Temples in Chiang Mai are like Duomos in Italy or sea lions on the Galápagos Islands, they are everywhere. You will spot them next to convenience stores, tucked in between souvenir shops and smack dab in the middle of bustling business sections of town.
Even though there was not a Chiang Mai temple that quite compared to the unconventionality of the White Temple in Chiang Rai, there was one wat inside the city gates that warranted a closer look.
Right across the street from my home away from home, the 3 Sis, sat Wat Chedi Luang, an eye-catching Buddhist temple. How convenient. It’s positioning, inside the center of the city walls and next to my hotel, made it incredibly easy to visit daily. And I did. Once would not have been nearly enough.
Walking through the gates of the stone white barrier I was greeted by a jovial looking Buddha, a ceramic pot filled with several incense offerings and one very lazy dog.
Beyond the entrance, and the sleepy pooch, was a large viharn (sermon hall) that donned naga dragons at it’s doorstep.
After getting my fill of the gilded interior, I exited and walked to the back side of the vihran where there was a striking sight.
I continued to explore the perimeter, every step being just as notable as the last: metal bells hung, sitting Buddhas peaked through archways and active worshippers gathered at the bottom of the steep, stone stairs.
On my last day in Chiang Mai, I went back to Wat Chedi Luang in an attempt to participate in their Monk Chat, a time that is set aside for the monks to have conversation with visitors and practice their English.
Unfortunately, on this particular day there was one guy intensely questioning the one and only monk. So instead, I spent an hour reading the blue inspirational signs posted around Wat Chedi Luang that said things like “Wisdom is the knowing what to do next”, “Better an ugly face than an ugly mind” and “Do good, receive good; do evil, receive evil”.