So I got back this weekend from our short trip to the North of Thailand. Oh what a beautiful experience, this was truly one of the most beautiful places that I have visited and the thing that I loved most was the beautiful gentle people that live in this area.
The heat was a tad overwhelming but other than that everything was just awesome.
We spent a few days in Chiang Rai and then went south to Chiang Mai the capital of the North. We saw amazing temples and places whilst exploring.
I also made sure that I had a list of things to go and visit, and lucky for me I found a great site with pre-planned itineraries and on Thursday we headed out on some scooters to visit the mountain outside of Chiang Mai, the main attraction on the list was Doi Suthep but before getting there he mentioned a temple in the jungle that is not on the touristy route. This immediately caught my attention and as we stopped outside, I luckily took out the itinerary and read that we needed to follow the little path down the mountain.
We were all a bit skeptical but then decided to go for it anyway. As we rode down the little steep road we went deeper into the jungle. We eventually got to a parking lot and saw a couple of traditional buildings and a few monks strolling around.
Then there it was two beautiful Thai Sphinxes standing side by side next to a little entrance of a hedge.
I got quite excited as I have had a year of finding different sphinxes in the countries I have visited, so this felt like a good sign.
Then as we walked past these the most beautiful temples appeared, but nothing like any of the gold and ornate temples that we have seen during the week. This was simple, wood, honoring nature, all open and Buddhas made from white and grey stone, strewn around the entire area.
It was breathtaking and I was completely covered in goosebumps and as I turned around I saw my fellow travel companions all in their own world of wonder. Everyone looked at each other with wide eyes and smiles and we all knew we found THE place.
It was such an exploration – a beautiful pagoda covered in moss and little flowers towered up into the sky – loads and loads of little and big Buddha’s everywhere.
A cave with various Buddha’s covered in gold cloth, people praying, burning candles and incense and a lovely river and waterfall in the middle of it all. This place was just so magical and made me feel at home immediately. The connection with mother nature was epic and how these monks had managed to respectfully integrate their religion with the jungle around it was amazing. This just made my heart grow with so much love and I could not wipe the smile from my face.
It also made me realise that we are quite able as humans to integrate our beliefs and our need for deities and worship into the bigger picture of nature, it was lovely to see such a respectful religion alongside my happy place of nature. So in my heart I thanked those wonderful monks for making it such a special place. I found my happy place in Thailand right there on the mountain….