Wat Phra Dhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara

by Dieter Baltruschat and Phra Claus, last updated March 2003

Wat Phra Dhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara (pronounce: Wat Prah That)


Early registration recommended
Insight Meditation Center
Wat Phra Dhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara, T. Ban Luang, A. Chomtong, Chiang Mai 50160, Thailand
Tel / Fax: +66-53-826869 | Website: www.sirimangalo.org


The Insight Meditation Center is in Chomthong near Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The main temple houses the famous Takkhinamoli-relic. Meditation courses take place in a fairly quiet area near the main temple. On the grounds there are bungalows, two meditation halls, kitchen, and dining hall as well as some other buildings.


Theravada, Vipassana meditation in the Mahasi tradition. Ajahn Tong is in his early eighties and one of Thailand‘s most famous meditation teachers.

Meditation Technique and Course of Retreat

Intensive meditation practice.Practitioners practice in their own bungalows or at a location of their choosing. All practitioners receive individual meditation instructions. During the retreat the four bases of mindfulness (observing body, feelings, mind, and mind objects) are practiced and all arising phenomena are noted mentally. Initially the rising and falling of the abdomen is the primary object of meditation during sitting, and the movement of the foot during walking. Each period of meditation begins with a mindful prostration. A period of walking meditation and a period of sitting follow. Beginners start with 10 minutes and increase gradually to an hour.


Kate and Thanat Chindaporn or Edward Kooij and Jodi Snijders. Pleasant atmosphere. In the daily interviews meditators receive very helpful and clear instructions for practice.


Interviews in English oder Thai.

Course Duration and Dates

A beginners’ course is approximately three weeks. Since courses are individual no particular dates need to be observed. The retreat begins with an initiation ceremony. Persons who have already taken a course at the center can participate in 10-day courses.


Kutis (bungalows) with bath and toilet (plenty of water and laundry facilities). Men and women live in separate quarters. Thin mattresses on concrete or wood. If this is too hard for you, bring a sleep pad. Blankets can be borrowed. A sleeping bag and fleece jacket are particularly useful during the cooler season.


Daily necessities, meditation pillow and white clothes can be bought in the small shops or the market outside the Wat. A digital alarm clock, flashlight, flipflops, water bottle, insect repellant, toiletries and possibly tea and coffee should be bought before the retreat. If there is no electric kettle in your bungalow, you can buy one in Chomtong (approx. 180 Baht).


Breakfast (6 a.m.) and lunch (11 a.m.) are varied and of good quality. There is always a choice of two or three vegetarian dishes and sometimes fruit. After noon no meals should be taken (drinks such as milk, tea, coffee, and yoghourt are permitted). Drinking water is filtered and therefore potable. To be even more sure, bring disinfectant or boil water.

Medical Care

In Chomtong there are pharmacies and a serviceable hospital with English-speaking doctors. This area is not considered contaminated with malaria, but in other parts of Thailand malaria is common. The hygiene in the Wat is good.




Participants vow to adhere to the eight moral precepts (moral practice rules). Clothing should be white, comfortable, and decent (no shorts or tank tops). Wake-up call at 4 a.m.

Climate and Best Time To Go

November to March.

By Train
From Bangkok: Take the night train (about 13 hs), bus or plane (about 1 h) to Chiang Mai. From Chiang Mai to Chomtong during 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. bus No 1232 (blue-white) leaves approximately every 30 min (23 Baht). Depart at Chiang Mai gate, the old city’s southern gate. Yellow pick-ups also travel the route (about 20 Baht).