Chiang Rai


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Temples

City Guide

Wat Phra Kaeo - this beautiful Buddhist temple on Trairat Road right in town is famous for having housed, in the 14th century, the


Emerald Buddha, one of the most famous Buddha images in Thailand. According to legend, the statue was (re)discovered when a bolt of lightning hit a chedi (stupa) on the grounds, cracking it open and revealing the Buddha inside. The temple grounds are lush with greenery and house a compact but excellent two-story airconditioned museum, with a near-exact replica (1mm shorter!) of the Emerald Buddha. The original is now housed in Bangkok in the temple of the same name, on the grounds of the Royal Palace.


Wat Phra Sing is located near the townhall used to house a major Buddha statue, the Phra Buddha Sihing, which is now enshrined in Chiang Mai. Like Wat Phra Kaeo, the temple now houses a replica instead. A special feature is the Lanna-style Ubosot and the wooden door panels carved by Chiang Rai contemporary craftsmen. Tel: 0 5374 5038


Wat Klong Wiang. Dating back to 1432, this is an excellent but little-visited temple showcasing exuberant Lanna style at its best. Check out the colorful guardian statues, the elephants in the back and the "No Killing Area" admonition at the entrance.


Wat Ming Meuang, intersection of Th Banphaprakan and Th Trairat. Small temple housing the spirit of the city (ming meuang) in an exquisitely carved and decorated Lanna-style, almost Laotian wiharn.


Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong , located on Doi Chom Thong on the banks of the Kok River within town area, contains what is believed to be the oldest Holy Relic even before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai. The Chedi containing the Holy Relic was probably renovated at the same time the town was being built. A major religious site in Chiang Rai was from here that King Mengrai spotted the strategic location on which to establish the town. Tel: 0 5371 6055


White Temple Wat Rong Khun), located at Ban Rong Khun, Tambon Pa O Don Chai, along Phahonyothin roadside at Km. 816, approximately 13 km from the city. This unique modern temple was designed and built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat starting in 1998. A beautiful white ordination hall Phra Ubosot - is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors. There are large mural paintings of the Lord Buddha in different gestures. A gable is decorated with a gable apex, a leaf-shaped gable-edging in the shapes of Phya Naga, dragon and mythical creatures, which are entirely made of white stucco. There are viharn, small hall for recitation surrounding the ordination hall, museum and reception pavilion. The gallery exhibits paintings of Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. Posters, drawing albums and T-shirts can be purchased. The earnings will contribute to the fund for building the temple. It opens daily at 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. Call Tel: 0 5367 3579 Fax: 0 5367 3539.


Munniti Chiang Rai Across from Sammakkhi Wittayakhom School on Banpaprakan is this Taoist and Mahayana Buddhist temple, a rare sight in Theraveda Buddhist Thailand. There is a Shan house nearby. And on the road to Pattaya Noi is a temple dedicated to to the Chinese Goddess of Mercy featuring a large statue. In the Ban Kheck area is another Goddess of Mercy temple.


Chiang Rai First Church
, its largest, was built in 1914 at PratuSiri corner.

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