Dok Kaew Gardens occupies a heavily forested island formed by the Ping river and a small canal. It is a bucolic retreat only five km. south of the Chiang Mai city wall – the very center of a booming metropolitan area of almost a million inhabitants.
To understand this improbable juxtaposition of sylvan solitude and urban turmoil you must know the history of the island. For our purposes it begins way back in 1907 with a Presbyterian missionary Dr. James McKean, his patient the Prince of Chiang Mai Chao Inta Warorot Suriawong, a rogue white elephant and a pair of velvet slippers.… but this is not the time for a history lesson. If you want to learn more you’ll have to visit us.
It must suffice to say that each time I wander along the river with my electric wheelchair, or sit on the levy reading a book in the shade of ancient trees, or circumnavigate the island on the three kilometer perimeter road I am grateful to those who, for more than a century, have worked diligently to create and preserve this uncommon refuge.