A Thai Temple in Alaska?!

I gave my best Thai sawasdee khrap and wai gesture greeting with my palms together, raised slightly higher for respect of his position, to the Thai monk.

I’ve done this to monks lots of times. But I’ve never said hello to a Thai monk in America!

Yes, if you can believe, there is an actual wat (temple) in Anchorage, Alaska, armed with a real live Thai monk, in real orange robes, with a real Buddha inside. Wow! What a strange feeling to be standing in the U.S. and seeing what my eyes saw so often in Southeast Asia.

Here’s me standing in front of Wat Alaska.

Wat Alaska
There is even also an authentic “Buddhist Ass” living there as well. Not sure what honor that title demands exactly, but it merits a picture anyway. 🙂

I really shouldn’t be surprised. Alaska is full of interesting, mind-expanding sorts of people who would certainly enjoy the meditation retreat. Plus, Thai people are scattered all over the earth, it seems. Of course they would want a place to go worship.

Wat Alaska Yanna Varam made my day. And even better, the discovery came with my friend Jessica, whom I met in Chiang Mai. Jessica speaks a fair amount of Thai and lived there for two years with the Peace Corps.

And to think I actually hit wat burnout at some point in Thailand. You literally pass so many temples, day in and day out, that you eventually just lose interest. It takes some time away from the old, beautiful structures and mysterious statues before you learn to appreciate them again.

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