Wat Pa Tam Wua

Wat Pa Tam Wua, Mae Hong Son: Address, Phone Number, Wat Pa Tam Wua Reviews: 4.5/5

Wat Pa Tam Wua
4.5
Religious Sites • Educational sites
What people are saying
Very different from other meditation retreats
Apr 2019
I have been on 6 meditation retreats in Thailand and cannot recommend this one. This meditation retreat is very different from other meditation retreats in Thailand unfortunately in bad ways. Actually it is difficult to call it even meditation retreat. First, I will tell you how a normal retreat looks like in most places in Thailand. You, and others, come at designated time and stay usually for 10 days ( many retreats last about 10 days). No talking, no electronics are allowed. You live alone in a modest room. You meditate through the day and have two meals. There are some teachings too. In this place however, you can come and go whenever you want. At first maybe it seems like a cool idea but in practice it creates a lot of chaos as people constantly move in and leave the place and your doormitory too. (They have only a few kuties (huts) for males so you have a big chance that you end up in the doorm with many people who really behave very differently. Some want to talk, make fun, listen to music, news etc I saw even a guy watching adult movie next to me in doorm. You are not cut from noise, sound and different impulses. People talk and use the phones everywhere. You can go and walk on the meadow and try to meditate and you will hear people talking. The abbot of this place comes before breakfast in the morning and try to be funny which looks very akward. If you stay more than few days you will hear staying him the sam jokes. Chantting are obligatory here. And you bow and chant every day how Buddha is great etc. If you are not a Buddhist it can be very disturbing. About Buddha greatness they talk to you all the time. The nature in the place is nice but this is the only good thing I can say about this place. As I mentioned I was on six meditation retreats in different parts of Thailand and consider only this place a waste of time. There is no depth here, mental rest from noise and impulses, or deep meditation. You have no chance to think anything over in peaace if you need to. It is just social gathering which you can experience anywhere. I hear from locals that abbot to take advantage of Pai (many tourists there) makes everything easy to attract as many people as he can. In Thailand most people are Buddhist but most people have no interest in practing Budhhist at all. They just go to a temple on a Buddha day (often out obligation) so temple s try different ways to attract donors. I personally think we cannot call this place a meditation retreat as it is so diffrent from real meditation reatreats where you can really make a progress and look deeply inside you. Most people who come are people who have no much knowledge about meditation or what really meditation retreat looks like.

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The area
Address
Ban Mae Suya, Huay Pha, Mae Hong Son 58000 Thailand

4.5
15 reviews
Excellent
10
Very good
2
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1

HonestlyOnly
Chiang Mai, Thailand6 contributions
Very different from other meditation retreats
Apr 2019 • Solo
I have been on 6 meditation retreats in Thailand and cannot recommend this one.
This meditation retreat is very different from other meditation retreats in Thailand unfortunately in bad ways. Actually it is difficult to call it even meditation retreat.

First, I will tell you how a normal retreat looks like in most places in Thailand.
You, and others, come at designated time and stay usually for 10 days ( many retreats last about 10 days). No talking, no electronics are allowed. You live alone in a modest room. You meditate through the day and have two meals. There are some teachings too.

In this place however, you can come and go whenever you want. At first maybe it seems like a cool idea but in practice it creates a lot of chaos as people constantly move in and leave the place and your doormitory too.
(They have only a few kuties (huts) for males so you have a big chance that you end up in the doorm with many people who really behave very differently. Some want to talk, make fun, listen to music, news etc
I saw even a guy watching adult movie next to me in doorm.
You are not cut from noise, sound and different impulses.
People talk and use the phones everywhere.
You can go and walk on the meadow and try to meditate and you will hear people talking.

The abbot of this place comes before breakfast in the morning and try to be funny which looks very akward.
If you stay more than few days you will hear staying him the sam jokes.

Chantting are obligatory here.
And you bow and chant every day how Buddha is great etc. If you are not a Buddhist it can be very disturbing. About Buddha greatness they talk to you all the time.

