Travel Photo Thursday — February 14th, 2013 — Chiang Mai Off the Beaten Path — Wat Pa Pao

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in Destinations, Featured, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 29 comments

 Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday.  January has left us and February is rushing along. I’ll continue to enjoy the charm of Chiang Mai for the next couple of weeks. Last Sunday I visited several of the lesser known temples in Chiang Mai, and I want to share with you some shots from Wat Pa Pao. 

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On first glance, Wat Pa Pao looks to be quite an ancient temple. However, according to what I’ve read, this Shan temple was built in the 19th century by order of King Inthawichayanon. Located just outside steps away from Chiang Mai’s old city, and main tourist thoroughfare, it often gets missed in the rush of visiting the better known temples in the city.

The temple was quite busy when I was there last Sunday, but not with tourists. The locals were having some kind of gathering in the assembly hall. I’m not sure what it was, but I could hear the buzz as I wandered the temple grounds. The temple is a fine example of Burmese temple architecture, hidden away just off of the busy street. Unless you are looking for it, you could easily walk by without giving the Wat a second glance. Even with the buzz from the hall, it was easy to get “lost” in the serenity of the compound. The temple is named for the surrounding grove of pao trees.


Lions guard the stupa/chedi…


Lion Guarding the Stupa at Wat Pa Pao, Chiang Mai


Entrance to the Chedi…

There are several of these entrances, and if you are more than five feet tall, you will have to bend over to enter.


Chedi Entrance, Wat Pa Pao



An offering…


Temple Offering -- Wat Pa Pao, Chiang Mai



I wonder…


Broken Incense Jar -- Wat Pa Pao, Chiang Mai



A peaceful pose…


Buddha Statue at Wat Pa Pao



Wat Pa Pao’s chedi…


Chedi/Stupa -- Wat Po Pao, Chiang Mai



The Wat is home to a beautiful teak temple…


Teak Temple at Wat Pa Pao

(Not open to the public, but pretty to look at.)



A bit of advice from the monks…


A Bit of Advice from the monks at Wat Pa Pao :)



No monks or dogs were compromised for this photo essay 🙂


To The Temple...



Traveler’s Tip

Wat Pa Pao is open daily from 6am to 6pm, admission is free

Located just outside Chiang Mai’s old city moat, the temple is a short stroll from Thapae Gate. Come through the gate, turn right, and walk about 6 or 7 minutes. Cross the street again and you will easily find the entrance to the temple.

Dress appropriately. That means shoulders covered and no short shorts, for the ladies; shirts for the men. Ladies, carry a shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders if you are wearing a sleeveless top. No smoking on the temple grounds. 

You can find out more about Wat Pa Pao here. You will not find this temple listed on Trip Advisor. Maybe that’s one of the reasons it’s so peaceful 🙂


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  1. Great photos! Chiang Mai was already high on our must see list but now its even higher!

    • Thanks, Nicole. Chiang Mai really is a gem; worthy of a visit. Welcome to Travel Photo Thursday!

  2. That teak temple is absolutely beautiful! I love little hidden gems like these where it’s crowd free and you feel like you have the place to yourself. Great find, Nancie! I’m really enjoying seeing Chiang Mai through your photos and learning more about this great city. What an adorable dog!

    • Thanks, Mary! Loved the teak temple, and would have climbed over the fence to have a closer look if I had thought I could get back out! 🙂

  3. More Chiang Mai temptations! Creeping slowly up near the top of my list it is.

    • Hi Sophie…Maybe we will get to meet here one of these days 🙂

  4. This is my first time joining Travel Photo Thursday. I came to you through my contact with Jo at Zigazag. It is wonderful to be sharing with other photographers and travellers around the world and being inspired by their work and going to places I haven’t been.
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute. Beautiful images of Chiang Mai. Our friends have visited many times, no wonder they keep going back.

    • Welcome, Jill! I am so glad you found us. I’ve been visiting Chiang Mai for many years, and never tire of the city. I always find one more thing that makes me like it more.

  5. I can feel how peaceful the area is through your beautiful photos. I love the photo of the offering. The teak temple is stunning. What a shame you can’t see inside.

  6. I love the Lion, and teak temple and the quirky “dog and Monk” photo. I find Wats to be so much more peaceful than churches.

  7. These are all lovely, but I am particularly taken by the ornate carving of the teak temple. I loved the teak buildings and carvings when I was in Thailand.

  8. Jenny from the wonderful Taste for Travel blog led me here. What a stunning place. The photos put me in the same mood as I find I am in when I look back on my own of the Sri Lankan hill country, so I’ve linked up – it’s an old post, but still one of my favourite places.

    Super blog 🙂

  9. Nancie, these are stunning photos – some of your best. And they so take me back to Thailand. . .it really must go a bit higher on the ‘bucket list’. Beautiful post.

    • Thank you so much, Jackie. Looking forward to having our paths cross here one of these days!

  10. I’m so glad no monks or animals were hurt in the production of the photo essay! I so loved that disclaimer, but I loved even more the poodle on the back of the scooter and also the sign “no one is harmed by thinking”. Too right!

  11. Very interesting, the guardian lion statue, are those… tusks?

    • I think they are tusks! Really surprised me. First time I have ever seen this in Thailand.

  12. Amazing temples and structures. The guarding lion statue is really nice. Beautiful photos, Nancie!

  13. Like other commenters, that teak temple really appeals to me. Perhaps I’ll head over there some day and see if I can sneak inside. ; ) I am truly enjoying all your Chiang Mai posts, and I like that this temple is undiscovered by the tourist crowd.

  14. What a beautiful photo essay of the temple! This does look like a gem and I’m sorry to think I may well have walked right past without stopping to visit.

    Looking forward to more images of Chiang Mai from you!

  15. Lovely pictures! I especially like the lion. Of course, the dog was precious 🙂

  16. Some things are best left off TripAdvisor. With Chaing Mai so popular with travelers and travel bloggers, I’m surprised it isn’t on TA. Good find, Nancie!

  17. very bucolic and serene. I can’t wait to see more of asia with Tiny Traveler.

  18. Love the sign. It should be hanging in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

  19. Love these various & interesting hotos and perspectives of Wat Pa Pao. The intricate detail on the temple is just amazing.

  20. As usual, your pictures really draw me in – I love the color in each one. Thanks for hosting!

  21. The temple looks so solemn and peaceful. I guess people who go there can surely find inner peace.

  22. Such a beautiiful, peaceful wat. I particularly love the intricate architecture of the teak temple. And of course, love the sight of the Buddha. Wonderful images, Nancie. Thanks!


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