Photo: Shady Wat Chao Chan.

Wat Chao Chan

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Easily overlooked Wat Chao Chan dates from around the 12th century, as evidenced from an artistic style that clearly comes from the Bayon school of the Angkor period.

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Photo of Wat Chao Chan

The centrepiece is a large Bayon-style sanctuary made of laterite blocks. It’s the northernmost example of the architectural style perfected by Jayavarman VII, a Khmer king who added the magnificent Angkor Thom to the ancient city of Angkor. While Wat Chao Chan is far more modest, it stands as an important reminder that the Thais were not the first to pour creative resources into the area.

Draped in trees, the multi-tiered prang has reticulated corners that resemble lotus pedals rising to a pointed top. A tall and narrow reliquary once housed sacred relics, while Buddha images would have been placed in the surrounding niches. Adorned with laterite seated Buddha images so old that only the forms are vaguely distinguishable, a laterite base fronts the complex and was part of a wihaan added during the Sukhothai period.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Si Satchanalai.
 Read up on where to eat on Si Satchanalai.
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