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Wat Phra Singh Buddhist Temple

Home > Chiang Mai > Places of Worship
by Ian Marshall (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and yogi living in Tepoztlan, Mexico where I'm running www.casadelcorazon.mx with my girlfriend. You can keep up with my other writing on www.bollocks2thewellingtons.com/ or www.spiritualheartjourney.com
Published November 10th 2012
Beautiful Wat in the old City of Chiang Mai
One of the largest temples in the old city Wat Phra Singh, situated at the beginning of Samlann Road and at the end of Ratchadamoen Road

Main Temple, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Main Temple, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai


It was founded around 700 years ago by the 5th King of the Mangrai dynasty, Phaya Payoo. In those times the front of the temple was crowded with merchants and became like a marketplace.

As with most of the temples in Chiang Mai and Thailand parts have been added over the years by different Kings and things restored by the community.

The large white Chedi, Phrathat Luang, was restored around 100 years ago and is around 50 metres tall with an Elephant statue at each corner of the base.

Phrathat Luang, big White Chedi, Pagoda, Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh
Phrathat Luang, big White Chedi, Pagoda, Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh



Chedi, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Chedi, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai


Aside from the main temple and secondary chapel there is the white Kulai or Five tiered roof stupa located in the rear near the large Chedi.

The Phrabuddhasihing statue of Buddha in bronze is from the Chiangsaen period and shows him sitting in crosslegged position with the right hand on the right knee and left in his lap. It is considered an important image and is brought out during the yearly Songkran festival for the people to sprinkle water upon as it makes a procession around the city.

There are also several of the slightly bizarre waxworks of famous monks on display here that seem so popular in Thailand. They are there to show appreciation for great practitioners and I guess as inspiration that through Buddhist spiritual work you too can attain a degree of enlightenment.

Monk Waxwork, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Monk Waxwork, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai


There are numerous buildings that make up the site and are set amongst beautiful and serene leafy gardens. There is a school attached and also monks quarters. I wandered past and spotted a few monks on the bleachers watching an impromptu game of basketball.

Monks, bleachers, basketball, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Monks on the bleachers


At the front of the complex is the Hoh Trai, which is a raised library building containing scores of Buddhist scripture.

Hoh Trai, Buddhist library, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Hoh Trai, Buddhist library, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai


I even found this Reclining Buddha in a small dark, almost closed room at the back of the temple. It seemed forgotten as if in a store-room but I guess that is indication of the riches on offer here.

Reclining Buddha, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
Reclining Buddha, Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
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Where: Chang Klan Rd, chaiang mai Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Cost: 20Baht for foreigner visiting main temple
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