KEYNOTE >> Tourism in Buddhist Heritage sites: challenge and opportunities by Richard Engelhardt
1. The GSTC Criteria and Buddhist Travel and Tourism by Roi Ariel
2. Pilgrimage in Japan
3. Potential overtourism in Mekong region’s popular Buddhist Heritage sites by Jens Thraenhart
4. Buddhist travel and tourism in Yunnan China by Yereth Jansen
5. Promotion for Buddhist tourism in Asean by Prof. Dr. Victor Wee
Prof. Dr. Victor Wee
1. Buddhism in the digital age - the impact of Internet on Buddhism today by Lim Kooi Fong
2. The Values of Spiritual Travel for Buddhist Tourism by Dr Chai Ching Tan
3. BudDisneyland: the commercialization of Buddhist tourism by Prof. Dr. Vithi Phanichphant
4. Promoting Buddhist Travel Trails in Laos by Stefan Sheerer
Gamini Wijessuriya, Chulathat Kittibutr and more to be announced
KEYNOTE >>Preservation Of Buddhist Art & Architecture To Promote Sustainable Tourism Joe Cummings
1. Conservation of religious heritage in Sri Lanka by Gamini Wijessuriya
2. Northern Buddhist Temple Architecture by Chulathat Kittibutr
3. Preservation of mural paintings in ancient temples: Lanna temple murals case study
4. Mural art in ancient and contemporary Buddhist temples of Asia
This ancient Lanna style royal temple was built in 1385 entirely of teak. The roof of the viharn is typical Lanna traditional structure. The front door to the viharn was designed by the famous late Chiang Rai national artist Tawan Duchanee who also built the Black Museum (Baan Dam), one of the top local attractions.
Wat Phra Kaew is where is the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok was first discovered in 1434 and had been moved through Lampang, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang and Vientiane. It is one of the 3 royal temples of Chiang Rai. Besides the Phra Ubosot in the same compound, there are Phra Chedi, Ho Phra Yok, and Hong Luang Saengkaew Museum.
The founding Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong dates back as early as 940. The pagoda was likely the inspiration in which King Mengrai identified the strategic location to build the city of Chiang Rai. The pagoda houses holy relics which were originally acquired by Prince Pangkaraj of Yonok Nakpan, who divided them between Wat Phra That Doi Tung, Wat Phra That Chomkitti, and Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong. The temple is located on the banks of the Kok River and provides stunning views of the nearby hills.
Wat Rong Khun or White Temple is arguably Thailand’s famous modern day temple but it is more of a Buddhist art monument than a temple with religious significance. It is designed and created by famous local visual artist Chalermchai Kositpipat who also maintain an art gallery of his works in the same compound.
Singh Park is one of Chiang Rai’s top tourist attractions. The park is a huge fruit orchards, tea and barley plantations. The farm is now more famous for its production of oolong tea and tours of the park provide visitors with the chance to see how the tea is grown and carefully picked. The park has also been sympathetically landscaped with trails, lakes and meadows all combining to make this an attractive destination.
The principle item of interest of Wat Pa Sak is the brick and stucco chedi dating from around 1319. The chedi enshrines a relic from Pataliputra in India. Stylistically, it is influenced by Mon design which favored stacked square tiers with standing Buddhas embedded in each tier. It also shows Sukhothai influence in the detail of stucco work that survives on one of the higher tiers. Apart from the chedi, the ruins of an ubosot with several standing stone columns can be found in front of the chedi.
Located next to the National Museum, the temple is in traditional Chiang Saen style which was constructed circa 1290 by King Saen Phu, the third king of Lanna Kingdom. Of particular interest are the 18-meter tall pagoda and the ruins of the large prayer hall. Nearby is a relatively recent viharn standing on the brick ruins of a much older structure that have recently been completely renovated. The octagonal base of the imposing chedi represents the classic Chiang Saen style.
Located on a small hill and is iconic for its crooked pagoda, this temple is actually comprised of two temples; Wat Phrathat Chom Kitti and Wat Chom Chaeng which has an old pagoda and a modern Chiang Saen style ubosot. The ubosot has a large Buddha image which sits under a fabricated Bodhi tree.
Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is situated on a dramatic hilltop that provides panoramic views of the Mekong river and the border of Laos. At the foot of the hill is a collection of buildings including monks’ quarters and an elaborate Lanna-style hall on stilts in the center of a large fish-pond. This is where the temple’s chief attraction can be found, a splendid old Chiang Saen-period Buddha image, the Phor Pha Ngao, that was discovered in 1976 when the building was renovated.
Enjoy a carefree river cruise and buffet dinner on a modern boat along the Mekong River with scenery of the Golden Triangle in view overlooking Laos and Myanmar.