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Burmese Art In Lan Na

  • Burmese art in North Thailand refers to both the art and architecture of the Shan people from the Shan State of North West Burma, which was introduced in the 19th and 20th C and that of the Pegu Empire, which was introduced during the 218 years of occupation between 1558 and 1776.
  • The significant sites are listed below and classified accordingly.
  • The Shan are a Tai tribe (Tai Yai) and are Burmese Theravada Buddhists.
  • The Mon from Burma were Austro-Asiatic and Buddhist but their languages are different. In North Thailand there are also in places (such as Wat Chedi Yot in Chiang Mai) works influenced by Indian concepts of form and style which probably came from Pagan in Burma and these also are incorrectly described as Burmese.
  • The Burmans who conquered the Mon in Burma are the third major ethnic influence from Burma. However a lot of the art is Shan as a consequence of the Shan timber workers and timber merchants who came to Lan Na in the 19th C.



Wat Pa Pao, Chiang Mai


Where To Find Shan Burmese Art & Architecture:

Shan works of art and architecture are best found at:
  • Mae Hong San
  • Phrae, the 19th C teak center; Wat Chom Sawan
  • Mae Sariang and the Pai Valley
  • The Yuan Valley