Wat Gate Museum

Old records (remember them?) and record players.

In the grounds of Wat Gate is one of our favorite Chiang Mai museums. The temple museum, like most, is an eclectic collection artifacts culled from the attics and store-rooms of the temple. However, some of the items on display are much more interesting than the typical temple museum.

Old Siamese Flag
The old flag of Siam.

For example, there's one of the few examples of the old Siamese 'White Elephant' flags we have ever seen. Then there is the the collection of old phonograph records and players, going all the way back to a wind-up victrola.

But the most fascinating display is a collection of hundreds of old photographs going back more than 100 years to the very early days of western trading with Chiang Mai. There are pictures of the old river boats, markets and even examples of criminal prosecution. You can also see what many of the town's temples looked like after the Burmese occupation, when they were mostly abandoned, and before the modern influx of tourists lead them to be restored. Its an amazing insight into the past.

Hours and Admission

The museum is open daily 8:30 to 17:00. Amazingly, there's no fixed admission charge, although a donation is entirely appropriate.