Wat Umong (complete name: Wat Umong Suan Puthatham) is a 700 year old Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is located against the mountains of Doi Suthep and is south of Chiang Mai University. Wat Umong is unique in that the resident monks live in a very natural setting, and occasionally feed the deer that live in the area. There are tunnels with Buddhist images below the chedi which can be easily explored.
These tunnels were supposedly built by the King and painted with bush scenes so they could keep a famous but mentally deranged monk within the grounds of the monastery as he had a habit of just wandering off into the bush for days on end. Signs (proverbs) written in English and Thai hang from the trees on footpaths leading to the small lake where fish and turtles can be fed.
The entire Wat Umong complex consists of 37.5 rai (15 acres) of wooded grounds. You can feed the fish, turtles, and ducks in a large pond. "Talking trees" have words of wisdom in Thai and English. The wat is famous for its ancient tunnels and large stupa.
Other attractions include a Buddha field of broken sculpture, a fasting Bodhisatva, a Spiritual Theatre of paintings similar to those at Suan Mokkh, reproductions of ancient Buddhist sculpture of India, and a library-museum. This last building offers many books on Buddhism and other philosophies as well as a collection of historic objects and Buddhist art. It also is possible to practice meditation at Wat Umong and to learn from the Monks.
Operating day: Daily
Operating time: 08.00 - 17.00