The Weirdest Temple in Chiang Mai

Out near the zoo, hidden in a dusty residential neighborhood, miles from the nearest high street, is a Chiang Mai forest. In the middle of that forest, lies this piece of majesty: Wat Umong.

The koans, which you’ll find nailed to trees at random, read like a stocking-stuffer self-help book. But they’re great.

Chickens peck at your feet. Broken Buddhas are pasted together randomly. Icons are thrown in piles.

Horrific art is shoved in corners.

Monks swish brooms gently at your feet. In case anyone needed to hide this haven of awesomeness, they built long tunnels with escape hatches. Straight out of Shaolin Temple. Completely awesome.

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