Chiang Mai Secret - Magical Terracotta Art Garden
Going from the dry, dustiness of the city street into the cool, green lushness within the walls was a true revelation, for not only is it a garden, but a collection of terracotta reproductions of the art of Southeast Asia. Thick laterite paving blocks formed paths which were lined with figures large and small from Hinduism and Buddhism: Ganeshas, Buddhas, singhas, nagas, Vishnu, among others.
The walls were lined with bas relief panels from monuments both in Southeast Asia (Angkor Wat primarily), and Indonesia (Prambanan and Borobudur).
As I have since returned with friends, or by myself, it has been entertaining to find the garden ever-changing. Large panels find new homes in hotels or the abodes of the wealthy, both in Thailand and around the world. Broken statues get repaired, sometimes with ill-fitting bits and pieces.
Occasionally, the friends I bring buy a piece from the garden. Across from the entrance is a large, handsome wood house that has a showroom, as well as small studio in the back. With luck there may be some artisans at work sculpting the clay and one can see firsthand the talent and skill that goes into creating these amazing works.
Baan Phor Liang Meun's garden of terracotta arts is almost behind the local market at Chiang Mai Gate, which is on the south side of the moat. You can find it by turning left at the soi (6) on the western edge of the market; where several streets converge in a small parking area, turn to your right and the gate is on the right, with the showroom/office across the street. It can also be accessed from Phra Pokklao by going west on Soi 2.
They also have a new, 150 rai (about 55 acres) botanical/terracotta arts garden at their new main workshop in Lamphun- ask about it at the showroom or call 053/278-187 (showroom Chiang Mai) or 053/000-222 (Lamphun).