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All photos are © Barbara Cameron Pix, unless otherwise noted.
Three of the 300 Buddhist temples (“wat”) in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Suan DokThis 14th-century temple is located just west of the old city wall. The striking white and gold exterior architecture seems almost austere once you enter the main temple. Inside, the scale, colours, and ornate complexity seem to contradict the quiet calm within.
Wat Sri Suphan, also known as The Silver TempleIt’s an impressive sight—a temple completely covered in silver, with Buddhist legends displayed in ornate silver carvings. The temple was originally built (not from silver) around 1500. Because it was the main temple for a silversmith village, however, local silver was used for repairs. And then in 2008, the process began to completely cover the temple in silver. I am not able to show you any interior images from Wat Sri Suphan because it is off-limits to women. And I say that with no judgement—as a visitor I know I must respect the customs and beliefs of the places I go. Maybe someday that will change, but it’s not up to me to judge.
Exterior view of the grounds and The Silver Temple, Wat Sri Suphan, in Chiang Mai Thailand.
The grounds of the Silver Temple are home to small silver studios where you can see the artists at work.
Wat Phra That Doi SuthepChiang Mai’s most famous temple is perched on Doi Suthep, a mountain just northwest of the city. The temple dates from 1383. Because it’s so famous, it’s also very popular with locals and tourists alike. I planned a very early morning visit one day, solo, so I could experience the temple when it was calm. And I am so glad I did. Once you climb the 309 steps, you enter a complex filled with pagodas, statues, murals and shrines that reflect both Buddhist and Hindu traditions. And I dare you to walk around without your jaw dropping to the floor in wonder.
Where there are temples, there are Buddhist monks
Novice Buddhist monks, mentored by their elders, prepare for a prayer ceremony at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Buddhist monks, including novice monks, practice their daily tradition of receiving alms at Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Lady Boys in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Performers at the Chiang Mai Cabaret, and some of my Remote Year Curie travelling companions being thoroughly entertained!