Attraction Singharat Road, Phra Sing Subdistrict, Chiang Mai, Thailand Published on: 08-06-2016
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Why Wat Phra Singh is special ?
Wat Phra Singh was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu for the ashes of his faher, King Kham Fu. It may have been the first monastery to house the Emerald Buddha, which later resided in Wat Chedi Luang and is now enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. The temple is named for the Buddha image it housed in 1367, the Phra Singh (Lion Buddha).
The temple-monastery fell into disrepair as Chiang Mai's population declined in the 18th century, but restoration began in the early 19th century under Chao Kawila. The work continued under his successor, Chao Thammalangka, who commissioned the murals in Viharn Lai Kham.
What to explore at Wat Phra Singh?
There are several magnificent and very old temples within the walled old city of Chiang Mai, with the Wat Phra Singh being one of the most attractive. The temple houses an important Buddha statue: the Phra Buddha Sihing which gives the temple its name. The temple, which is also known as “The Monastery of the Lion Buddha” or “The temple of the Lion Buddha” is an active temple, with hundreds of monks and novices living there. The Wat Phra Singh houses a number of highly revered and very old Buddha images. The temple grounds contain a number of classic Lanna style buildings: Main Chedi, Viharn Lai Kham, Viharn Luang, Ubosot and Scripture library Ho Trai.
How to get to Wat Phra Singh?
The Wat Phra Singh is located inside the old walled city centre of Chiang Mai. The main entrance is at the end of Ratchadamnoen road. Also in the old walled city and at walking distance are the Wat Chedi Luang and the Wat Chiang Man.
- A lovely and interesting temple
- One of the amazing temples of Chiang Mai
- The Wat to visit inside the city walls
- A beautiful place and so peaceful
- Stunning temple worth a visit
Singharat Road, Phra Sing Subdistrict, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tips for you
Wat Phra Singh must be one of most impressive temples I have seen in Chiang Mai, and believe me when I say I have seen many (well, you can't help me when you choose to visit Thailand after all). I came in early afternoon, so it might not be too busy with tourists and I loved the atmosphere right away. It was so peaceful to the soul to walk round such a beautiful temple and discovered many delicately designed Buddhist items, from the statue to the paintings on the window. You will be charged to visit to main wihan (kind of temple building), but you can opt out and head to wihan Lai Kham, where the main attraction - Phra Buddha Singh statue - is enshrined. It is smaller but much quieter and you could see the stamp of time inside the building, which makes it even more attractive to me. I had a nice short exchange with a young monk there and it's quite a good surprise how well he could communicate in English. If you have a short stay in Chiang Mai and do not have much time for a temple tour, I would strongly recommend you visit Wat Phra Singh, the best when it was in a down time so that you can immerse yourself in its beauty.
One of the prettiest temples in Chiang Mai. Definitely worth a visit if you have the time - be aware that the local monks adopt stray dogs, so avoid if you have a fear of dogs or allergies!