Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wat Tours

For our third day in Chiang Mai I had arranged tours of some wats, or temples.  We were waiting in the lobby early in the morning again.  Wasn't it nice of Ryan to get this picture of me?
Yes, that is what I'm like every single day of my life if it is before 9 am.  I am also like this before 9 am:

I showed him.  Hmpf.

The tour guide arrived to take us out to Wat Phra Doi Suthep.  I was especially excited to tour this temple because it is the biggest/most well-known in the region and also is at the very top of a mountain with beautiful views of the city.  Because it was at the top of the mountain it was a fairly long drive as we had to get through town first.  The tour guide talked to us much of the way and he, along with many others we met during the trip, knew about the recent US Presidential elections and wanted to talk us about them.  I knew nothing about Thai politics other than they have a King.  One of my friends from another country made me feel better by reassuring me that the US is one of the few countries that the whole world watches, so almost everyone knows what goes on here.    

Here we are at the base of Wat Doi Suthep.  You can either take a tram to the top or walk the steps.  We opted to walk the steps.

Bananas/banana leaves all around us in the jungle:
Singha's are at the entrance:

The grounds were beautiful.

Our guide explained to us that worship at these temples is a bit of a mixture between Buddhism and Hinduism and is different than Chinese Buddhism or Burmese Buddhism, etc.  I didn't realize this before but it made perfect sense because it's just like how there are several different ideas and ways of worshiping in the Christian realm.

It was foggy when we were up there so we couldn't see the city below us but I thought the fog provided a beautiful backdrop.  Whatever those flowers are I want them.

Then we went through a Jade Factory and learned about the types of jade and how it is carved.  It was very interesting and it was fun to see all the different colors available too.  My family tends to wear only green jade.  I'm not sure if that is a cultural thing or if it's just my family but I thought the purple jade was really pretty too.

Then we went to Wat Phra Singha in town.  When we arrived, the monastery boys were all having lunch on the floor in the middle of the temple.  I wondered how they felt about having tourists coming through everyday, even while they were eating.  I suppose on one hand they understand it helps fund the monastery but on the other hand there is quite a lack of privacy.  The grounds of this temple were also beautiful but we didn't get as many pictures.


  1. Haha, I am totally not about waking up early either! I have trained my kids not to ever wake up before 9am, preferably 10, which is working great, except everyone else has trained their kids to wake up at like 6am and wants to do crazy things like eat lunch at 11am. That's barely not breakfast time for us.

    I love the fog in the pictures. It makes them look really amazing, though I am sure the Wats are beautiful no matter the weather.

  2. Absolutely stunning pictures.....I think the fog made them even more so!