Chiang Mai is known for its beautiful Buddhist wats. You could spend a whole day or more wandering around the old city visiting these ornate temples.
After visiting Chiang Mai and exploring the wats on two different occasions, I thought I had seen all of the interesting wats in around the old city.
On our third visit to Chiang Mai, we were looking for something to do that we hadn’t already done. I picked up a tourist magazine at the hotel we were staying. There was an article about a silver temple just outside the city gates.
I was determined than we go to this unique temple. We exited the south gate and walked along the diagonal Saturday Night Walking Market route. Google maps marked Wat Sri Suphan a long way down the road and we almost gave up.
Then I saw an arch and heading in that direction. Through the arch a shiny silver temple came into view. We found it.
Everything in the wat was glistening in the sunlight including a large elephant statue.
Women were not allowed in the ubosot, the ordination hall. A sign outside the door stated that it was unknown whether the presence of women in the ubosot would defile the sacredness of the contents of the building or the contents of the building would defile the women. In any case, the girls and I were not allowed in.
While Rand was in the ubosot, I was invited to talk with a monk sitting on a platform.
He asked me where I was from and how long I had been in Chiang Mai. I asked how long he had been a monk. A mae chee or female monk translated as necessary. Then the monk placed a white braided string on my hand and chanted a blessing while tying three knots on the string around my wrist.
The girls were offered colorful braided bracelets. A donation basket sat nearby, so I tossed in 20 baht as token of thanks for the experience.
It is worth wandering out of the old city to see this glittering wat.