30 December, 2011

Squirreling about - Chiang Mai

Ever noticed how it's always the places closest to where you live that you end up visiting only after years and years of passing by each day?  The Wat Gate Karam temple lies just down the road from where I work and it has taken me about six years to get around to poking my head in through the temple gates.  I'm so glad I did though because this temple is a real gem.

Wat Gate Karam was established in 1428.  It lies on the east bank of the Ping river which is the area where Chiang Mai was first founded.  I love the main Chedi with its unusual mosaic of blue and green tiles; it is the first thing to catch your eye as you walk over the footbridge from Warorot market to Charoenrajd Road. 

As I wandered around the temple grounds I was intrigued to see that there are statues of dogs all over the place, ranging from small plastic puppies to large, gold-painted, labrador-like dogs.  Not sure what the significance is.  There is also a small museum which houses a range of Lanna historial artefacts and textiles, although I didn't have time to go inside.  Something to discover next time!

Getting there - Wat Gate lies on Charoenrajd Road not far from Nakorn Ping Bridge.  If you're in the area, I also recommend browsing the shops, galleries and cafes on this road, especially if you're interested in art and textiles.

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