Category Archives: Temples

3 down, 297 to go

It was a beautiful day and we haven’t done much exploring of the temples in Chiang Mai since we’ve been back …. no better time than the present.

It’s amazing that some of these buildings are still standing. I wish I could go way back in time a few hundred years to see what life was like in this area.

Wat Lok Molee

Wat Chiang Yuen

Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan

The Black House – Bandaam Museum

This museum is definitely an addition to the “Must See” list in Northern Thailand. The museum, which I wouldn’t consider to be a black house, is a collection of artwork by the deceased Thawan Duchanee. Admission is free, yep FREE. There are a number of smaller structures in addition to the main building that resembles a large temple. As one would expect, Buddhist artwork, statues and influences are present all over the property, however there is also a certain darkness  reflected in much of the artwork and displays. We will be returning at night to see the change in ambiance after the sun sets. A ton of great pictures of this museum can be found with a quick search on Google.

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The Black House - Baan Daam

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The Black House - Baan Daam 19.991990, 99.860616

Buddhist Meditation Retreat

We had the honor of attending the first Meditation Retreat put on by the Chiang Rai Sangha College of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University at Wat Phra That Phangao. The retreat was designed to provide foreigners an opportunity to learn about the Buddha’s teachings and to gain a greater understanding of the rituals, practices and life of a monk.

While most of my background in meditation has pertained to martial arts  and visualization practices, my “practice” has always been rather informal. I definitely took away a greater technical understanding of meditation and how to be more mindful in my activities and daily life. Stay tuned for video of me floating in the air.

Our days began with a morning meditation at 5:00am, followed by a vegetarian breakfast. We had lectures each day by a meditation master, a retired Army officer, followed by more meditation – seated and walking (yup, a walking meditation). While I didn’t mind the vegetarian meals, we didn’t waste any time after we got home to  run into town for some meals that included meat.

One of the more powerful experiences of the weekend was being present for the monks chanting. I wish I could have sat in the middle of them and listened to this for hours.

Serving the monks lunch.

Field trip! Some of these temples and sites are close to a 1,000 years old. Talk about historical significance. In a couple of the pictures, you can see the Mekong River in the distance and the border between Burma, Thailand and Lao, or better known as the Golden Triangle. Hard to imagine but all of the agriculture in the area was once opium fields.

 

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Wat Pra Dhat Pha-Ngao

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Wat Pra Dhat Pha-Ngao 20.244474, 100.114683

 

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Wat Phra That Chom Kitti

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Wat Phra That Chom Kitti 20.286152, 100.074140

Phra That Tung Luang

I’m not quite sure I have the name of this Temple correct, never the less it was a neat little find while out on the motorbike today. If anyone happens to know the correct name (map is below) please let me know.

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Phra That Tung Luang

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Phra That Tung Luang 19.978302, 99.760820

Doi In Cee

This is a must see for anyone visiting Chiang Rai, the drive up is a bit precarious but the views from the mountaintop are gorgeous. We can even see it lit up at night from our balcony.

A video of our ride up the mountain on the motorbike.

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Doi In Cee

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Doi In Cee 19.906090, 99.737440

 

Wat Tham Phra – Buddha Images Cave

We just happened upon this Temple while out on a motorbike ride. This temple was built into the side of a limestone mountain and included a number of different access points. While the main temple  appears to be fairly active, we ventured up a steep set of narrow stairs into a cave further up the hillside. Once inside, it didn’t take long to notice that the ground was covered in bat dung, but it was too irresistible to not venture the rest of the way up. There was a large, sitting Buddha statue inside but we weren’t about to use a flash and possibly disturb all of the bats that were overhead. There was some natural light inside and I bet at the right time of day, the Buddha statue would be illuminated just right. It’s worth noting for anyone interested in seeing this temple, the stairs are very steep and the climb requires some physical agility.

In the main temple, there was a single monk sitting by himself and I couldn’t help but wonder what he may reflect on all day if anything at all, I envied the solitude in many ways. The large Buddha carved into the limestone was one of my favorites so far.

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Buddha Images Cave

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Buddha Images Cave 19.917504, 99.788929

Wat Hyua Pla Kang

This beautiful temple is just a few kilometers from our house, you can’t miss it on the drive in. I hope that we’re still in the area when the giant Quan Yin statue and temple is done, I imagine there will be quite an opening ceremony.

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Wat Hyua Pla Kang

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Wat Hyua Pla Kang 19.949610, 99.806478

The White Temple – Wat Rong Khun

This was a spontaneous trip to the White Temple and we weren’t dressed appropriately so we weren’t able to go in. I will post additional pictures and information when we can spend more time there.

Additional photos from our most recent visit to the White Temple. There is visible damage from the earthquake in May of 2014 however visitors are still able to go inside the primary Temple. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed to be taken inside however it’s worth noting that there is a great deal of symbolism about the current state of the world, the influence of media and other propaganda outlets that currently alter the perception of the general public.

There was a beautiful art gallery next to the temple containing many pieces of art from Chalermchai Kositpipat. If this statue of Ganesh would have been for sale, I would have picked it up on the spot. Getting it home on the motorbike would have been exciting but we could have made it …….. haha. Prints ranging from 500 to 3,000 THB can be purchased so be sure to bring some extra cash.

Lord Ganesh
Lord Ganesh

The White Temple can be incredibly busy during the peak of the tourist season. Try to arrive as early as possible and please be mindful of others.

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The White Temple

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The White Temple 19.824405, 99.763048 [caption id=\"attachment_172\" align=\"alignnone\" width=\"300\"] White Temple[/caption]