Temples of  Thailand - a photographic journey

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Temples in Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai Province

Wat Phra Sing

Wat Prachao Mengrai

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Pan Tao

Wat Sam Phao

Wat U-Mong Thera Chan

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Mahawan

Wat Chetawan

Wat Buppharam

Wat Saeng Fang

Wat Suan Dok

Wat Chet Yot

Wat Prasat

Wat Srikerd

Wat Thung Yu

Wat Duang Di

Wat Chiang Yuen

Wat Ketkaram

Wat Muen Ngnoen Kong

Wat Phuak Hong

Wat Phuak Taem

Wat Pan Waen

Wat Sam Phao

Wat Pan On

Wat Muen Lan

Wat Pha Bong

Wat Dap Phai

Wat Pa Prow Nai

Wat Mon Tian

Wat Kuan Ka Mah

Wat Mokam Dtuang

Wat Saen Muang Ma Luang/Hua Khwuang

Wat Inthakin

Wat Chai Phrakiat

Wat Baan Ping

Wat Puak Chang

Wat Muang Mang

Wat That Kham

Wat Yang Khuang

Wat Nantharam

Wat Sri Suphan

Wat Lok Molee

Wat Ku Tao

Wat Umong Suan Putthatham

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Pa Daeng

Wat Sri Don Chai (Muang)

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham (Muang)

Wat Muen San (Muang)

Wat Thon Kwain (Hang Dong)

Wat Hang Dong (Hang Dong)

Wat Nong Kwai (Hang Dong)

Wat Khamphaeng Ngam (Hang Dong)

Wat Pa Charoen Tham (Sam Pa Tong)

Wat Siri Mankala Chan (Doi Noi)

Wat Phrathat Doi Noi (Doi Noi)

Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong (Chom Thong)

Wat Namtok Mae Klang

Chedi Noppamathaneedol

Chedi Noppaphonpumsiri

Wat Puttha En (Mae Chaem)

Wat Kong Karn (Mae Chaem)

Wat Yang Luang (Mae Chaem)

Wat Pa Daet (Mae Chaem)

Wat Om Khud (Mae Chaem)

Wat Ban Thap (Mae Chaem)

Wat Buak Krok Luang (San Kamphaeng)

Wat Bo Sang (San Kamphaeng)

Wat Doi Saket (Doi Saket)

Wat Po Thong Charoen (Doi Saket)

Wat Ta Kham (Mae Taeng)

Wat Sri Don Chai (Chiang Dao)

Wat Tham Chiang Dao Cave (Chiang Dao)

Angkhang Shrine (Doi Angkhang)



Ancient City of Wiang Kum Kam

Wat Ku Khao

Wat Hua Nong

Wat Phan Lao

Wat Kum Kam

Wat Ku Ailan

Wat That Noi

Wat Kanthom/Chiang Kam

Wat Chedi Liam

Mae Hong Son Province

Wat Chong Klang

Wat Chong Kham

Wat Hua Wiang

Wat Phra Non

Wat Kham Ko

Wat Phai Doi

Wat Mandalay (Mae Sariang)

Wat Sri Bunruang (Mae Sariang)

Wat Chong Sung (Mae Sariang)

Wat Phra That Chom Mon (Mae Sariang)

Wat Kittiwong (Mae Sariang)

Wat Supphannarangsi (Mae Sariang)

Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng (Mae Sariang)

Wat Chom Thong (Mae Sariang)

Wat To Phae (Khun Yuam)

Wat Muay Tor (Khun Yuam)

Wat Mae Lan Na (Mae Lan Na)

Wat Ban Hua Na (Pai)

Wat Nam Hoo (Pai)

Wat Luang (Pai)

Wat Phra That Mae Yen (Pai)

Northern Thailand image

Thailand's North was our first trip with our own car. Thus independent from any public transportation and therefore without much interference with other tourists. Equipped with a huge variety of maps in Thai and English as well as information from the web we went mainly on small roads and highways and stopped at every place, which looked interesting. Some were planned, like Chiang Mai, but others were discovered as we went, like Wat Phra Puttha Phat Pha Nam, which we just happened to come across, slammed on the brakes and hiked up the hill. My favourite was really everything outside of Chiang Mai, which turned out to be a bit too touristy, specially the mountain temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We almost couldn't even park our car, but then most of the tourists were luckily Thais. The few Westerners we saw where rather embarrassing examples of our own kind. Despite the many hints in tour guide books and signs posted, they arrived in shorts and 'muscle shirts' (without having the body to wear them). They were handed sarongs, or skirt-like looking clothes, by the temple officials, to cover up their naked legs. Unfortunately they took them off again and were then visiting one of the most sacred temples of Thailand laughing, screaming and almost not even dressed. 

