Without a lot of free open space for Hugo to run around, I once again found myself at a temple for a bit of sightseeing/small child energy burn.
Wat U Mong is very close to Chiang Mai University, but feels very secluded on its heavily wooded hill.
It was originally built in 1297.
Once you get to the courtyard you will see the entrance to the most unusual feature of Wat U Mong: a series of tunnels built in 1380 for clairvoyant monk Thera Jan.
It’s a series of interconnected passageways full of little niches and larger shrines.
Don’t worry, it’s not dark and scary. There is lighting along the floor, and some areas with damage to the ceiling have “skylights” to protect the structure. There are also some original paintings still visible on the walls, but they didn’t photograph well, so you’ll have to use your imagination until you have a chance to come visit yourself. Hugo will be happy to play tour guide.
Of course, no trip to a temple is complete without a small lake to feed fish/get pooped on by pigeons.
Confession time: I really did get pooped on by a pigeon. It was completely disgusting. My Chinese students once told me that it was good luck to get pooped on by a bird, but that sounds like the kind of thing you say to make someone feel better, not something that’s actually true.
But, I’ve decided to take the advice of this sign to heart: