Wat Umong, also known as Wat Umong Suan Puthatham or simply Oomong, is an old temple located just 3kms west from the Old City.
Built in 1297 by King Manglai, the temple rests on Suthep Mountain and is surrounded by green forest and jungle, making it a unique temple to visit whilst in Chiang Mai.
Wat Umong Temple & Meditation Centre Retreat Chiang Mai, Thailand
The entire temple complex sits on over 15 acres of land and sits over a myriad of tunnels that intersect underground. There are a number of stories about why the tunnels were built. One was that the monk who lived here was mentally disturbed and so the tunnels were built for him to wander around, but so he couldn’t escape into the city. The other is that the monk found it hard to meditate with all the surrounding noise, so the tunnels were built as a quiet place to walk and meditate.
The temple was abandoned in the 15th century and lay derelict for the longest time. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the temple was restored.
Today, visitors are welcome to walk around the grounds and view the various pagodas and cheti’s on site. Many visitors also come to learn about Buddha by attending one of the teachings which are held on Sundays from 3pm. Talks are held in English near the pond and monks will be present to answer your questions.
As with all temples in Thailand, visitors must ensure they are dressed respectfully. This includes covering knees, shoulders and midriffs.