Despite my initial fears the Elephant Training Camps proofed to be a worthwhile trip and experience, especially due to the natural setting in the forests and hills around Chiang Mai. It was also much less touristy than I thought and seems to provide a good source of income for the now 'work-less' Elephants. And then there were the places, which only Thai people go to. Cave temples in the surrounding hills of Chiang Mai. A very special experience, walking up the steep stairways through the forest in the hot and humid climate and then into a cool cave, filled with Buddha Statues and smoke from incense sticks. We were so busy seeing everything on the way up and in and around Chiang Mai, that we had to put off our initially planned continuation to Mae Hong Son. We'll have to come back for this!

Our second trip to the North, in December 2004, focused on the eastern provinces of the North with Phrae, Nan, Phayao and Chiang Rai. We also were in Uttaradit, but could not find Wat Tha Thanon, despite looking for it on two separate days. So, we thought it was not meant to be and left again. We went to those provinces during the rice harvest and had some great impressions from the hard working people of Lanna. A lot of the work there still happens manually and not with machines. We also had to master several roads through mountains, some of which had not even been on any maps we brought along. Along the border of Myanmar were several spots were we prayed that our breaks continue to work but had some really great views into Myanmar territory. There were also a lot of police and army check points along the way, checking for drugs and illegal goods. 

The Lanna-style architecture of the temples up here is really amazing. We also had several Burmese temples on our plan and we voted for Wat Nantharam in Phayao province as our most favorite temple. It is located so far off the normal track going North and the trip over the mountains consumed so much time, that I really worried that we would miss it. Luckily we made it in time and the eagle eye of our Thai friend managed to see the hidden sign to the temple. All this effort awarded us with one of the most beautiful wooden temples in Northern Thailand with a beautiful Mandalay-style Buddha image. 

On this second trip to Lanna we visited 53 temples, burned hundreds of incense sticks, lit many candles and drove over 3000 km. The three of us going took a combined 3500 pictures and I managed to run out of space on my new 4GB flash card. And already on the way back we discussed going back to Chiang Mai on one of our next trips. 

In 2005 we did another extensive trip to the North, finally visiting Tak, Mae Hong Son and new temples in Chiang Mai and Lamphun. For the thousands of curves on mountain roads we had to buy a new car which was a very worthwhile investment. It allowed us to see some remote country temples along the border country. 

During Songkran of 2007 (2550) we spent almost 3 weeks in Chiang Mai and while celebrating one of the best New Year's ever, we had the chance to extensively visit Chiang Mai's temples in the city and other districts. It also allowed us to take part in three important ceremonies during the New Year celebrations with Phra Phutta Sihing being brought outside the temple and seeing it being carried around the city in colorful processions. We also attended the Cho Fa ceremony at Wat Sri Suphan and attended the ritual bathing of Phra Kaew Don Tao at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. 2550 started as a very good year for us! 

Currently we are running out of space on the 8GB card with a 4GB card for backup but as you will notice the quality of the pictures continues to change. When we started this web site, digital camera's were not even on the market yet, while in 2007 we shot with over 10 megapixels. 

Having read Carol Strattons amazing book "Buddhist Sculpture of Northern Thailand" in 2008 we realized how many great and important temples and Buddha statues exist in the province of Phayao, a province which we only passed through on the way North before. We therefore planned a special trip to Phayao to do some indepth day trips to Mae Chai, Chiang Kham, Chun and other districts. We were amazed to see so many beautiful temples and Buddha images and actually ran out of time but still managed to visit over 30 temples. 

From Phayao we went further up to Chiang Rai again and visited one of the most impressive temples we had seen in all our years of travel - Wat Tham Pa Asha Thong, the temple of the Golden Horse. The presiding abott Phra Khru Ba Nuachai Kosito is an unconventional but very very powerful teacher of the Dhamma. 


Phrae Province

Wat Phra That Cho Hae

Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng

Wat Chom Sawan

Wat Luang

Wat Phong Sunan

Wat Phra Non

Wat Sri Chum

Wat Sri Bunruang

Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang

Wat Chai Mongkon

Wat Hua Khuang

Wat Sa Po Kaeo

Wat Salaeng

Wat Pai Lom

Wat Phrathat Sri Don Kam

Wat Phrathat Laem Li

Wat Phrathat Phu Tab

Wat Phrathat Suthon Mongkon Kiri

Wat Phra Luang

Nan Province

Wat Somdet

Wat Phra That Chae Haeng

Wat Phumin

Wat Ming Muang

Wat Phra That Chang Kham Woraviharn

Wat Hua Khuang

Wat Suan Tan

Wat Phaya Wat 

Wat Phrathat Khao Noi

Wat Thung Meng

Wat Mueang Chang Dtai

Wat Bupharam

Wat Tha Lor

Wat Phaya Phu

Wat Si Phan Ton

Wat Pha Dup

Wat Pha Singh

Wat Thuem Dong

Wat Hua Wiang Dtai

Wat Nong Bua

Wat Ton Laeng (Pua)

Wat Nong Daeng (Pua)

