Stuck Russian tourist helping out temple

Stuck Russian tourist helping out temple

SURAT THANI: A stranded Russian student has been surviving on meals from monks -- and helping out where he can -- at a temple in this southern province since flights back to Russia were cancelled.

The tourist, identified only as Ivan, 25, has been staying at Wat Mai Pattararam in the Surat Thani municipality since March 26, Phra Khru Pisal Pattananukit said yesterday.

The acting abbot said the visitor arrived from Koh Samui, where he had been on holiday. When he ran out of money he asked if he could stay at the temple while waiting for a flight.

The monk praised him for not sitting by idly, saying he helped monks clean the premises and worked in the kitchen preparing meals for people in the neighbourhood. The government has allowed foreigners holding all types of non-immigrant visas to stay in the country until the end of July without having to file for extensions.

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