In addition to being a very striking building, the library at Wat Phra Singh is an example of classical Lanna architecture, or so I have read. Before the modern Thai state began to take shape in the late 18th century, a Lan Na kingdom centered in Chiang Mai ruled much of the northern part of what is now Thailand. The history is complex and I certainly only know the barest outline. But Lanna as a tradition (and a marketing buzzword) is alive and well in Chiang Mai today – Lanna architecture, Lanna style, Lanna cuisine, Lanna massage, et cetera, et cetera… Be that as it may, Wat Phra Singh has one cool library building.
Wat Phra Singh is a large, wealthy temple complex in the center of Chiang Mai’s old city. I walked in when the apprentice monks were being led by elder monks in chants in the largest of the temples. I wanted a picture or two, but about the time I got ready to point and shoot, the chanting stopped and everybody got up and filed out of the temple. I did, however, get a number of images of the grounds, of which this is one.
A young man is contemplating the Buddha—or maybe wondering where he will go clubbing in the evening—in a quiet corner of Wat Umong in Thailand. A powerfully spiritual place, Wat Umong, and I am not a particularly spiritual guy.
Wat Chedi Luang was established in the 14th century, but the 1990s reconstruction pictured here is controversial with some claiming the structure is not in the Lanna style of northern Thailand. Or so I have read.
I am sure the monks are watching a devotional show! What else would adolescent boys watch?
The sun breaks through a mostly overcast sky washing Wat Pan On in soft, late afternoon light.
Striking color in this image from Wat Pha Lat of a massive yellow candle burning down in front of the sitting Buddha.
This morning I set out with Jason, an American friend met in Chiang Mai, to visit quiet, lovely Wat Pha Lat. The trip involved a gentle 45 minute climb up to the temple complex. Wat Pha Lat is in fact on the road up the mountain to the larger, better known and more visited Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which is sort of the center piece of Thailand’s Doi Suthep – Pui National Park in the mountains to the west of Chiang Mai. But it was nice to come at this smaller temple on foot, getting some exercise in the process.