In Mae Sai part 1, the ATMA SEVA team went to the White temple and also Mae Sai. On our second day, in the morning we went to Wat Thampla MaeSai also known as the Monkey cave temple, as monkeys roam around and live on the premise. The temple is set right into the mountain and jungle and there are two caves you can hike up to. There are great views and the caves are fun to be in and the Buddha shrines within are stunning. There are quite a few monkeys and visitors are accompanied by local teenagers who carry bamboo sticks in case the monkeys bite or jump on people.
After Wat Thampla, we set out to find a very unique temple named Wat Maa Tong or the Golden Horse temple. The temple is famous because of the abbot Phra Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto, who is a former professional kick boxer, and has also helped the local hill-tribe community immensely. He also teaches self-defense and muay Thai to the young men to teach discipline and give them strength. The monks in this temple ride horses to collect alms in the morning, hence Golden Horse temple. A while back a horse was donated to the temple and the abbot saw how the horse could help him spread the Dhamma.
We went for a hike next to the temple to try and reach a stupa on the mountain. After about forty minutes of hiking we found a farm in the jungle where lots of horses were and we also saw the abbot, but he was unable to speak as he was in the middle of a seven day meditation. The area was so mystical with a muay Thai training area, horse farm, and Buddha statues nestled into the lush green background. We never reached the stupa, but we were overly satisfied with what we had found.
Stay tuned for the next Photography corner as the ATMA SEVA team went to Wiang Haeng several days after this trip!
Photos by David Poppe