No visitor to Thailand can ever miss just how important a role Buddhism plays in the local culture. Whether it’s the spectacular golden temples that glint in the sunlight, or an early morning parade of monks clad in saffron robes collecting alms, signs of the importance of these Buddhist traditions greet guests at every turn.
And now, early risers at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai are able to gain an insight into an important Thai custom themselves, as they are invited to join Resort staff to pay their respects by making merit with them in the early morning. From 6:45 am, monks from the local temple in Mae Rim village, Wat Pa Daraphirom, pay a visit to the Resort to receive offerings from staff and guests, and in turn to give them their blessing.
Making merit is a very important aspect of life in Thailand. It’s a way for Thais to show their respect and devotion to Buddha, and in turn to receive the blessings of the monks. Thai Buddhists believe in rebirth, and as such, offer food to monks for their family members who have passed away as they believe that their spirits will receive the offerings. The offerings of food also provide nourishment to the monks, who will have energy to continue their studies and spread the word of the Buddha’s teachings. And for themselves, it’s an opportunity to gain much-needed merit in this lifetime, if not the next.
Guests are welcome to join this early-morning merit-making at the Resort lobby. Whether they would like to take part, or merely to watch this important part of Thai daily life, the Resort’s staff will be delighted to have guests enjoy the experience alongside them.
The monks visit the Resort daily from Monday to Friday around 6:45 am, and for guests who would like to learn more about the local Buddhist culture, the Concierge can arrange bicycle excursions to the local temple, or trips to the ancient temples in the heart of Chiang Mai.