Wat Phumin

Wat Phumin

One of my favourite temples when I was in Northern Thailand last year was this one called Wat Phumin in Nan Province. It is not only beautiful in style but also quite unique in design. The temple, which dates back to 1596, is built in an unusual cruciform design with beautifully carved doors facing each direction. As we approached the temple we were greeted with the large head of a pair of Naga snakes. The back of the snakes are the railings. Inside we found a large seated Buddha image facing the doorway. On closer inspection, we discovered that in fact there were four Buddhas sitting back to back, each of which were facing one of the doorways. So, whichever door you entered the temple, you always faced a Buddha image. The murals on the wall, which date back to the mid 19th Century, are worth a closer look. They depict some of the stories from the Jataka, which is the story of the ten previous lives of the Lord Buddha. However, what is most fascinating about these murals is their historical value of showing the local way of life during the reign of King Rama V. Nan is one of those provinces that is tucked out of the way in the far northern corner with much of its eastern border up against Laos. You are not really passing through Nan to go anywhere else, but if you have the time, it is worth going to this area just because not many other people do. From Chiang Mai, a bus takes six to seven hours and from Bangkok they take ten to 13 hours.

Wat Phumin

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