Mae Fah Luang Art and Culture Park in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

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Mae Fah Luang Art & Culture Park

Top choice in Chiang Rai

In addition to a museum that houses one of Thailand’s biggest collections of Lanna artefacts, this vast, meticulously landscaped compound includes antique and contemporary art, Buddhist temples and other structures. It’s located about 4km west of the centre of Chiang Rai; a túk-túk or taxi here will run to around 100B.

Haw Kaew, the park’s museum, has a permanent collection of mostly teak-based artefacts and art from across the former Lanna region, as well as a temporary exhibition room.

Haw Kham, a temple-like tower built in 1984 from the remains of 32 wooden houses, is arguably the park’s centrepiece. The immense size of the structure – allegedly influenced by Lanna-era Wat Pongsanuk in Lampang – with its Buddha image seemingly hovering over white sand (the latter imported from Ko Samet) and its sacred, candlelit aura culminate in a vibe not unlike the place of worship of an indigenous cult.

You’ll probably have to ask staff to open up Haw Kham Noi, a structure housing folksy but beautiful Buddhist murals taken from a dismantled teak temple in Phrae.

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