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Baan Kang Wat is a charming little artist village, set just outside Chiang Mai’s old historical town. It is located at the base of Doi Suthep mountain, not too far from Wat Ram Poeng Temple.
The village itself is comprised of approximately 10 buildings, and as you wander through the small lush pathways you’ll find a variety of independent businesses.
Each individual shop is tastefully decorated; inside, you’ll find anything from wooden cut boards to ceramic cups, clothes, and a large collection of home décor items. Some of the artists offer classes and workshops in their studios, which visitors are welcome to join.
The original idea for Baan Kang Wat emerged and flourished from a wish to create a space for local independent artists to run their own businesses and workshops. The intention was to promote local artisans and local culture. At the heart of the artist village lies a love of art and handcrafted products, as well as a deep desire to re-establish a sense of community and a purposeful network of like-minded individuals.
As you make your way through the little neighborhood, you’ll notice that all the buildings in Baan Kang Wat follow a similar aesthetic theme – a tasteful mix of traditional Thai architecture (evident through the use of wood) mixed with some modern designs and minimalistic features. The idea was to blend together modern Chiang Mai city designs with concepts of sustainability by gathering inspiration from nature. This natural integration is visible in the flourishing greenery stretching along the sides of the buildings. Flowers, plants and shrubs of all kinds seem to be embedded into every corner and space of the village. There is even a little organic garden towards the end of the communal space. This perfect blend between the modern and traditional Thai lifestyles accentuates the village’s overall quirky and laidback vibe.
A small amphitheater sits near the entrance of the village surrounded by several of the artist’s houses and shops. This open space is used for a variety of community events, such as film screenings and live performances that take place throughout the year.
Every Sunday, the village hosts an open market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aside from Mondays, when shops are closed, Baan Kang Wat is open to visitors every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It’s only about a 10-minute drive to reach Baan Kang Wat if you’re coming from the west side of the old city. As it’s a little out of the way, the easiest way to get there, if you don’t have your own means of transportation, is by tuk-tuk or songthaew, which are always easily accessible from the city center.
If you’re looking for something to do in Chiang Mai on a lazy Sunday afternoon, Baan Kang Wat is the perfect place to relax, recharge and reconnect to what really matters: being together, appreciating those little moments that make up the whole of our lives, and indulging in a scoop (or three) of some home-made ice cream.