Wat Si Don Chai Pa Tung Ngam (Wat Mae Kaet Noi)
To the north of Chiang Mai is a special sort of temple – called Wat Si Don Chai Pa Tung Ngam (or Wat Mae Kaet Noi colloquially). A Hellish experience awaits anyone who ventures out to find it.
The temple is full of statues depicting what awaits in hell, for those who fail to lead a righteous life. There’s also a Nirvana section, depicting the those who’ve reached enlightenment.
When you get to the temple, pay ten baht to enter the special sculpture garden, then exchange as much or as little money as you like for ten baht coins – which you can put in coin slots next to the statues to get them to light up, move, and make sounds of suffering.
It’s an interesting day trip, if not the most gentle experience.
Please remember to dress appropriately – this is still a temple, albeit an unusual one!
The temple is located on a peaceful, leafy street. There are a few local cafes nearby – not all are consistently open, but you’ll usually be able to find something.
Further east along the 1367 Road is a large market, with fresh and cooked food. If you are heading back to Chiang Mai this way, be aware that road 1367 does a 90 degree turn here, rather than continuing straight. This road will gradually wind back towards Central Festival Shopping Mall.
Wat Mae Kaet Noi is about a 30 minute drive from our office. It’s on Highway 1367, and can be reached fairly quickly from either Ring Road or from the Superhighway.
So if you’re going from the Superhighway (MAYA shopping mall is on the corner of this road), drive until Thepanya Hospital and turn left onto Highway 1001. Follow this road north for 15 minutes, and then turn left onto Highway 1367. After 5 minutes’ drive, the temple will be on your right.