Wat Phra That Chang Kham

Look for the elephants

Photo of , , Nan

What we say: 3.5 stars

Set almost straight across from the Nan National Museum, this is the second most important wat in Nan.

Visible from the street, the large stupa supported by 24 stone elephants is the source of the temple's name -- "elephant supported stupa" -- and just before it sits the main affair, housing a massive seated Buddha.

Interestingly, also from within this wat's grounds an art historian found a walking Buddha statue in plaster. As he was moving it outside, the statue was dropped revealing a gold alloy Sukhothai period statue within. During the frequent Thai/Burma melees, precious icons were often coated in plaster in the hope of protecting them from marauding Burmese (who would melt them down for the gold).

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