Every Sunday, our volunteers and residents go on an excursion to explore the surrounding region, get some rest and relaxation after a week of hard work on the farm, and learn more about the local culture.
This weekend, a journey through undulating roads and spectacular mountain forest brought us to Doi Tung, which looms 1389 metres high in the Golden Triangle area, near the Thai-Burmese border. Cloaked by an eerie blanket of cloud and mist, we visited Phra That Doi Tung, a temple which houses a sacred relic and is an important site of pilgrimage for devout Buddhists. Other stops at Doi Tung included the impressive royal villa and sprawling Mae Fah Luang gardens.
Our next destination was Wat Tham Pla (‘Fish Tail Cave’), the latter also known as Monkey Temple for the macaques that inhabit the temple and surrounding forest. Past the menagerie, which not only included some rather friendly monkeys, but also crocodiles, peacocks, rabbits, and fish, a steep climb by foot brought us into a serene cave, which housed a Burmese-style Buddha statue, and is also a resting and meditation spot for wandering thudong (forest) monks.
After all the excitement just outside, we took this chance to quietly reflect, and remind ourselves why we try to tame what Buddhists call, ‘Our monkey minds’!