Wat Kaeng Tha Lap (วัดแก้งท่าลับ) is a small temple in the Sakon Nakhon village of Um Chan, which is situated in Amphur Kusuman. The temple is adjacent to the long canal that separates Sakon Nakhon province from Nakhon Phanom. It is only about 4 kilometers from Wat Tha Wang Hin, with its famous crocodile statue.
Wat Kaeng Tha Lap (The Temple of the Secret Harbor) should be praised for retaining its old wooden Viharn, even though a newer one recently has been built. Twenty years ago old wood Viharns were a common sight at Sakon Nakhon temples, but with increasing temple wealth, many of these old structures have been torn down to make way for newer congregation halls. So, it's always lovely to see one of the old wooden Viharns still standing.
Wat Kaeng Tha Lap has a charming archway for its entrance, which is not too elaborate or ornate, but displays just the right aesthetic for a village temple in the countryside. The entrance lists the name of the temple as Wat Ban Kaeng Tha Lap, so Ban Kaeng must be the name of this neighborhood within the village of Um Chan.
Outside the temple's entrance are Naga guardians with long bodies, which once again are designed with a lovely simplicity to match the rural surroundings. Inside the temple grounds is a beautiful garden area, within which the monks relax and meditate. And a new red roofed Viharn sits in the center of the grounds, with new landscaping being conducted.