Wat Pah Nanachat

Source: Dieter Baltruschat and website, last updated Oct. 2007

Wat Pah Nanachat (International Forest Monastery)


Early registration h4ly recommended!
Wat Pah Nanachat
The Guest Monk, Ban Bung Wai, Ampher Warin Chamrap, Ubon Ratchathani 34310, Thailand.
Tel: 045-4000-15 | Fax: 045-400-16.
Internet: http://www.watpahnanachat.org (no email)


Wat Pah Nanachat is located on the road between the towns Warin and Si Saket near the village Ban Bung Wai in a little forest. The Wat is about 15 km from the northeastern Thai city of Ubon Ratchathani. To Bangkok about 600 km, to the Laos border about 80 km.




The Wat was founded in 1975 by Ajahn Chah, a Theravada meditation teacher highly regarded in Thailand. Ajahn Sumedo was its first abbot. Other abbots included Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Jayasaro and Ajahn Nyanadhammo.

Meditation Technique

Life and practice according to strict Thai forest monastic guidelines. No particular technique is practised; rather, meditators are invited to draw from the abundance of the Theravada tradition’s recommended reflections and practices (e.g. Anapanasati, 32 body parts ...).


Guests are welcome to give a donation.

Extended Stay and Possibilities To Ordain

Since the monastery is not a retreat center for laypersons, it does not offer meditation courses. Hence there are no particular dates to adhere to. However, six male and six female guests can be accommodated for some time to participate in monastic everyday life. Since demand is high, early registration is highly recommended. Usually, guests have the option to practise several hours a day individually.

Wat Pah Nanachat offers to the interested the opportunity to live the authentic life of a Thai forest tradition monk. Laymen who want to be accepted into the Sangha train about 6 months as pa-khao in white and 1 year as novice before being fully ordained as monks. There is no community of nuns/nunnery at Wat Pah Nanachat.

However, women can apply to this monastery in England:
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Gt. Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP1 3 BZ, United Kingdom.


For the first three days guests are accommodated in dorms. If you want to stay longer, you have to consult the abbot. Men are then asked to shave their heads, wear white clothing and move to a kuti (hut) in the forest. A light sleeping bag is useful, especially during the cooler season. Mosquito nets, sheets, blankets and pillows are provided by the monastery.

What To Bring

Before arriving, be sure to get an alarm clock, a quality torch (spare bulb and batteries), flip-flops, water bottle, insect repellant, toilet articles, candles and matches. All these things are available in Warin or Ubon. A warm jacket may be useful during morning meditation.


The only meal of the day is breakfast at 8 a.m. Laypersons receive a share of the food offered to the monks.

Medical Care

Good by Asian standards. The nearest hospital and pharmacies are in the province capital Ubon. The area is not considered malaria area but in other parts of Thailand malaria is common.


All guests commit themselves to adhere to the eight silas (moral precepts). Clothing should be white, comfortable, and decent (no shorts or tank tops). Female guests traditionally wear a white blouse and a black skirt.

Daily Schedule

Morning chanting and meditation
Dawn: monks and novices go out for alms, guests sweep paths or help in the kitchen.
8:00 a.m.: meal
9:00 a.m.: tidying up
9:30 a.m.: individual practice
3:30 p.m.: communal work (sweeping etc.)
4:30 p.m.: afternoon drink (sometimes sangha meeting)
6:30 p.m.: individual practice
Evening chanting and meditation

Climate and Best Time To Go

November to February.


Particularly interesting for men who want to live for some time according to the rules of Thai forest monasteries and who consider ordaining, and for people who are interested in this tradition.

Day guests best arrive before 8 a.m. They are very welcome to participate in the offered meal. After that, there is an opportunity to speak with the abbot.

An interesting visit can be made to the memorial (stupa and museum) of Ajahn Chah at Wat Nong Pah Pong (www.watnongpahpong.org) not far away.

Texts by Ajahn Chah at: www.ajahnchah.org

Affiliated monasteries


Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
Great Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP1 3BZ.
Office Tel: (01442) 842455 | Retreat Info - Tel: 843239
Guest Info - Tel: 843411 | Fax: (01442) 843721
Website: www.amaravati.org

Aruna Ratanagiri Monastery, Harnham, Belsay, Northumberland, NE20 OHF
Tel: 01661 881 612 | Fax: 01661 881 019
E-mail: community@ratanagiri.org.uk | Website: www.ratanagiri.org.uk

Cittaviveka Chithurst Buddhist Monastery
Chithurst, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 5EU.
Tel: (01730) 814 986 | Fax: (01730) 817 334
Website: www.cittaviveka.org

Devon Vihara, Hartridge Buddhist Monastery
Upottery, Honiton,Devon EX14 9QE.
Tel: (01404) 89-1251 | Fax: (01404) 89-0023
Website: www.amaravati.org/hartridge


Dhammapala Buddhistisches Kloster
Am Waldrand, CH 3718 Kandersteg.
Tel: 033 675 2100 | Fax: 033 675 2241
Internet: www.dhammapala.ch


Santacittarama Monastero Buddhista, loc. Brulla, 22, 02030 Frasso Sabino (RI) Italy.
Tel: (+39) 0765 872 186 (7:30-10:30, every days except Monday) | Fax: (+39) 06 233 238 629
Website: www.santacittarama.org | E-mail: sangha@santacittarama.org


Bodhinyana Monastery
Lot 1, Kingsbury Drive, Serpentine. WA 6125.
Tel: (61-8) 9525 2420 | Fax: (61-8) 9525 3420

Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre (Perth)
18-20 Nanson Way, Nollamara. WA 6061.
Tel: (61-8) 9345 1711 | Fax: (61-8) 9344 4220
Website for both: www.bswa.org.au

Bodhivana Monastery
780 Woods Point Road, East Warburton, Victoria 3799.
Tel: +61 (0) 3 5966 5999 | Fax: +61 (0) 3 5966 5998

New Zealand

17 Rakau Grove, Lower Hutt, Wellington.
Tel: (04) 563-7193 | Fax: (04) 563-5125
Website: www.bodhinyanarama.net.nz

Auckland Buddhist Vihara
29 Harris Road, Mt. Wellington,Auckland.
Tel: (09) 595 5443 | Website: www.vimutti.org.nz

North America

Abhayagiri Monastery
16201 Tomki Road, Redwood, Valley, CA 95470.
Tel: (707) 485-1630 | Fax: (707) 484-7948
Website: www.abhayagiri.org