Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wat Mornthean and down the road a bit

I thought I was well and truly over looking at wats, but I must admit I really did enjoy traipsing around Chiang Mai a bit, with JJ, rediscovering their intrigue and beauty. I like to know a little about what I've seen, so once back to my computer, I try to do a bit of research. Please feel free to correct me if I get it wrong.
Wat Mornthean, (Wat Palace or Royal House - วัดมณเฑียร), or Monthian as Google would have it, lies inside the moat, opposite Wat Lok Molee. This is all the information you get regarding the wat, at the wat...the name and address.
As usual we were greeted by naga serpents (sometimes called 'naak' in Thai, นาค) in stereo, flanking the steps leading up to the temple...
...then by a couple of rather scantily clad, lazy looking, well fed yaksha warriors. Apparently yaksha can be either fearless in the appearance or a bit on the portly side. Then this extraordinary doorway.
I'm not being melodramatic, but this is usually as close as I can get to taking a good photo of an image of Buddha, inside a wat. That's him, glinting in the shadows. For some reason they're always out of focus. However, I rarely use a flash. It just seems disrespectful to do so, especially if people are worshipping at the time. And, even if I do, I think all of that glistening gold sends my camera into a tizzy. I checked JJ's photos too...but hers were the same.
I had no trouble taking this one, it's as big as a barn and well lit and outside. By the way, don't sit on the timber seats nearby...some type of wasp or bee, is nesting in it...ouch!
A cute couple at the side of the wat.
Pretty shutters covering a window.
Heading east along Sri Poom Rd, we approached the white walls, mounted with gold horses, of the next temple grounds.
Unfortunately a wat dog made it quite clear we weren't welcome (he had back up), so we high tailed it across the  road...didn't really want to go in there anyway! ...and the view of Wat Khuaan Khaa Maa (วัดควรค่าม้า) from a safer distance.
Its name literally translates to 'Wat worthy of horse' or 'Wat should be the horse', which explains a lot, but a little. I'm not sure what significance the horses have, yet. Stray and I visited this temple in 2009 to enquire about their massage courses, without any annoyance of the four legged kind.Wat ? is a little further down the road.You can't miss it!
I dread to think how many disco mirror balls were sacrificed in the making of this wall. It's impressive to say the least.
As is this rustic timber sign which I'd like to take home to decorate my lounge room wall...please tell me it's written in old Lanna script! Otherwise my Thai studies are not going as well as I thought they were ;) I haven't had time to translate this one, so can't tell you which wat it is. We spotted dogs lying around inside, so voted to give it a miss. From the outside it didn't look like there was much to see on the inside...I could be completely wrong.
Does anyone out there read Lanna?
I'll end the post here, before we reach Wat Chiang Man, otherwise it will be incredibly long and anyway, we both need to stop for coffee, and one of us needs cake!

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


DanPloy said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the comment on the disco mirror balls. If I come across that recycling factory I'll certainly pop in and take a look.

And don't be so worried by the dogs, Just ignore them, don't look at them and walk calmly by. Even if they bark at you. Or bite you. Just keep walking on as if nothing happened. If they chew one of your legs off drop to the floor in a dismissive pose and drag yourself forward with your arms; if you try to walk you will just go in circles. Take a chewy toy for them, if you don't have one use your other leg. Remember as they chew on your throat, dogs love to play and are sociable creatures.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@DanPloy Your instructions on how to handle a dog attack,had me both laughing and laughing some more. On the serious side, I've never been afraid of dogs (respectful, yes) and in general, love them. Over the years we've always owned at least one big dog, usually Rottwieler crosses. So I'm not unaccustomed to large canines and feel a bit hurt that the local dogs here don't always like me.

I did consider carrying meaty treats in my handbag for a while, but decided that might make me a little too popular = target!

Paul Garrigan said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Snap, it sounds like you are really getting to know Chiang Mai. You will be a great tour guide if family and friends come to visit.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Paul Garrigan By end of year I'll be able to arm my visitors with a plotted map of things to see in the Chiang Mai area and a great tuk tuk driver ;)

I am enjoying discovering and re-discovering the treasures this city holds.