Monk Chats in Chiang Mai


Monk Chats

Are you keen in trying to understand the purpose of life a bit deeper? With so many uncertainties in the world, what you can only control is your inner peace. In Chiang Mai of Thailand, you can learn something about being a monk and how a monastic life plays an important part in Thailand’s overall sociology through monk chats .

In most cases, monk chat activity takes place in a corner with a table and some chairs. Some temples have a meditation center. Usually, Monk Chats are with novice or younger monks while it is an excellent way for them to practice English and meet people from all over the world. This fun cultural exchange is the ideal way to learn more about Thai culture, Buddhism and well anything else you chat about. The monks may be shy and be prepared with questions they want to ask you. Please remember to help facilitate the discussion. Chiang Mai has been the epitome of the monk chat movement. Some of the frequently visited temples have kept their monk chat program unchanged.


Monk Chat in Chiang Mai


Common Questions About Monk Chats:

What Do You Talk About? 

You can talk about almost anything you want because there is no fixed script for monk chat. Most boys will have a memo to ask you questions since they are still learning English and are not so confidence. Ask them any questions you want, and do remember to share your own stories. If you are in a hurry, you can always stop by briefly and do basic introductions, do let them introduce themselves back. They’ll be grateful to you for the practice.

How Long Does a Monk Chat Last? 

As for the duration of Monk chatting, it is entirely up to you. Some programs can only run for 2-3 hours, while others be as long as all day, so it only depends on how long you want to talk. A normal conversation usually run for about an hour, especially when you are with a group of monks or there are quite a few people in your team. However, if you only have 5 minutes, remember to have a monk chat in Chiang Mai.

Can Women Join a Monk Chat? 

Monk chatting is a casual conversation you have with monks in their monasteries. You needn’t to be Buddhist to participate in a monk chat. It’s open to all religions, all races, and all nationalities. Anyone is welcome to join a Monk Chat, the more the merrier! Women are usually prohibited to approach or touch monks to avoid corrupting them. This is so strict that when monks receive morning alms from a woman, they usually have to put the offerings on the ground and pick them up, rather than directly receive them from a woman.


Chatting with monks


Monk Chats Locations in Chiang Mai:

Chiang Mai is a great place to experience a Monk Chat and connect with the local culture if you are on a spiritual journey or just interested. If you are planning to attend these chats or courses organized at popular monasteries and centers, it is recommended that you pre-register months in advance if possible. Our recommendations are as follows:

1. Temple of the Great Stupa (Wat Chedi Luang): As a prominent monastery attracting international visitors daily, Wat Chedi Luang on Phra Pokklao Road is well known for its massive chedi built between 1385 and 1402. Besides being a popular temple, Wat Chedi Luang has played an essential role in spreading Buddhism through the monk chat program established in 1996 as part of language training for students of Mahamakut Buddhist University, Lanna Campus located within the monastery. The chat is arranged from Monday to Friday from 9 AM – 6 PM.

2. Doi Suthep Temple: As one of the most visited monasteries in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep has a meditation center where you can walk in and join the chat. Different chat programs or even courses for longer duration can be provided. You can also visit their website for more information. The chat is arranged daily from 1-3PM.

3. Flower Garden Temple (Wat Suan Dok): The chat is arranged free of charge from 5-7pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Besides, you can also have a 2-day meditation course every week on Tuesday & Wednesday.

4. Wat Umong: The chat is arranged on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:30 to 7:30PM.

5. MCU Buddhist University, Chiang Mai Campus: The chat is arranged Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 5-7:30PM.


Wat Chedi Luang where you can join a monk chat


Thai Language Basics

Although English is somehow enough for you to communicate, to learn some important Thai phrase is also a good way to get impressed in conversation.

Background Information on Buddhist Monks in Thailand

Buddhism was introduced into Chiang Mai at the end of the 13th century and became the official religion in the area. Overall, 99% population of Thailand is now Buddhist, and almost all young boys have become monks for at least some time, usually around the age of 12. Boys from rural communities tend to stay longer in monkhood because it is a good way to get a better education and learn English. Although they study Buddhism and meditation, the number of strict rules they need to abide by is limited, and a Buddhist monk abides by more than 200 rules. Boys can be ordained as early as the age of 21.