A taste of Chinese culture
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.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.