The city of Chiang Mai is studded with over three hundred Wats (temples). Many are congregated in the inner city – red wood and gilded or mirrored in glass mosaics. But there are many worth exploring outside the city center.
While living in the city, my absolute favorite Wat to spend time at was in the shadows of Doi Suthep Mountian. Wat Umong is a forest temple with tiled caves, a reflection pond and a large stupa. But if you wander over near the wall of the caves there is a collection of crumbling Buddhas of varying ages and sizes that have collected in disarray like relics in an attic. It is one of the most peaceful places I’ve found in the city. Bring a book, or a journal and collect some freshly sliced fruit and allow yourself the time to sit and take in the serenity.