Visiting Rai Chun Tawan ...

Rai Chun Tawan is a Buddhist meditation center or I believe they call it, vipassana center, associated with a very famous monk.  Since I don’t believe monks actually own things, I chose the word associated as being more discrete.  Located on the backside of Huay Sak reservoir in Chiang Rai Thailand you are not going to stumble across it if you are not looking for it and know where it is.  I have been to Huay Sak reservoir before but didn’t know Chun Tawan was there and had never traveled far enough down the dirt roads leading past the dam to find it.

It was a religious holiday and my wife thought it might make for an interesting outing to try and find this place she had read about.  Huay Sak is a small town located on the road from Chiang Rai to Thoeng but we took a shortcut from our house by cutting through the 1306 at Baan Don.  The 1306 comes out right at the Huay Sak intersection and shortened our trip considerably.  We followed some small Thai signs which brought us in what I assume is the main entrance.  In the mood for a little more exploration upon leaving, we headed further into the mountains instead of retracing our path.  Eventually to my surprise and delight we passed the dam and came out at the main intersection in Huay Sak.  Like many reservoirs at this time of year, the water level was quite low with water being released for the rice planting.

Maybe it is just me but my pursuit of inner peace and tranquility is a solitary undertaking and not something I would find possible surrounded by hundreds of other people.  Then again as long as I have lived here, I am not Thai.  Don’t get me wrong it is a lovely place.  In fairness I suppose religiosity has always been very social and cultural at its core.  Accommodation seemed to cover upscale bungalows to tents spaced around a grassy meadow, with some rather nice locker and bathing facilities.

As an interesting side note, one of my wife’s Facebook friends mentioned that she was among those we took to be sleeping under the rubber-wood trees.  With claims that she heard snoring around her, we should give her the benefit of the doubt that she was indeed awake and meditating.  If you are really interested, my guess is that Googling Rai Chun Tawan Vipassana Center should give you more detailed information. 

I just wanted to share some photographs I took of the lovely grounds during our little outing.