The nature in the place is nice but this is the only good thing I can say about this place.
As I mentioned I was on six meditation retreats in different parts of Thailand and consider only this place a waste of time.
There is no depth here, mental rest from noise and impulses, or deep meditation. You have no chance to think anything over in peaace if you need to. It is just social gathering which you can experience anywhere.
I hear from locals that abbot to take advantage of Pai (many tourists there) makes everything easy to attract as many people as he can.
In Thailand most people are Buddhist but most people have no interest in practing Budhhist at all. They just go to a temple on a Buddha day (often out obligation) so temple s try different ways to attract donors.

I personally think we cannot call this place a meditation retreat as it is so diffrent from real meditation reatreats where you can really make a progress and look deeply inside you.
Most people who come are people who have no much knowledge about meditation or what really meditation retreat looks like.
Written 23 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

raissaleporage
Rio de Janeiro, RJ148 contributions
A place to find peace
Jul 2019 • Solo
The Monastery is a special place. In the midle of the forest and the mountains.
You can stay for 2 or 10 days. You can speak or be in silence.
You will learn about meditation and about life.
You can be a beginner, and you will learn everything there.
Is a great place to disconnect from the world and connect with yourself.
As soon as you arrive you receive white clothes, a mattress, a pillow and a blanket. There is breakfast and lunch everyday, with beautiful ceremonies before it.
There is no dinner but there is a place where you can buy a snack.
You do not have to pay anything to stay there and on the last day you can make a donation.
In was thinking about to stay for 3 days, and stayed for one week. The energy there is special.
Written 16 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Poonyaphachaiphrom
Bangkok, Thailand12 contributions
meditation retreat
Feb 2019
Buddha encourages everyone to be neutral, not to believe or disbelieve until something is proven to be true or false
Written 19 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Adam S
Nepal18 contributions
This is the best place in northern Thailand to learn the basics
Feb 2019 • Solo
The pros first:

This place is run by real life practicing monks. I can’t underline just how crucial this is.
Some are old and funny, some are young and sweet, one is persnickety, another is half german and understands what the predominantly german students are thinking

The location is lovely. It’s not really in a forest..it is more of a plantation. They grow papaya and banana in neat rows

They have met foreigners before. You can arrive any day before noon and stay for one day, three, five, seven, for any amount up to ten days. This make teaching a little wonky.

It is on the tourist trail. You can get a minivan from Pai, a hippie destination you should see.

Cons

The combination of all of us coming and going means there is never any..sit down here are the rules day. You are very much left on your own to figure the many many many MANY rules on your own

Combine this with a Thai reticence to ever say anything directly &
Combine that with westerners who either over or under prepare for the environment:
Many take their first class seriously, are perfectly in white ( a requirement), in silence and going to all classes and extra teachings..
Others come for the free food, which I wouldn’t recommend..when there are no rich Thai patrons around the food is mostly glop.

Sleep is on the floor. It is cold. The sleeping mats are slippery. There are fire ants. On the floor. Of the dorm, which is a big room with a lot of nothing extra. The actual edict is.do not sleep on high and luxurious beds..they just went fundamentalist on this one point.

My main concern really is the lack of clarity on the rules and the imprecise penalties:
They give you a special blessed beanie hat but never never wear it during services. Never while giving monks food , which you will do twice a day. But you can wear it ( I think) in the meditation hall and while you meditate: sitting , standing and walking.

I really appreciated the variety as well as time amounts that seemed geared towards education rather than breaking my hips

But, BUT. There is a schedule posted and basically if you are on time you’re also late. And no one tells you. Periodically the cranky chihuahua of a caretaker tells this story:

You should wake up early and make rice. No electric cooker. And then you will find a husband. The end. What this means for you is..

If you want for the morning gong, you’re late. And NOT mindful, which is the worst insult anyone can throw at you here. It doesn’t matter if you are meditating.

If you arrive on time. Not mindful
If you are fifteen minutes early. We will let the disinterest pass. For now

Basically anything besides arriving at 5 15, starting the fire and peeling the potatoes is a sign that you don’t care.

And no one ever says this directly.

But how much of this is thai? How much of it Buddhist? Or how much is just a practical way to run a place that feeds hundreds of strangers every day?

