Wednesday, March 3, 2010


One of the best parts of this country are the amazing temples or wats that are in every little town and city and especially here in Chiang Mai where there are 300!
I found this one, a rare wooden one actually in Lampang, about an hour's drive away. Mostly made of teak, the wooden wats were made for centuries but monsoons, and termites made maintenance a big priority. When cement was discovered here 10 years ago, most became concrete and wooden wats that had suffered the ravages of time, were renovated using cement. This one, was unfortunately not even being used, and looked ready for destruction while a new shiny wat had been built just meters away. These Buddhist temples, were always housed in a compound made of a half a dozen buildings.
The amazing part about most of the wats, for me, even the concrete ones, was that the inside, the structure was of a timber frame style, where posts, either round or square were used to hold up purlins with a principle rafter roof structure.
I couldn't get inside this one, it looked like no one had been inside for a while and parts of the eaves were rotten. But look at the wonderful detail, all carved by monks at one time with some huge teak posts inside.
Now in Chiang Mai I am getting up in the morning early to beat the heat, and walking to one or two of them to photograph. After, a good strong cup of iced coffee is my reward.

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