Wat Umong Chiang Mai
- Wat U Mong was built in a forested secluded place at the base of the sacred mountain Doi Suthep as a meditation temple and as such it does not have the usual features of temple grounds. The temple structures are well surrounded by forest trees and a lake. There are some “kuti” ( monks living quarters ) and a library.
- A Sukhothai style bell-shaped Chedi stands on a terrace and is accessed by a stairway. There is a purpose built tunnel complex with meditation cells and walls that were once decorated with Yunnanese design bird and flower designs and Buddha images. These are no longer visible.
- A short distance away is an unusual emaciated seated Buddha image.
- This forest Wat is believed to have been built in the time of King Mangrai in the 14th century and restored in 1371. It fell into disuse in the late 15th century. In 1948 it was re-established as a center for Buddhist teaching and a meditation temple. It remains so to this day.
- The notice on the metal plate at Wat U Mong describes that this temple was firstly called Werukattathatamr which means the temple of the eleven clumps of bamboo. Old records state that after the founding of Chiang Mai around 1297 A.D. King Mangrai built this temple in an area of the eleven clumps of bamboo for Phra Thera Chan and Sri Lankan monks to reside. Later a tunnel [ '' U Mong '' in Thai ] was constructed by the command of Phraya Kuena and since then the Temple was called U Mong Thera Chan or Wat U Mong.
- The principal Chedi of the Temple is situated on an open mound and within a boundary wall. The Chedi has a Naga staircase built on the south side which is the only entrance to the mound. On the east of the mound can be seen the open roof of parts of the tunnel. The entrance to the tunnels is on the lower mound and the tunnel doorway faces south. The tunnel is used to reside image s of Buddha. The lower court in front of the tunnel contains pavilions, monks' residences and a stone pillar with Indian lion sculptures on the top.
Major Tourist Places Of Interest In Chiang Mai West Of The Walled City Include
- Wat Umong. This was and remains a forested secluded place for meditation. It was built in the time of Mangrai and later improved in 1371.
- Wat Suan Dok
- Wat Pa Daeng
- Wat Rampoeng
- Wat Phra Boromathat Doi Suthep on Doi Suthep National Park