If you read the first part of my blog about the temples of Chiang Mai, you’ll know that I got a bit lost in the amount of temples I saw and their beauty.
If you didn’t read part one, where have you been, naughty person? I really should have a word with your parents about this kind of rudeness. My mother taught me three things, always be polite, never wear more than one hat in bed and how to pronounce ‘scone’, (how do you pronounce scone? Do you say ‘scone’ or ‘scone’..? This doesn’t really work in written form, does it? I didn’t think it through…I could go back and delete the last sentence but I’m on a roll, typing these words quicker than Usain Bolt going downhill in a shopping trolley!)
Anyway, where was I?
Oh…temples! (I was just playing along then, pretending I’d forgotten what I was writing about. It was just a light-hearted joke, I hadn’t really forgotten. It’s good to have jokes and to generally have a laugh in everything you do…well not everything, I mean…I don’t laugh when me or anyone I know is having a life saving operation or if I’m reading bad news or if I’m on the toilet – that would be weird! But in other things that aren’t so serious, why shouldn’t we try to have fun in life, goodness knows it can be depressing enough…anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Temples!)
(See, I did it again!)
The first major temple I saw in Chiang Mai was Wat Phra Singh which was built in 1345…yes…really! I’ve checked it on Wikipedia and it definitely says 1345 – nuts, isn’t it?! If I could only use one photo to show you this place it would be this one…
I genuinely still feel taken aback by the sight of it and the feeling of awe I felt even now and this trip was over six weeks ago. I feel that my first trip to Chiang Mai will stay with me for a very long time.
As I’m writing this blog I have a strong urge to just leave Bangkok now and go and live in Chiang Mai. I may have said this before but I will almost certainly live there at some point, I’ll definitely finish writing this before going though, so don’t worry.
Despite the amount of people who were here and in the surrounding temples, the place seemed almost silent as if other people were as overawed as I was or if we were all collectively showing the place complete respect. In the distance the sound of monks chanting could be heard (or a CD playing…it could’ve been…no, that’s going to ruin it for me if I think about that for too long). But the chanting certainly had an effect on the whole vibe of the place.
The first photo is, in my view, the most impressive but the first one I took was just after I’d entered the grounds of the temple and was met with this sight…
You can see the golden Chedi from the first photo in the background while on the right is Kulia Chedi which despite looking older is around 100 years younger than the golden Chedi. According to yet more extensive research I discovered that from this Chedi there is a secret tunnel running to another temple on the grounds but it’s not open to the public (spoil sports!)
It’s hard to believe that these buildings have stood the test of time, I know that they have been restored in places over the years but this is still the main, original buildings that have stood for hundreds of years – its thanks in part, I guess, to the fact that Thailand has never been invaded by another country – a remarkable fact that I have just found out (you’re welcome!)
I then made my way around to the main temple of the site (if I recollect correctly there were around 5 temples within the walls of this one spot) which is called Wihan Luang and it looks as impressive as you’d imagine…
Sadly this photo doesn’t do the building any justice at all but I am using my iPhone so go easy on me (I will buy a better camera soon as I want you, dear reader, to appreciate the beauty of this country in full HD!)
The inside of this building is even more impressive and much like I mentioned in my previous post (Part 1) being inside these temples is almost too much for your senses. The inside of these temples just want to make you shout ‘F!cking Hell!’ over and over again. The beauty of these buildings leave me dumbstruck like a duck that’s entered a cross word puzzle contest and then realises that he can’t hold a pen with his wings! This is the inside of the building above…
As with all the other temples that I had been to in Chiang Mai I felt like I was intruding on the Thai people who were praying. I think this is one thing that is often forgotten by the tourist hordes – these aren’t just pretty buildings for us to put on our Instagram account and look like we’re interesting and adventurous (I am those two things by the way, in case you’re wondering), they’re actually very sacred places to the Thai people. I just wish some of the tourists visiting these places actually thought about that while they are in them. It actually took me a long time to take the photo above because a couple of people were standing right in front of the altar ‘posing’ and trying to look ‘moody’ and ‘sexy’, I think…they just looked thick and ignorant (breath, Paul…it’s all over now)
But anyway, look at the Buddha’s, they’re just so beautiful, I am in such awe of this place, even the roof makes me want to roll on the floor and suck my thumb!
On my way out I noticed the intricut dragons that were on either side of the entrance.
These are said to stop bad spirits from entering the temples and I have to say, they are pretty scary, although if I was a bad spirit I wouldn’t be coming to a temple anyway, I’d probably out in the street tripping people over or hanging around the ladies changing rooms at an H&M (is that wrong?)
So that’s the temples of Chaing Mai sorted…you don’t need to read another thing about them. My in depth article has made all others look tired and dull. I took another photograph by these steps but I feel it is worthy of its own post so keep your eyes out for that soon.
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