Wat Ket is located directly across the Ping River from the Flower Market in Chiang Mai’s central market area. A small walking bridge across the river makes easy access to this peaceful and atmospheric ancient temple. The date of its construction is unknown but it is believed to be between 500 – 600 years old.
This is a temple especially dedicated to those born in the year of the dog. All around the temple compound are colourful statues of dogs of various sizes. I don’t know exactly what the connection is but it is believed by Buddhists that when their prayers are answered, then they return to the temple and place a figure as a sign of gratitude.
At the side of the temple is an old building that is home to the Wat Ket Museum, an eclectic collection of artifacts culled from the attics and store-rooms of the temple as well as donated by the local community. The museum is taken care of by Mr Jack, an elderly Chiang Mai resident, whose mother was from Chiang Mai and father from Scotland.
Amongst the 6 rooms of displays, you can view Mr Jack’s private collection of phonographs, a gramophone, an antique Siamese “White Elephant” flags, coins, wood carvings and Buddha images. One of the most interesting displays is the huge collection of old photographs dating back to more than 100 years ago. There are photos of old river boats. markets, people of Chiang Mai, buildings and so on. Entrance fee is by donation. The museum is open between 8:30 am – 4 pm.
Kap khun mak ka! Sawadee Ka!