Still it’s the basic beginning class I’ve seen in thailand. Just don’t mind the chihuahua who will growl ridiculous and often racist things at you.
Written 18 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stuart W
Belgium64 contributions
The place to do a Vipassana meditation retreat in a monastery
Dec 2018
I was looking for a place to do a meditation retreat in a monastery in Thailand.
I found Wat Pa Tam Wua on a blog and, the least I can say was that it was perfect in all sense.
A very serene place, set in a beautiful scenry, amidst impressive cliffs and forest.
The program is very good, being neither too laxist nor to rigorist, it leaves the person itself choose wether or not to go silent, and other such personnal choices.
Written 18 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

debbiezipes
Bonita Springs, FL17 contributions
Loved the monastery
Dec 2018
It's a beautiful, spiritual place and I loved all the learning from the monks. I was going to stay for three days and ended up staying for ten. The meditation practices, food, opportunity to talk with the monks and fellow travelers, and to be in silence and learn more about Buddhism and meditation was life-changing for me.
Written 7 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Freelog
Germany20 contributions
Great experience with little downsides
Nov 2018 • Solo
I stayed here for nine days in silence. And overall I can really say that it has been a great experience. But as it made the trip possible for myself, as just decided to do it like two weeks beforehand, it also means that there's a lot of people only staying for three to five days, which sadly don't take the whole thing seriously. Meaning: Loud chatting, on the phone often (and just before and after meditation), food after noon, sunbathing and just relaxing.
The upside of that is though that you have "material" to practice your new gained knowledge.
And the site is just beautiful, magical mornings.
The monks do a good job teaching - even though basics get repeated everyday because of newcomers.
My overall experience was good but if I would do it again, I would go to a place with a strict 10 days course.
Written 7 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jetsetter032018
New York City, NY2 contributions
Incredible place
Sep 2018 • Solo
I broke my ankle on a motorbike on my way to Wat Pa Tam Wua. Upon arrival, the staff and guests could not have been more helpful or kind. Shout out to Mr. Pong, who was literally a miracle-worker--making sure I had the best experience possible despite my injury. The injury detracted from the experience, but when I was able to participate I had only powerful and positive experiences.
Written 3 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michael J
3 contributions
Good but...
Sep 2018 • Solo
In general i had a good time, i have some experience in Meditation but never commited to go to a retreat before, so i went to tam wua for an introduction. I read the rules before and was commited to follow them. I had a good time personally, i guess because it is not as strict as other places and catering more towards a foreign crowd to introduce them to vipassana. So I could go with my own pace. But I have to say i wish they were more strict, when arriving the first thing i see was a western woman in white robes standing outside to sneak out for a cigarette which usually should lead to a ban. Another night a guy sneaked out to drink alcohol, at least he got banned. The last night i had a guy outside his dorm playing his drum he brought along at Ten PM. I had the impression that many foreign visitors treat tam wua as a place to relax or some Kind of free resort. I had a lot time time to practice dealing with my anger towards others disrespectfulnes which actually was a good practice by itself. This is just my way of seeing it though. Most people i met were lovely but I am afraid the influx of non commited people going there for "nice experience" might change the experience for others and change this lovely place in general.
Written 26 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MCClimoges87
Limoges, France10 contributions
Not quite as fulfilling as it used to be
Jan 2018 • Solo
I go every year in this temple for meditation. There is a large meditation hall open on the surroundings. Very good organisation, lovely vegetarian food, teachings in Englist and Tai. The day is divided in sitting, walking, lying mediatation, teachings , and some practical tasks. The rule is silence, except during meals, pauses and tasks. You're suposed to let all electronics turned of. I would recomand at least 5 days stay to really get into it.
BUT for there is a but, along the years there are more and more "tourists" i.e. people who come for one or 2 nights, do not respect the rules (talking on their phones in the meditation hall, talk loud during meals,point their feet to Budah -horrible for the Taï people, in a word showing no respect for the place or the other people).
It is not clear to me why the Abbott tolerates this.
One thing is sure I am going to return again next January but if There is no improvment I will find another p^lce in spite of the cact that is is a great place.
Written 26 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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