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“Serene place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wat Umong

Wat Umong
135 Moo 10 Suthep, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
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Private Tour
$41*
and up
Private Tour: Lamphun Day Trip by Train from...
Ranked #9 of 209 things to do in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This unique 14th-century temple is built into the side of Suthep mountain and is constructed of a series of tunnels.
Singapore, null, Singapore
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Serene place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I've traveled to Wat Umong from Chiang Mai city on both Tuk Tuk and Songthaew, they cost 300B and 70B respectively. I've overpaid for Tuk Tuk since my Tuk Tuk return trip was only 100B.

Wat Umong has a meditation centre where one could stay and meditate. As there aren't many tourists, it is a very conducive for meditation. The place doesn't offer much instruction, it will be best if you have prior meditation experience. White shirt and pants (needed for stay-in meditation) can be bought from the office of the meditation centre.

Besides the Tunnel, pond and museum mentioned by other travelers, there is old temple ruin further into the forest. Do ask the monks for directions.

Visited February 2013
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339 reviews from our community

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Bristol
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“not what i expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Maybe that's my issue then, but after seeing some of the Wats in Chiang Mai town I was expecting similarities on the looks of the temples. It's impressive in that it's old and built for purpose, but I was expecting beauty and this I did not find.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
58 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Peaceful Forest Temple”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

This is a unique temple that is build in the midst of a forest. They have some caves that you can visit which contain alters and there is a peaceful lake you can feed fishes in. The site also has a library, museum and zoo in the forest (although we didn't see any animals!). One note, they have some dogs wandering around like most temples but there were a few that definitely growled at us.

These dogs were quite far from the actual temple and were around the wooded zoo area so as long as you don't wander too far from the main area, you will be fine. The dogs in the tourist bit are quite friendly!

Visited January 2013
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Sukhothai, Thailand
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good place to be”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

This is a nice temple to be for metitation and to relax i have been there for a rew time to rest and i feel like it very much so i have sit there for a while, feed some fish and bird there went to see some Budha in the tunnel. it really good place to be.

Visited November 2012
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Seoul, Korea
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Worth the small effort to get some peace.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Recently my Korean wife, my son, and his Thai wife and I (American) made a recent trip to this forest temple. It was the second visit in about 7 years for my wife and me. Thai Forest Buddhism is highly respected in Thailand and abroad for being a no-nonsense, highly disciplined school of meditation. This may explain why certain aspects of this very large, forested wat were immaculate and other areas were atypically a bit unkempt. But given the overall forest atmosphere, that was not an issue. There is a much more natural vibe to the place and the overall environment lends itself to reflection than the more typical highly decorated style of other schools of Thai Buddhism.

The tunnels into the man-made mound are worthwhile, provided that one takes one's time. If one rushes through them in a hurried frame of mind, one may conclude the tunnels are no big deal. But with the right attitude, the tunnels are worthy loitering venues.

There are some areas in the wat's compound kept in the natural state of vegetation which may worth checking out given most of the area around Chiangmai has been cleared for urban or farming requirements.

Wat Umong may rate as a "must-see" for the one- or two-day Chiangmai visitor, but for those people who visit Chiangmai three or more days, this is one of the relatively hidden gems truly worth checking out. Including transportation to/from Chiangmai, one should allocate a good 2 to 2 1/2hours minimum to visit this temple.

Visited December 2012
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