and rising sea levels have turned Wat Khunsamutjeen into an island. When the faithful come to worship, they run the gamut of a wave-lashed, rickety wooden walkway, take a boat from the mainland, or simply swim. Wat Sansuk Suthiwararam is also by the seaside, at Bang Saen Beach, a day trip from Bangkok, near Pattaya in Chonburi province. Also known as 'Heaven-Hell Park', this temple features graphic statues depicting all the punishments waiting in the afterlife for those who ignore the precepts of Buddhism. In one scene, a man screams as he looks at his severed hands - payback for a life of petty theft. Alcoholics slowly boil in a steaming cauldron of booze. Packs of slavering dogs rip gamblers to bits. And overlooking the carnage stand two massive phi phret - razor-fanged demons who feast on human offal. Back in Bangkok, for more gore check out Wat Phasee in Ekamai Soi 23. In the capital's early days, subjects who displeased the king were taken to this site to have their heads lopped off. You won't see any skulls here. But some of the monks swear that they see headless ghosts roaming the corridors at night.