Thailand’s Buddhist temples, important centers of culture and commerce, rely on donations from international visitors. Because of a steep drop in tourism, these temples have been hit hard.
Many tourists hold an outdated romanticized image of an abandoned temple emerging from the jungle. But research around Angkor Wat suggests its collapse might be better described as a transformation.
In Theravada Buddhism, ordaining to be a monk and donating the merit thus gained is one of the greatest honors that a person can give to another - in this case to the Navy SEAL officer, who died.