If you are in Chiang Mai, I highly recommend visiting Wat Umong. I myself quickly got tired of ordinary Buddhist temples (in terms of attractions), and therefore I want to see something like that all the time. It's good that Thais have no problems with imagination and they will come up with something. Temple of Truth, White temple, Temple of Hell and Paradise, as well as others that I have not yet visited.
Tunnel / cave temple Wat Umong
Wat Umong is a very nice and old temple. It is also sometimes called a cave, but there are more tunnels than caves, since they are not made in the thickness of rock, but built of bricks. I saw something similar in the Rostov region, only darker, mysterious and abandoned - Migulinsky cave monastery.
Watu Umong is about 500 years old, judging by the stories of a Thai guide I met in the tunnel. Together with a group of schoolchildren or students, armed with a light bulb, he looked at the inscriptions or what other signs on the walls. When he saw me, he asked if I would like to listen. But either there was a lot of confusion on my face (I didn't expect it somehow), or his English was weak, so the story turned out to be very short, literally a few sentences, and then he went to sprinkle again in Thai.
There are not very many tunnels, everything is bypassed in just 5 minutes. But I would not be in a hurry. What for? On the contrary, it is better to turn on your imagination and walk slowly through each, imagining how many years ago monks all in the same orange robes walked here, prayed and thought their thoughts. Unfortunately, the tunnels are collapsing and holes are already gaping from above, covered with a plastic roof. I don’t know how this temple is with donations, but they really need to patch up these moves there, so your money will not be wasted if you leave.
There is a traditional stupa on the second tier of the temple. But it is not on the roof of the tunnel complex, I am nearby, although visually everything together looks like a single building. For some reason, there are almost no people up there, I spent forty minutes there, but apart from the monk chatting on the phone, the yawning dog and the crowing roosters, there was no one.
On the territory of Wat Umong, it is unusually calm, there is no tourist atmosphere at all, although the place is quite interesting. I want to sit, relax and enjoy the moment. The temple is open until late, I left somewhere around 6-7 pm, when it was completely dark. True, some objects are closed earlier, such as an art gallery. Be sure to go to the pond, there is a small island with benches and pink flowers, where there is just a funky place for peaceful conversations and thoughts, which can be interrupted only by the noise of turtles floating in the water, they swim right to your feet and strive to bite your finger.
Tunnel temple Umong (Wat Umong)
Tunnel temple Umong (Wat Umong)
A very nice and old temple. It is also sometimes called a cave, but there are more tunnels than caves. There is also a lake with turtles.
Read about the temple
A very nice and old temple. It is also sometimes called a cave, but there are more tunnels than caves. There is also a lake with turtles. Read about the temple
P.S. If you are going to visit Chiang Mai and are looking for accommodation, I remind you that we have review of 22 guesthouses in Chiang Mai. Or you can search and book a hotel in Chiang Mai on the service RoomGuru.