Wat Pan Tao

Wat Pan Tao

Small but charming

More on Chiang Mai

Wat Pan Tao is not one of Chiang Mai’s most famous wats but this small temple with its very attractive teak viharn is well worth a peek.

Travelfish says:

Conveniently located next door to prestigious Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Pan Tao was originally built as an ancillary temple to the royal temple next door, thus having a similar late 14th century date to it, making it one of the oldest sites still standing today in Chiang Mai city.

Photogenic. : Mark Ord.
Photogenic. Photo: Mark Ord

The delightful teak viharn itself was constructed at the end of the 19th century out of recycled wood from the nearby royal palace. A new king coming to the throne generally preferred to build his own palace, so predecessors’ ones were frequently dismantled, leaving a lot of spare teak lying around.

The small temple grounds are free of monk chats, massages, touts, coffee shops and souvenir stalls, but do have a very attractive, albeit tiny, garden that the monks have obviously put a lot of work into. A raised bamboo walkway, lined with flags and bells, leads you down one side of the grounds affording views over to the teak hall.

Not your typical temple. : Mark Ord.
Not your typical temple. Photo: Mark Ord

There’s a famous peacock carving over the main door and a large seated Buddha image in the viharn. What we found most interesting, and photogenic, were some of the temple accessories, so to speak, scattered around the edge of the complex: the attractive old monks’ quarters, a 200-year-old bodhi tree and an array of old bells.

Contact details for Wat Pan Tao

Address: Corner of Ratchadamnoen and Phrapokklao Rds
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º59'16.63" E, 18º47'15.61" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Free

Reviewed by

Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.

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