Once you walk through the gate to Baan Kang Wat, you’re transported into a succulent-furnished, cafe ridden, artist community unlike any other in Chiang Mai. The shops in this little eco-village use handmade, sustainable and organic products alongside having philanthropic community-oriented aspects of business.
Shophouses and patisseries surround and open up to a sunken amphitheatre with grassy tiered seating. It seems every surface is covered in green, with flowers hanging from the roofs and small shrubbery swarming at your feet. People meander through the art shops looking at local handicrafts, are offered the opportunity to take watercolor classes with the gallery store owners, or sit and read at one of the couple open aired libraries. Even a yoga studio offers classes if you’re lucky enough to happen by at the right times. Incredible handmade ice cream is sold by the scoop for 30 baht, and fresh pressed juice is sold in one of the back alleys. A small vegetable garden is around the back of the property, where some plants and seeds are for sell as well.
Tucked back away from Suthep Road, Baan Kang Wat is located quite a ways down Soi Wat Umong. It is open from 11am to 6pm but the hours are also slightly variable depending on the shops. There is no admission cost. In select weekends they host a yard sale, where the already crafty village becomes even more artsy and bustling with activity. They also have Sunday morning markets from 8am to 1pm with organic foods and local products. This treasure of a place would be hard to simply run into, and may be a bit out of the way, but it is more than worth the visit if you’re looking for an artsy escape from the city life.
Written By: Grace Van Kirk