Wat Sri Suphan – The first sanctuary in the world fully decorated in silver
Just outside the walls of Chiang Mai you can find Wat Siri Suphan Sanctuary, the first sanctuary in the world fully decorated in silver.
The sanctuary is strangely outside the classic tourist attraction, maybe because it’s slightly outside the city or because it’s just been renovated (reopened in may 2016). This means not many people around and you can visit for free.
Built on top of an antique 1502 temple it was covered and decorated by the artisans of Wu Lay community thanks to the donations of believers, a total 35.152.314 Thai Bath (around 932.123 euros). Every silver plate tells a story, inside you can find representation of the Buddha’s life, some talk about the buddhist doctrine and the footprints of the buddha, outside, the walls are covered in decorations that represents institutions: the thai realm family, the most important city’s in the world and 4 lotus flowers that represent human recognition. Beware that women are not allowed inside (which is uncommon in Thailand), because of an old Lanna belief, 500 years a go many very precious things like spells and sacred amulets were buried underneath the foundations of the temple, so it’s believed that either a woman (if inside) or the temple it self could be damaged by such things.
Inside Wat Sri Suphan Sanctuary you can find the centre of teaching and conservation of silver sculpture of the Wua Lay community who took home in Chiang Mai 200 years a go. Inside the temple it’s possible to have conversations in english with the monks so that they can practice the language and you get to ask theme about buddhism.
Just behind the silver temple there’s a lady that practices a very rare type of massage that you won’t find in many other places. It’s called Tok-Sen and it’s believed to be 2500 years old. This massage is based on the therapeutic effect of the thai massage and it’s done by tapping with a small hammer and a wooden chisel made with from tamarind tree, charged with the energy of a lighting and blessed in the monastery. All of that will cost you only 50 THB for 15 minutes (2 euros).
This sanctuary it’s a very different place to visit and it will leave you amazed with his fine detailed ornaments.