When it comes to Wats, one should not pick favorites, I suppose, but it is difficult NOT to place Oomong atop the list of one's Chiang Mai experiences. At the very foot of Doi Suthep, brimming with the sounds and sights of riotously-colored songbirds, featuring a hundred shades of green, and some of the most ancient buildings in the country, Wat Oomong is a place for introspection and calm, at the same time it encourages one's boyhood self to explore with underground tunnels and its own forest pond with a rickety bridge to a small island out back. I never know whether to be a collected adult or an undisciplined kid here! Imagine tunnels going thirty feet below the man-made mound in the Wat's center, well under its imposing chedi above. Imagine a stone garden filled with broken statues of the Buddha, resting here by the hundred in their now-disabled representation. Imagine the lucky blue-uniformed students in its internationally renowned school of Vipassana meditation sweeping the sidewalks and pacing the grounds as part of their daily routine. Feel the sheer anguish of the Emaciated Buddha statue above the mound. And recognize that this wat, which always seems to be one step away from being overcome by the jungle, dates to the mid-1300s. It is a pleasant stroll, a deep meditation, or just a fish feeding experience...your choice, or all! Simply amazing and not to be missed!