Photo: Take it easy.

Chao Phu-Ya Shrine

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Overlooking a small lake at Wang Matcha Nong Bua Park, the Chao Phu Ya Shrine stands as an important monument to Udon’s many Chinese-Thai residents.

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Photo of Chao Phu-Ya Shrine

The colourful shrine won’t be too captivating if you’ve seen more than a few Chinese shrines in your day, but the neighbouring Thai-Chinese Cultural Centre adds much to the overall allure.

Fronted by golden-dragon pillars, bright paintings of Chinese figures and detailed ceramic ornaments on the roof, the medium-size shrine’s focal point is a pair of small figures -- one bearded and one not -- depicting spirits that watch over the city. Do as the locals do by lighting incense and candles while making a wish for good fortune or health.

While the shrine really only warrants a passing glance, the neighbouring cultural centre might pull you in for longer. Complete with steam machines that help to create a “misty” atmosphere, it includes abundant flower gardens and wooden walkways over a large pond teeming with bright orange and yellow fish. A series of impressive stone reliefs display Chinese people and landscapes, and the 99-metre-long yellow dragon costume used in Udon’s Chinese New Year celebration is kept in one of the elegant wooden halls.

The complex also features a Chinese-style teashop with views of the lake. From there you can take a stroll over to one of several lakeside pavilions, which put the icing on top of what is really a soothing venue in a mostly chaotic city.

The shrine is a 15-minute walk from the old bus station. Head east on Posri Rd (Highway 22), take a left into the lane marked by a Chinese gate just after crossing the train tracks, and you’ll see the Cultural Centre on the right after a couple of hundred metres. The shrine is a little further up on the left, across from the lake. Admission is free.


Chao Phu-Ya Shrine
A 15 minute walk from the old bus station

Location map for Chao Phu-Ya Shrine

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Udon Thani.
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