Morning Prayers with the Monks of Jokiin Temple

After a relaxing night in our Japanese-style room, we woke up nice and early the next morning. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the monks of Jokiin for morning prayers and meditation. As guests of Jokiin, you are invited to join the monks in the prayer hall at 6am. We set up a…

An Overnight Stay at Jokiin Temple

Another day in Japan, another unique experience! We went to Mount Koya (Koyasan) to spend the night at Jokiin Buddhist temple and attend morning prayers. Considered the most sacred mountain in Japan, it is the center of Shingon Buddhism and over 200 temples. In 2004, UNESCO designated Mount Koya a World Heritage Site. I figured…

Sensoji Temple

One of the most popular attractions in Asakusa is the ancient Buddhist temple, Sensoji. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple and one of its most significant. The legend says that in the year 628 AD, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy, out of the Sumida River. The chief of their village…

The Ancient City of Ayutthaya

After a brief visit to Wat Phanan Choeng, it was time to see the magnificent structures and ruins of Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom of Siam. The ancient capital was founded in 1350 by King U Thong and it was from here that the Siamese ruled their Kingdom for 417 years. During that…

Doi Suthep

After the alms offering, we continued up the mountain with a short ride to Wat Phra That, more commonly referred to as Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep). It’s about 10 miles from Chiang Mai. From the parking area at the temple’s base, you can either climb the 309 steps of the Naga Serpent Staircase or take…

Wat Phanan Choeng

It was my last few days in Bangkok and I had a free day to explore more. I really wanted to see the ancient city of Ayutthaya, so I decided to book a tour with Oriental Escape. I had such a pleasant experience with their car service and thought their tours would have the same…

Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)

Before heading to our final stop, we took some time to honor our birthday Buddha. For a small donation, you can grab a bundle of incense, a lotus flower, and a candle. We lit the incense and candle, and carefully placed the gold leaf on both our birthday Buddha and the reclining Buddha in the…

Wat Traimit & Wat Pho

The following day, we did a morning tour of some of the most popular temples in Bangkok. Our guide met us at our hotel and we were on our way to the first temple soon after. Our first stop was Wat Traimit, located near the entrance of Chinatown. It was sunny and already fairly hot…