This is most sacred wat in Chiang Mai. We passed it on our way to lunch and decided to take a detour. What was meant to be a quick 20-30 minute meander became a two hour tour (and we didn’t even go inside the main temple room).
I got lost (metaphorically speaking) in the temple gardens wandering from tree to tree, reading each proverb and reflecting on their teachings.
As we were about to leave, a novice monk or “samanen” asked if we could sit and talk with him so he could practice his English. Som, a 19 year old man originally from Chiang Rai, decided to become a monk when he was 12 years of age. We chatted about his life and daily duties, his hometown, California, food, the weather, and loud tourists. In the end we exchanged thank yous, bows, and said goodbye. Within minutes he had moved on to another pair of visitors. Our only regret was not asking to take a photo with him.