Wat Phrathat Beng Sakat (Pua)

Wat Bun Yuen (Wiang Sa)

Phra That Chom Chaeng (Na Muen)

Wat Rong Ngae (Pua)

Wat Klang (Thung Chang)

Wat Ratcha Bamrung (Thung Chang)

Phra That Phu Piang (Thung Chang)

Wat Bo Luang (Bo Kluea)

Wat Ban Na Prueang (Bo Kluea)

Wat Nak Lum (Bo Kluea)

Phayao Province

Wat Nantharam (Chiang Kham)

Wat Si Khom Kham

Wat Si Umong Kham

Wat Luang Ratcha Santan

Wat Ratcha Khreu

Wat Phra That Doi Jom Thong

Wat Tom Klang

Wat Analayo Thippayaram

Wat Phra That Phu Pho (Phu Kham Yao)

Wat Phra That Phu Kwang (Phu Kham Yao)

Wat Bun Goed (Dok Kam Tai)

Wat Phra That Chom Sin (Dok Kham Tai)

Wat Phra That Saeng Kaeo Mongkon (Dok Kham Tai)

Wat Si Bing Mueang (Chun)

Wat Phra That King Kaeng (Chun)

Wat Huay Kua Kham (Chun)

Wat Saen Muang Ma (Chiang Kham)

Wat Phra Chao Nang Din (Chiang Kham)

Wat Chaiya Phrom (Chiang Kham)

Wat Sri Bun Yuen (Chiang Kham)

Wat Yuan (Chiang Kham)

Wat Phra That Sop Waen (Chiang Kham)

Wat Chiang Ban (Chiang Kham)

Wat Don Chai (Chiang Kham)

Wat Don Tan (Phu Sang)

Wat Ko Sao (Phu Sang)

Wat Phra That Khun Bong (Phu Sang)

Wat Bong Mai (Phu Sang)

Wat Sri Bun Rueang (Mae Chai)

Wat Sri Suphan (Mae Chai)

Wat Sri Don Tan (Mae Chai)

Wat Sri Don Mun (Mae Chai)

Wat Dong Intha (Mae Chai)

Wat Dong Bun Nak (Mae Chai)

Chiang Rai Province

Wat Phra Kaeo

Wat Phra Singh

Wat Mung Muang

Wat (Doi) Ngam Muang

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Wat Ming Muang

Wat Phra Non

Wat Klang Wiang

Wat Chet Yot

Wat Doi Phra Baht

Wat Rong Khun

Wat Noi Doi Tung

Wat Phra That Doi Tung

Wat Phra That Doi Wao (Mae Sai)

Wat Kassa (Mae Chan)

Wat Phra That Chedi Luang (Chiang Saen)

Wat Mahathat (Chiang Saen)

Wat Pa Sak (Chiang Saen)

Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong (Chiang Saen)

Wat Pha Khao Pan (Chiang Saen)

Wat Phra That Chom Kitti (Chiang Saen)

Wat Chom Chaeng (Chiang Saen)

Wat Phra That Pha Ngao (Chiang Saen)

Wat Phra That Song Phi Nong (Chiang Saen)

Wat Phra That Chom Wae (Phan)

Wat Phra Khong Karam (Mae Suay)

Wat Phra Chao Thong Thip (Mae Suay)

Wat Phra That Chom Pho (Wiang Pa Pao)

Wat Sri Suphan (Wiang Pa Pao)

Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng (Mae Suay)

Wat Phra That Chom Mork Gaeo (Mae Sao)

Wat Tham Pa Asha Thong (Mae Chan)

Phra That Sinakarindhra Chedi (Doi Mae Salong)

Wat Phra That Chom Cho (Thoeng)

Wat Phra That Sri Maha Pho (Thoeng)

Wat Phra That Chom Chai (Thoeng)

Wat Thoeng Sao Hin (Thoeng)

Lampang Province

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang (Ko Kha)

Wat Lai Hin Luang (Ko Kha)

Wat Phra That Chomping (Ko Kha)

Wat Pong Yang Khok (Hang Chat)

Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao

Wat Suchadaram

Wat Chedi Sao

Wat Pongsanuk Tai

Wat Pha Fang

Wat Sri Chum

Wat Chong Kam

Wat Si Rong Meuang

Wat Hua Khuang

Luang Phor Kasem Meditation Center

Wat Phra That Sadet

Lamphun Province

Wat Phra That Haripunchai

Wat Kukut

Wat Phra Yeun

Wat Pradupa

Wat Mahawan

Wat Pa Sang Ngam (Pa Sang)

Wat Chang Khao Noi Nuea (Pa Sang)

Wat San Kamphaeng (Pa Sang)

Wat Phra Non (Pa Sang)

Wat Phra Phuttabat Tak Pha (Pa Sang)

Wat Phra Bat Huai Tom (Li)

Wat Phra Puttha Phat Pha Nam (Li)





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