Travel Photo Thursday — February 6th, 2014 — Chiang Mai’s Charming Terracotta Garden

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Destinations, Featured, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 35 comments

Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday (our 163rd!). Chinese New Year is behind us, and this weekend the annual Flower Festival is happening. Chiang Mai is busy busy right now, so it’s good to know a quiet place to slip off to when you need a break from the madding crowd. Just steps from Chiang Mai City Gate you’ll find the walled garden Baan Phor Liang Meun. Hundreds of terracotta figures call this calm oasis home, for at least a little while. Don’t visit without your camera. Have fun with the light. Here are a few of the shots I took on a recent visit.

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You’ll find yourself admiring hundreds of terracotta reproductions representing the wide range of religious art of South East Asia. The Hindu gods, Ganesha and Vishnu, seem quite happy sharing space with Buddha. Don’t miss the bas relief panels from monuments in South East Asia (Angkor Wat) and Indonesia (Borobudur).  Adjacent to the garden, in a beautiful teak house, you’ll find a showroom where you can often watch artisans sculpting by hand.


The eyes are a little creepy…:)

Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun


Keeping with the ancient look, we have some ruins…

Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun


So peaceful…

Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun

These nagas look a little nasty!…



Close -up…

Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun



Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun


Love this gorgeous elephant…

Baan Phor Liang Meun

Baan Phor Liang Meun


You might be wondering why some of these statues are green. Well, it isn’t my bad editing skills! This garden exists so that the statues have a place to age. They are all for sale, and will be purchased by temples, businesses, or individuals. Who wants an ancient statue that looks new?

The people who own Baan Phor Liang Meun have also built a 55 acre terracotta arts garden about 45 minutes outside of Chiang Mai in Lamphun. The park is called Suan Mai Thai Pan Phor Liang Meun. To get there you really need your own transportation. I visited once, and we discovered that it was not very easy to find. In fact, the first person we stopped for directions pointed us towards the local “love motel”! Who knows why, but we had a good laugh. There isn’t much online about the park, but you can find out a little more at this site. If you do decide to head to Lamphun, either ask for directions at the showroom in Chiang Mai, or call their office in Lamphun (053-000-222).

I couldn’t find anything online confirming opening times. I’ve been there in the morning and the late afternoon. You can always call the showroom and ask (053-28-187)

Admission is free.

Should you find a the perfect piece for your garden, shipping can be arranged 🙂


Close to Chiang Mia City Gate…

Baan Phor Liang Meun

 If the map confuses you, or maybe it’s just me!…

Located on the south side of the moat at Chiang Mai Gate, just behind the Chiang Mai Market. Turn left at soi 6 on the western edge of the market. You’ll see a small parking lot. Turn right here, and the gate to the garden is on your right. 


This is the 163rd edition of Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.


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  1. These reproductions look great and the next best thing to the originals. The elephant one is beautiful. It does look very tranquil and what a wonderful temporary home for these pieces of art. I would love to watch those artisans work. BTW, I’m not seeing the actual links. It’s just saying “One entry so far”. Have a great week, Nancie!

    • Hi Mary! The garden really is tranquil. Hard to believe that it’s located steps away from a very busy street that is constantly roaring with traffic! I fixed the links:)

  2. I find the eyes in the first photograph have a haunting look about them. One of these reproductions would look amazing in my garden – and I love the veneer of green to make it look authentic. I think you can achieve that look by painting buttermilk onto terracotta too.

    I can’t see the thumbnails of any of the people that have linked up – just the fact that three have done so.

    • Hi Leigh! You’ll have to visit CM and buy one 🙂 I had no idea you could do that with buttermilk. Interesting!

  3. Simply gorgeous! I hope to visit over your way late this year.

    No thumbprints showing for me either.

    • Hi Jackie! If I am here when you visit, we will have to meet up!

  4. I find it interesting that the garden was created as a place for the statues to age. I think its a great idea – you’ve got a garden for people to enjoy and a showroom for the statues as well. I like the “greening” of some of the statues; it give them so much more character. I love the close-up and meditating hand shots. Are there price tags on the statues?

    • Hi Marisol,

      No price tags! I hear that you can probably buy a small statue for a few dollars, and then the sky is the limit!

  5. This sounds like such a lovely garden to spend some time walking in. The statues are all so lovely that I think I would have difficulty deciding which one to buy if I was in the market for an ancient statue – well except for the one with the snakes – it’s just a bit creepy!

  6. I’d be far more tempted to buy one with the aged look to it! What a lovely place to lose yourself in Nancie!

    • Hi Jenny! It is a beautiful spot. If I had a garden, I would definitely want a statute that looks ancient.

  7. What a calming and amazing tour you gave us; I felt better just scrolling through these photos. I would find time to visit this place often!

    • Hi Jackie,

      It is an amazing place. Hard to believe it is just step away from one of the busiest corners in the old city.

  8. Awesome! I would definitely fall in love with something and want it to be shipped – I have lots of statues peeking out from plants in our garden in WA – finding unique ones here is the hard part. Hmm a trip to CM should be on the agenda! Love the green lichen on the elephant statue 🙂

  9. That close up photo is quite striking. It’d be difficult to walk away with just one though.

    • Hi Marcia! If I was in the marked, I don’t know which I would choose.

  10. Love your new logo, Nancie!

  11. Very beautiful and unusual garden 🙂

    • It definitely is, and one that I never get tired of visiting!

  12. What a wonderful spot! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love that first picture – it’s creepy, but beautiful too.

  13. Chiang Mai has many more attractions to offer than I initially thought! Quick question tho: How far is it from the Burmese border? If I visit this summer, I would like to use C.Mai as a stp-over on my way from Bangkok to Burma… 🙂

    Beautiful photos, as always Nancie

    -Maria Alexandra

    • Hi Maria,

      Chiang Mai is quite close to the Burmese border (3 hour drive). What you need to check is if you can fly in via Chiang Mai. When I visited Burma a few years ago you could only fly in via Bangkok. Check with the Burmese embassy. Things may have changed.

  14. Thanks for your weekly (virtual) sojourn to Asia. it’s a nice reminder that the weekend is almost here (yay) and I better than cracking to finish what I need to for the week!

    • Hi Eileen! Have a great one!

  15. Interesting statues, though the one with the snake is too scary for me.

    • Hi Rachel! Yes, the snakes creep me out too. Those fangs look nasty!

  16. The eyes don’t bother me nearly as much as the snakes. 🙁 Yikes. Your photos are beautiful. It looks like a very peaceful place to spend time.

    • Hi Tonya! It really is a lovely little garden, and it’s not uncommon for it to be empty.

  17. The garden looks amazing and I can’t believe how close you can get to the terracotta statues. I visited the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an last year and they are super-impressive but you can’t get anywhere near as close to them.

    • Hi Carolyn, I guess because they are reproduction, and not priceless 🙂

  18. I’m sad I missed this when I was in Chiang Mai. I might have really been able to give them some business and walk away with some “antique” statues. Just visiting and taking photos (much cheaper than shopping) looks like a good, relaxing way to spend the time, too.

    • Hi Michele! That’s a great reason to come back. I’m sure they would love your business 🙂


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