What are the places that inspired you the most in southeast asia?

Which countries and places inspired you the most when visiting southeast asia? I’ll attend a course in India next year and thought of travelling a bit before that. A place I thought of visiting is the monastery where Ajahn Mun’s relics are kept, in northeastern Thailand. Any recommendations about what places to go or kind of activities to pursue in Thailand, Laos or Vietnam?


I found Angkor Wat in Cambodia beautiful and inspiring.


Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Tawya, Myanmar. It’s not the place that inspired me actually, but the teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya. More than anyone else, he has helped me see the Dhamma. Truly, words cannot describe the gratitude I have for him.


Indeed, the Dhamma is Everywhere (<- is that the same Ven. Tejaniya?)

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Yes, but being able to stay with and learn from him directly was the best thing in my monkhood.


I suggest to visit any national museums in the countries.

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Shrines in parks and woodland shrines,
Well-constructed lotus ponds:
These are not worth a sixteenth part
Of a delightful human being.

  • SN 11.15

That said, I wouldn’t really recommend traveling to Burma right now…

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Thank you for the nice quote @Khemarato.bhikkhu. Any recommendation on where are the delightful human beings to be met? :slight_smile:

There are a few good monks in Thailand.

Ajahn Jayasaro, an English monk, is very famous in Thailand and gives good dhamma (though he was against Ajahn Brahm’s bhikkhuni ordination and signed a petition against Ajahn Brahm). He lives a couple hours from Bangkok. I don’t have details on how to meet him as I never want to see him.

Ajahn Gunha, the monk who patted the cobra (story by Ajahn Brahm), is renowned for being full of metta. As a woman and a lay person who has no close relationship with him, I’ve never had a chance to have a dhamma conversation with him. However, as a translator for some bhikkhunis, I am impressed with his answers and teachings to the bhikkhunis. ข้อมูลแนะนำ_eng | WATPAHSUBTHAWEE

Ajahn Maha Chatchai, Ajahn Sujato’s metta meditation teacher, is a very good monk, but is the opposite of being famous. However, based on my experience talking with him and listening to his dhamma talks, he is one of the most respectable and inspiring monks I’ve ever met. The important thing to do if you want to benefit from your meeting with him is to prepare questions to ask. Ajahn Chatchai lives in Bangkok. If you want to visit him, you could PM me, but please treat him with respect by not keeping changing your appointment time with him. Though he himself is most forgiving, kind and compassionate, I am not when it comes to showing respect to my teachers.


Surprisingly, Ajahn Jayasaro appeared in this documentary (so did Ajahn Brahm and Ajahn Sujato) and was quite supportive of bhikkhuni ordination.

Hi Luis, here’s a more literal translation of that verse.

“gāme vā yadi vāraññe,
ninne vā yadi vā thale.
yattha arahanto viharanti, taṃ bhūmirāmaṇeyyakan

Whether in a village or forest,
In a valley or on the plain—
Wherever the arahants dwell
Is truly a delightful place.”

Perhaps finding some 'Dhamma-therā(s) as opposed to sammutti-therā(s) might be a bit more feasible.

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You must have misunderstood what he said. Also, he didn’t ‘appear’. They interviewed him and put the clip there.

Ajahn Brahm and some others also misunderstood the message P.A. Payutto wrote. Reading that he told people to be compassionate, Ajahn Brahm thought he was supportive. As as Thai, I can see between the lines that it was his way (typical Thai way) of saying no to bhikkhuni ordination.

Thai people have many ways of saying no, several of which could be mistaken as yes.


I’d recommend Ching Mai in Thailand, but others would be better placed to advise you in more detail. I like the collection of old temples and the feel of a place of pilgrimage in times past. Though these days it seems to have succumbed somewhat to the impact of hyper- tourism.
My main recommendation is to go to Bali and see a dynamic Southeast Asian society that has held onto its traditions strongly and adapted to the modern world. The Balinese are in general the most gracious people I’ve come across in my travels - but don’t stick to tourist spots; try to move around the island and explore the lesser temples and watch them as they perform their ceremonies which are an integral part of their daily lives. A beautiful thing to behold. A visit to Borobudur is also highly recommended.


If you listen again carefully, it is very clear to me that he doesn’t support bhikkhuni ordinations in the Theravada tradition, especially in Burma and Thailand. And he also said (or implied?) that he doesn’t support individual monks’ efforts to accommodate them.

I really can’t understand why many people have misunderstood his message, especially the person who did this clip!

In 2009, he, together with other five monks, made it clear by signing a petition to the Thai Sangha Raja against Ajahn Brahm.

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Ah ok, I see your point. Ajaan Jayasaro’s language wasn’t that clear so people who don’t know much about him (like me) could mistake his standpoint.

Btw, do you know many monasteries of the Thai Forest Tradition, including ones outside Ajahn Chah’s lineage? In the future I may need some help to find monasteries in Thailand.

Perhaps I’m used to Thai indirect ways of saying no. :smiley: Ajahn Jayasaro has been living in Thailand for 40+ years. He gets lots of admiration and support from Thai people. (He has been promoted nearly every year by the current king and now holds the fourth band of the Thai Sangha ecclesiastical hierarchy (we have 9 bands, 21 ranks), exceeding Ajahn Liam (Ajahn Chah’s senior disciple who is now the abbot of Wat Pah Pong). The King also gave him Thai citizenship as a special case in 2020.)

Not exactly. But if you want to get ordained, I’d recommend the previous Sangha Raja’s forest monastery in Chonburi. @Khemarato.bhikkhu should be able to give you advice on that. Also, though P. A. Payutto doesn’t support bhikkhunis, he trains his monks well. His temple is on a suburb of Bangkok. They ‘study’ Buddhism as well as meditate. Their way of living seems to be in accordance with the vinaya.

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I assume to ordain there you’d have to speak Thai, no?


I honestly don’t know. I think you have to enquire. However, many monks there have university education.

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thanks for the info. Wat Yan is actually my number one choice at the moment as Ajaan Suchart is a highly revered monk who speaks English. But should it not work out, I want to find a monastery affiliated with Ajaan Lee, who I really admire. Wat Pa Klong Kung for example. I’m not a Thai speaker so I can’t find much info on such monasteries.

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