Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuesday Morning In Chiang Mai, Another Wonderful Wat 1/31/2012

We had a big day planned for Tuesday in Chiang Mai, with a tour booked for the afternoon.  We had the morning free so thought we'd pack in one last temple visit.

Wat Phra Singh is one of the oldest temples in the city, construction was started in 1345, and it was restored in 1925 and 2002.

This temple has a main prayer house (wihan) and several chedis.  The oldest chedi is connected to the main wihan by a tunnel.  Only part of the original chedi remains, but still contains urns with royal ashes from the 1300's. Here it is:

The main attraction of the temple is the Lai Kham Wihan, built in 1345.

 The interior wall are painted in amazing murals:

Looking at the altar:

The pretty doors:

This prayer hall was one of our favorites we've visited in Thailand, it was especially interesting, and felt so serene and peaceful.

We visited the largest, newest wihan, also:

I noticed a monk selling these lovely "offering banners" so I purchased one,  thinking I'd hang it up at home.  Nothing doing!  He gently insisted that I hang it along with the others.  I wrote our names on each section, and then he wrote his in blessing on the back:
 Here I am, hanging up our banner:  (note the plastic chairs in the background--this is the very first temple we've been in that has any chairs, other than those for the monks)

An interesting note:  Monks are not allowed to receive anything directly from a woman's hands.  When I paid I forgot this taboo, and he gently pointed to the table,  I quickly set it down,  then he picked it up!

David stood back by the entrance, and shot a short video of the monks chanting; it is a beautiful, calming sound that I just love:

A picture of the altar area, many Buddhas on this one:

Thre was one other interesting wihan on the temple grounds,  Wihan Ubosot.  It has especially pretty dragons guarding the doors:

Inside we found many of those amazing, life-size Buddha carvings.  They are so life-like, and just fascinate us:
 Notice the lop-sided expression on this old gentleman:

I loved this one:

 Amazingly detailed hands and feet:

Note the veins on his hand:

We walked around the temple grounds, and came across a pretty, peaceful garden. 

 Tacked to several trees were wise Buddhist sayings, we loved them!  Here are a few of our favorites:

Somehow, I don't think this one is an ancient Buddhist saying:

This was my very favorite:

A young monk, studying: 

We also found the "facilities"
And the dreaded "remove your shoes" sign!

OK, we give up!  These white slippers looked very clean:

Yes, we gave a donation, sincerely from our heart!
After our time at this beautiful, historic temple, we still had time for one more stop.  We'd read about a small shop selling gifts made by the street children of Chiang Mai, and it was just down the street from the temple:  It was a nice little shop, we made a few purchase, and  felt good about supporting such a worthy cause.

After our little bit of shopping we tuk-tuk'd back to our hotel in time for our afternoon tour.  It's a big adventure--stay tuned!!


  1. This temple was wonderful but what sticks with me on this blog is the life like monks. So detailed and real looking. The hands, feet, veins, fingernails...its unbelievable. I can't wait to hear about your cooking day! What fun. What an interesting venture that will be. Two more things...elephant poop is big and how about that club sandwich on the terrace bar menu! LOL

  2. Great pictures - you could submit these to a photo exhibit, I'm sure.