Thursday, January 19, 2017

WAT PA LAD

We never covered Wat Pa Lad before on www.chimburi.com. It was one of the temples which we had only visited after we had to stop using and posting through frontpage. 

However, it is nowadays also a MUST visit temple when in Chiang Mai. Easy to reach by motorbike, or as a drop-off with a red song taeow. However, extremely hard to get away from since all the taxis going down from the mountain are usually full. 

Wat Pa Lad is THE prime example of a meditation temple. So, it is extremely important to be quiet, well dressed (or covered) and with a positive attitude! Meditation and contemplation is the thing to do here. While it has also been discovered by tourists, I sincerely hope that we can keep this place what it is - a hidden gem in the middle of a touristy mountain. 












 

WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP

Updated from original post on www.chimburi.com at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

A visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a MUST when in Chiang Mai! I have been here at every single one of my visits at least once. It's always been a very touristy thing to do...or with other words, even if you just want to pay respect to the Buddha here you will be surrounded by tourists. What amazes me though is to see how massively under dressed and in some cases disrespectful tourists come to this important temple. Both western and asian! It's loud and busy and there is almost no way to take photos without tourists in them. These days it is just selfie-crazy! 

But it is an important temple and I consider it good luck to come to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep at the beginning of my trip to Chiang Mai.  I have not taken the red song taeows up here anymore, but I know that they will now collectively drive all the tourists up here from the base of the mountain. In the old days they were still taken you up to the temple alone. Lately I either come by motorbike, which is much easier to park, or with cars of friends/tours which always causes a major headache for parking. 

My last trip was part of a White Hmong Village/Bhuping Palace round trip, so we got here in the afternoon. The view onto the city was excellent and I think in all those years I never had such a clear view!

Sadly the under dressed tourists are not the only problem. There have also been reports of young tourists who kick the bells with their feet (as in a kung fu fight), hence there are now more signs about what not to do. 





 

WAT KHUN CHANG KIAN - CHIANG MAI

Wat Khun Chang Kian is a small village temple in the White Hong village of Khun Chang Kian high up the mountains and deep in the rain forest of Chiang Mai. We took a private trip up here to visit the village and it's small temple. No gold and glitter up here since there is not much donation in these villages. We have also only seen one monk in the temple. Besides a Thai Buddhist temple there is also a christian church up here and of course the local animistic believes of the Hmong people. 





 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

WAT BUDDHAISAWAN - BANGKOK


We have never covered Wat Buddhaisawan on www.chimburi.com before, even though we had been here several times to pay our respect to Phra Buddha Sihing, the second most sacred (if there is such a ranking) Buddha statue of Thailand. We usually see Phra Buddha Sihing during the ceremonies when it is brought out onto Sanam Luang, unless it is a copy of it. Who knows. 

Wat Buddhaisawan hall is inside the grounds of the National Museum and naturally it is always busy with tourists, students but also a few worshippers. I believe that there is no Buddhist ceremonies or chantings inside this hall, since it is not part of a temple. At least I have never seen one or heard about it. The hall is really famous for it's excellent murals, hence lots of students come and have sessions inside the hall. There are several very sacred Buddha statues located inside the hall, but it changes with various exhibitions of the museum Protected under glass are also several relics of the Buddha. 













WAT MAHATHAT - BANGKOK

updated from original post on www.chimburi.com at Wat Mahathat

A short visit to Wat Mahathat again during my last trip to Bangkok and while going to Sanam Luang and the Grand Palace to pay my respect to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Wat Mahathat is usually filled with worshippers chanting and praying but during this visit it was completely empty and was a good spot for a meditation. 






 

Friday, January 13, 2017

WAT TRAIMITR - BANGKOK CHINATOWN

Updated from original post on www.chimburi.com at Wat Traimitr 
 
Main building where the golden Buddha is located
Wat Traimitr, the temple of the golden Buddha statue has always been charging tourists. I believe they also charge Thai tourists, but I am not 100% sure about that. However, it is more or less a tourist attraction, thus I do not mind that they charge an entrance fee. Over the years, and we have been coming here for almost 20 years, they have upgraded, renovated, improved and whatever. Every tourist basically comes to see the famous golden Buddha from Sukhothai and the place is more or less a zoo. Loud and ridiculously overrun by rude tourist and con artists who approach you outside on the street already with a rather basic conversation which finally leads into scams and tour business. I have given up on my wish to pay my respects to Phra Buddha Mahasuwan Patimakorn and instead just go visit the prayer hall on the side, which used to be more quiet in the past as well. The whole place is just overrun by tourists, parking cars and buses. There is only one more shrine to the side which can still be used for a prayer or a short meditation. 

Prayer hall to the side

Buddha image inside the prayer hall


Stairways leading up to main building.

Small Buddha shrine beside the parking lot
 

WAT SAM PHAN THAWONG - BANGKOK CHINATOWN

Update from original post on www.chimburi.com at Wat Sam Phan Thawong.
 
Our second visit since 2011, when we rented some Buddha amulets in Wat Sam Phan Thawong. At that time the temple was open and we could pay our respect to the main Buddha image. During our last vist everything seemed locked and deserted unfortunately, so we just had a look around the shrines on the temple grounds.