MONDAY, April 15, 2024
nationthailand

Western sun worshippers stir controversy at Chiang Mai temple

Western sun worshippers stir controversy at Chiang Mai temple

The acting abbot of Wat Chiang Mun in Chiang Mai found himself in the middle of a social-media uproar sparked by two Western women caught sunbathing within his temple’s compound.

The unnamed acting abbot, clearly not thrilled to be thrust into the spotlight, downplayed the incident, saying it lasted only a few minutes. Apparently, the two sun worshippers left swiftly when informed by the staff that their choice of tanning location was not quite in line with the sanctity of a Buddhist temple.

The acting abbot asserted that this would not have been an issue if the enthusiastic photographer had informed the women about their inappropriate attire instead of taking their photo and posting it on Facebook.

The monk said the two women sunbathing on the lawn in the temple’s compound on Sunday morning, caught the attention of a tuk-tuk driver passing by. Ever the social media hero, the driver snapped a pic and posted it on Facebook, sparking an almost immediate uproar.

Western sun worshippers stir controversy at Chiang Mai temple

The acting abbot said as soon as he learned of the incident, he dispatched an English-speaking temple staff member to educate the two women on the code of conduct. He said the duo understood and left without an argument.

The acting abbot, who is a deputy and is acting on behalf of the ill abbot, said the tuk-tuk driver could speak English and should have explained things to the tourists instead of embarrassing them online.

Western sun worshippers stir controversy at Chiang Mai temple He said the temple only has seven monks and they cannot keep tabs on tourists all the time. Earlier, followers of the temple helped monitor tourists and explain the problem with inappropriate attire.

Wallop Wongprom, vice president of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council, offered a sympathetic perspective, saying the temple should deploy officials to monitor the behaviour of foreign tourists.


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