Wat Phan Tao

This temple in Chiang Mai is, hands down, my favorite I’ve seen thus far. Old, elegantly crafted teak pillars, temple bells, wooden Buddhas, antique cabinets, ceramics, and mosaics. Clinking of coins dropping into tin bowls, sounds of reverence. Sunlight streaming in through the windows, weaving between golden banners and dancing across the floor, off the top of Buddha’s head. A lone monk sitting in the corner, in silence. Every piece that makes up this temple seems to be working together to speak one truth. I have venerated previous temples because they are, and have been, sacred to other people. Now I’ve found one that is sacred to me.

In Chiang Mai, I also saw a Muay Thai fight and had the most healing reflexology session of my life. On Thursday night, Mel and I went to an Ansel Adams documentary screening at Documentary Arts Asia, a non-profit organization I discovered prior to my trip to Thailand. The organization’s aim is improving visual literacy and promoting documentary arts in Asia. Storytelling–my favorite. I want to be involved and volunteer here, learning photography and maybe one day having my photos exhibited at the studio. Ryan Libre, award-winning photographer and founder, is a laid back guy and his heart is in the right place. Turns out he too wwoofed with Isara when he first came to Thailand, 12 years ago! I intend to support him and learn from him in any way I can.

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