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Video: Wat Umong (the forest temple), Chiang Mai

September 12th, 2007 | Tina | Chiang Mai Trips, Events and Activities, General, Thailand, Travel, Video | 4 Comments »

This video shows you the amazing Wat Umong temple in Chiang Mai.

Scenery: Peaceful land with lots of trees and shade on a hot day. You can feed the fish, turtles, and ducks in a large pond. The Wat is famous for its ancient tunnels and large stupa. Other attractions include a Buddha field of broken sculptures, a fasting Bodhisattva, a spiritual theatre of paintings, reproductions of ancient Buddhist sculptures from India, and a library-museum.

History: The monastery at Wat Umong is one of the oldest in Chiang Mai, dating back to 1300 A.D. The fable goes that a king built the brick-lined tunnels for an eccentric monk named Thera Jan. Once upon a time there were paintings decorated on the wall which dated back to about 1380. You can enter the tunnels to see the small shrines inside (a flashlight is useful). The adjoining stupa was constructed about 1520 over an earlier stupa (1400-1550). The monastery was eventually abandoned, though Japanese troops were said to have a stronghold here during World War 2. Since 1948, the Thai prince Jao Chun Sirorot has been active in rebuilding and reestablishing the monastery. In 1949 he invited Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (founder of Suan Mokkh in southern Thailand) to come and live in the monastery. Obligations kept Buddhadasa Bhikkhu from coming and instead he sent Ajahn Pannananda and other monks to help set up and run Wat Umong.

Tunnels at Wat Umong, Chiang Mai

Getting there: Wat Umong is located 3.5 km west of Chiang Mai. From Suandok Gate (the West gate of the old city) you drive up Suthep road (approximately 2, 5 km West) and cross Canal road. About half a kilometer after Canal road, there is a sign on your left hand side which leads you to Wat Umong. From here follow the signs south 1 km to the Wat. The easiest way is by tuk-tuk, scooter or bicycle.

Here’s a map

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4 Responses to “Video: Wat Umong (the forest temple), Chiang Mai”

  1. Traditional Thai massage at Wat Umong, Chiang Mai |
    February 18th, 2008 @ 9:48 am

    […] massage parlor in Chiang Mai is located next to Wat Umong (please see directions in the blog A visit to Wat Umong (forest temple), Chiang Mai). When approaching Wat Umong you will see a big yellow sign on your right hand side saying […]

  2. Greg
    June 16th, 2009 @ 10:26 am

    Thanks for the summary…you helped make my decision to stay in Chang Mai for another day and rent a motorbike an easy one. Love the video 🙂

  3. Thomas
    June 18th, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    Thanks for letting us know Greg! Hope you enjoyed the biking, I used to love it in Chiang Mai….

  4. Aiden
    July 22nd, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

    jai bien aimer ma lecture!

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