Pee Mai @ Wat Lao Modesto, Cali

This past weekend I had a chance to attend Lao New Year celebration in Modesto, CA with little princess and my brother.  It is been so long ago since the last time I attended the new year festival.  Right of way, I notices few new building, new retaining walls, and the main entrance gate is under construction.  We got there just in time for lunch and there are so many vendors setting up around the perimeter of temple ground.  As we walked around checking out all the different vendor’s menus, we ran into our friends who are selling foods there as well.  At this point, we pretty much feels some what obligate to support them.  Which we did, we ordered some papaya salad, pad thai, grill chickens, and meatballs.  They even sell beers at the temple and of course without a permits from the city or county.  Most vendors do sell beers, but you have to ask for it.  It is not on the menu board for sure.

I almost forgot to take picture before all the foods are gone. I feel kindda bad for drinking beer at the temple and that quilt probably last for few minutes. 🙂

As always, I ordered way too much foods for 2 1/2 people.  Everything looks good and it is been awhile since I had some of those foods.

Little princess enjoying her chicken on stick. I tried to remove the chicken off from the stick for her, but she prefer eating it on the stick.

Looking at the main building of Modesto Temple.

I’m not sure who’s behind the architect of this temple.  I’ve been to a lot of Lao temple, but this is first time seeing lions part of animal sculptures.  It is more common to see at Chinese/Vietnamese temples.  Those three little pond looks odd to me.

On the right side of main temple building sit this open structure(Sala).

Under neath that open structure (Sala) laying on its side is giant buddha.  You can’t really see it on this picture.

This is better angle to see the open structure.

To the left of the main temple building is this "Sim".

Giant Buddha napping. Looks like he been working out, check out his bicep.

I was lucky enough to witness some folks making the sand stupa.

You'll see all kinds of vendor.

Kids and adults stop by to chit chat with the monks.

The moment of truth..... and... the winner is.. Can anyone guess? Which gal would you guys pick for the winner?

Tough decision?  Whoever organize this beauty pageant contest did such horrible job.  They kept announcing the wrong names for 2nd and 3rd place finishes.  Those gals are horrified up on the stage and just wants it to be over.  I stood there for about 20 minutes to take pictures and the winner never smile once.

The runner up is on the left.. This year winner is in the middle(notices she barely crack the smile).. ahah On the right is last year winner.

Over all, it was nice day to spend an afternoon with old friends and families.


13 thoughts on “Pee Mai @ Wat Lao Modesto, Cali

  1. Nye

    I like the Wat, looks very traditional. Have you never heard that the singto is supposed to be in front of the Wat, they might have one too many here.

    Your little princess has grown so much from the last time I saw her photos, and eating chicken from the stick is the right way to eat. 🙂

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Nye, I think this temple is a step ahead of the rest of temples in Northern Cali. That speaks volume of the community and devoted followers.

      Yes! Little princess has grown much, she is almost 3. At this stage, she wants to do everything by herself especially finding her own outfits.

    2. Missy Vongphakdy

      I would love to thank you for your kind words about our temple.
      (: I basically grew up in this temple.
      I am the girl that was runner up and I appreciate what you have said and noticing how i tried my best to smile as much as i can but still no win.. Even if i didn’t get the win. I do this for my temple and not for other causes. There’s a long story to this mix up. If you find the right Dvd recording for this years Laos new year, the proof is all there.. Trust me it will shock you.. cause it did to me.. i thought i had it in the box this year.. yup i’ve been doing this for a couple years now. Anyways Thank you for your kindness and support hope you come again Next Year. 😀

      1. seeharhed Post author

        The pageant committee totally screwed up and made it really uncomfortable for you ladies. I would of pick you instead the winner, she didn’t even crack a smile once. I am looking forward to be back there again next year. Thanks for stopping by and all the kind words.

      2. Missy Vongphakdy

        Well i know exactly what happen. I know it’s not right and i would be ashamed to win in that kind of way. They told me it was supposed to be a fair pageant this year. Which was the only reason i decided to build up the courage to show my face on stage again after years of losing. But it was rigged. In the end which was why they took so long to announce the names for runner up. It was caught on tape and i don’t know how the family can do that and feel good about it. But people would be people and life goes on. There is always hope next year (: and the year after. Your welcome and Thank you for your honest words and noticing. This Lao new years is really the talk amongst the Lao community. It’s something i will never forget and will always be reminded.

  2. Cambree

    I haven’t been to this temple in years. And it has changed some… almost gaudy with the golden lions and ponds. JK. But it’s nice to see a Lao Buddhist temple and some Lao culture out in the valley. 🙂

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Cambree, It is been awhile for me also. There are so much Lao cultures all along Central Valley, take a drive and check it out. Which temple you normally attend? Wat Thai in Fremont? or San Jose temple?

  3. Corinna Phomthevy

    Hello. My sister and I are trying to find the address to this temple. can you guys help us out. We would love to come see this place.


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