Wat Umong is located against the mountains of Doi Suthep and is about 1 km south of the main campus of Chiang Mai University. The wat occupies a tranquil setting and a small open zoo is stationed behind it. The temple was built in 1297 byKing Manglai of the Lan Na dynasty. Of particular interest is a replica of theAshok Pillar similar to the one at Vaishali with four lions and a wheel at the base and an additional larger wheel on top that acts as an umbrella for the lions. A similar pillar is also available at Sarnath Museum. The four lion head is adopted as the National Emblem of India. The entire Wat Umong complex consists of 37.5 rai (15 acres) of wooded grounds. You can feed the fish, turtles, and ducks in a large pond. "Talking trees" have words of wisdom in Thai and English. The wat is famous for its ancient tunnels and large chedi. There are tunnels with Buddhist images below the chedi which can be easily explored. These tunnels were supposedly built by the King and painted with bush scenes so they could keep a famous but mentally deranged monk within the grounds of the monastery as he had a habit of just wandering off into the bush for days on end. Signs (proverbs) written in English and Thai hang from the trees on footpaths leading to the small lake where fish, pigeons, and turtles can be fed. Other attractions include a Buddha field of broken sculpture, a fasting Bodhisattva, a Spiritual Theatre of paintings similar to those at Suan Mokkh, reproductions of ancient Buddhist sculpture of India, and a library-museum. This last building offers many books on Buddhism and other philosophies as well as a collection of historic objects and Buddhist art.[ Wat Umong is unique in that the resident monks live in a very natural setting, and occasionally feed the deer that live in the area. It also is possible to practice meditation at Wat Umong and to learn from the monks.
Yantra tattooing is a form of tattooing originally introduced by Khmer people of the Khmer Empire which influenced much of its culture in the region during its reign. It consists of sacred geometrical, animal and deity designs accompanied by Pali phrases that offer power, protection, fortune, charisma and other benefits for the bearer. These days, it remains popular in Thailand. Sak means tattoo in Thai, and yan is the Thai pronunciation for the Sanskrit word yantra a type of mystical diagram used in Dharmic religions. Sak yan designs are normally tattooed by ruesi (the Thai form of rishi), wicha (magic) practitioners, and Buddhist monks, traditionally with a metal rod sharpened to a point (called a khem sak). Yantra tattoos are believed to be magic and bestow mystical powers, protection, or good luck. There are three main effects of a yantra tattoo. One is that which benefits the wearer, such as making them more eloquent. Another is that of protection and to ward off evil and hardship. This is commonly used by military personnel, police, taxi drivers, gangsters and others in perceived dangerous professions. Another type is that which affects people around the wearer, such as invoking fear. The tattoo only confers its powers so long as the bearer observes certain rules and taboos, such as abstaining from a certain type of food.