Before I start on the topic I have to include this photo because sunshine has arrived back to Chiang Mai. After months of cloudy or smoky days the skies have cleared to blue and the sun has made an exciting reappearance. Doi Suthep, which is the big hill overlooking the city, can now be clearly seen. Nothing special for you Australians but a big deal for us expats.

A lovely SUNNY morning looking out from our house.

A lovely SUNNY morning looking out from our house.

OK back to topic. Another temple post and on my list of recommended off the tourist path visits.

Wat Chet Yot is a large temple site just outside the main Chiang Mai city area along the Super Highway, Highway 11,  north of the intersection of Huai Kaeo road and Nimmanhemin road – GPS N 18 48 541 E 098 58 418. Because it a little way outside the main tourist route and as it is more set-up for Thais than tourists it isn’t widely included on the must sees of Chiang Mai, which has to be a plus.

We were invited to visit the Wat by Mark, a friend of ours who had been there before. He also suggested we have a debrief on the temple visit at a local Thai buffet restaurant he had discovered. Sounded like a plan so we headed off for an 11.00 am rendezvous.

This chedi is undergoing renovations.

This chedi is undergoing renovations.

The following  brief summary of the Wat Chet Yot has been borrowed by me from HERE so my thanks to them:

“Chet Yot was built during the reign of King Tilokkarat, whose remains are enshrined in one of the smaller chedi. Literally the “Temple of the Seven Spires,” Chet Yot is built in imitation of the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, where the Buddha reached enlightenment. The architecture is fairly eclectic, incorporating elements of Thai, Lao, Indian, and Chinese design. Visitors should take note of the seventy beautiful thewada bas-reliefs around the base of the temple—a masterpiece of Lanna kingdom art.

In 1477, the temple played host to the 8th world Buddhist council, an ecumenical gathering that sought to clarify certain doctrinal issues. Unfortunately, the records of this proceeding have since been lost.

Women visitors should note that only men are permitted to climb on the temple roof!

Because of the various means of translating Thai, “Chet Yot” can also be romanized as “Chet Yod,” “Jet Yot,” or “Jet Yod”.

The first impression of the temple site is one of greenery. It is set in a parkland setting, which makes for a restful break from the immediate vicinity outside. Highway 11 is the busiest road in Chiang Mai so this secluded Wat makes for a total contrast.

Lots of lovely old trees.

Lots of lovely old trees. Chairs and tables if you feel like a picnic.

The Buddha awaiting restoration. He'll be waiting a while I suspect.

The Buddha awaiting restoration. He’ll be waiting a while I suspect.

One of the main temple buildings.

One of the main temple buildings. This is the one where woman can’t walk on the roof!

Old brickwork or just unattended!

Old brickwork or just unattended or both!

Guardians.

A guardian.

Inside. Gaun being very Buddhist.

Inside. Note the barrelled roof. Gaun being very Buddhist.

Another of those weird monk collection boxes.

Another of those weird monk collection boxes.

You donate a coin to the box that matches the day of your birth. This is Gaun putting one into Friday. It then plays a little Buddhist chant!

You donate a coin to the box that matches the day of your birth. This is Gaun putting one into Friday. It then plays a little Buddhist chant!

The exterior façades of the building feature 70 strongly weathered stucco reliefs of Thewada (Devas), divine beings, the faces of whom have allegedly been modelled after relatives of King Tilokarat the king who commissioned the Wat in 1455.

The figures on side are certainly in a poor state.

The figures on side are certainly in a poor state.

Better on the opposite wall.

Better on the opposite wall.

Lovely.

Lovely.

A collection of monks. Impossible to get information on their role here.

A collection of monks who must have had a role in the temple at some time.

I see these white supporting sticks a lot at temples here. Symbolically they are holding up the branches of the tree. The big ones in concrete are literally doing just that.

I see these white supporting sticks at a number of temples here where they have a Bodhi tree – or I think this is a Bodhi tree. Buddha achieved enlightenment under this tree in India. Symbolically the sticks are holding up the branches of the tree. They have writing on them – names of the people who placed them there? The big ones in concrete are literally holding up branches.

One forgets that temples aren't tourist attractions. They are places for worship for Thais.

One forgets that temples aren’t tourist attractions. They are places of worship for Thais and form a living part of their lives.

More Buddhas.

More Buddhas.

There to be used.

There to be used.

A hole of some significance I guess. A bowl at the bottom into which one tries to drop a coin. Addictive! Gaun got it second time.

A hole of some significance I guess. A bowl at the bottom into which one tries to drop a coin. Addictive! Gaun got it second time.

A Buddhist bee's nest.

A Buddhist bee’s nest.

A Buddhist scary cat.

A Buddhist scary cat.

Another temple hall.

Another temple hall. This one had a “good” feel.

My tourist "been there" photo.

My tourist “been there” photo.

I think this monk wasn't real. He wasn't very talkative.

I think this monk wasn’t real but maybe he was just having a restful moment.

One of the mural panels that sit just under the ceiling.

One of the mural panels that sit just under the ceiling.

The gardens.

Another view of the gardens. Mark in the distance contemplating life.

Mark and me.

Mark and me. Some Poms are OK.

A final shot of Gaun as we head out of the temple grounds.

The building and gardens as we head out of the temple grounds.

Having worked up an appetite it was time to head across the road to this Thai buffet place for a feed. The place is very well patronised so best to get there early for lunch to get the best selection. All the buffet dishes are topped up but that must slow down at some point. It was busy with many uni student types as the restaurant is situated close to the Chiang Mai uni and other educational places.

The buffet. ALL Thai and some of it hot but I found enough to keep me going.

The buffet. ALL Thai and some of it hot but I found enough to keep me going.

Open, modern and clean.

Open, modern and clean.

I liked the roof construction.

I liked the roof construction.

Unlimited food including some weird Thai desserts cost $2.60 per person. Bottled soft drink $0.50.

Very full. A good couple of hours out. Thanks Mark.

Very full. A good couple of hours out. Thanks Mark.

Another Wat explored and reported on. We then headed home for a post-buffet snooze.

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Thanks for dropping by.