Wat Umong is Chiang Mai’s only forest temple. The temple complex is located at the foot of Doi Pui Mountain and the buildings are located throughout the forested area. Wat Umong dates back to the 13th Century and consists of a range of old ruins, meditation tunnels and a large unpainted stupa. The temple complex also has a monastery so there are always monks walking around, often circling the stupa in prayer. The tunnels are rarely used for meditation anymore due to the amount of visitors that come each day. When entering you should take your shoes off and remain silent as this is a place of worship. There are a few enclaves with Buddha statues and if you look on the ceiling of the tunnels you may be able to see some old drawings of elephants and temples, thought to date back to the 13th or 14th Century.
To the left of the tunnels is a large lake and a small island that is connected by a bridge. Just before the bridge there is a small stall selling fish food for 10 Baht. The lake is full of large catfish and by feeding them you gain good merit. There are also a few turtles and it is considered lucky if you spot one of them. While the food is meant for the fish, most people end up feeding the pigeons that live on the island as well.
- Opening Hours: 06:00-18:00
- Location: Suthep Road, Soi Wat Umong