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Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai

  • (worth a trip)
  • NA
  • Easy
  • NA
  • 1 hour or less
  • 3 3

The most important and religious Wat in Chiang Mai as per the locals

Chiang Mai Thailand
Thailand is famous for its street food but this part of the city also offers a lot of variety in terms of international cuisine. Finding western restaurants such as Burger King and Star Bucks is really easy though it is best to stick to the local food which is delicious and pocket-friendly. While here, you should definitely try the Pad Thai and Khao Soi. The former happens to be a favourite in the whole country however the latter is a well-known specialty of Chiang Mai
While at it, it is a great idea to indulge into the "Monk Chat" program which allows you to have a heart to heart chat with the monks of the temple about anything and everything. It doesn't have to religious or even spiritual. There are about multiple Wats now in Chiang Mai which offer this program and Wat Phra Singh is also one of them, though, Wat Chedi Lung is mostly considered to have the best mon chat program, the one here is also equally good.
Thailand is one of the cheapest countries not just in Asia but also the whole world. A delicious meal of Pad Thai with sea food should not cost more than 40BHT. A can of Singha or Chang (Thai local beer) costs between 39-45BHT. Travelling within the city using the songthaews is really cheap as well. (it takes me 20 BHT from San Patong to Chiang Mai which is approx. 26 km). A bottle of water costs 7BHT and using public convenience can cost 3-5BHT. Entrance to the temple is free.

Wat Phra Singh, reportedly the most important and religious Wats or Temples in Chiang Mai, should definitely be in your must-see places in the city. Often considered in competition with Wat Chedi Luang, this temple can be easily located near the famous Sunday Walking Street Market.

 

The temple was honored by the title of “Royal Temple of the First Grade” by King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) in 1935.

 

The temple is named after its notable status of Buddha known as the Phra Buddha Sihing whose origins are yet unknown. Wat Phra Singh is also the epicenter of the famous Songkran Festival in this part of the country. Although it may be really confusing for you to figure which one is Wat Phra Singh considering Chiang Mai is most famous for its awful lot of Buddhist temples, but finding Wat Phra Singh is easier than it may seem. Personal suggestion: if you only have one day in Chiang Mai and can only visit a single temple, pick Wat Phra Singh, while you are here just squeeze in some more time and see the Wat Chedi Luang. Both are practically next door neighbors.

 

If you are hoping for beautiful lawns full of greenery, Lanna-style prayer halls, a magnificent Buddha image, a reclining Buddha, different types of Buddhas, giant chedis, ‘saffron-robed’ monks, a ‘monk chat’, prayer flags and last but not least, sticky rice and other snacks in the temple parks, look no further! Wat Phra Singh promises that you can tick all that off of your wish list with a single visit.

 

The temple has around three viharns which holds various Buddha images and figurines, a library, a gigantic chedi, and a few other buildings and small shrines. The temple premises also serves as great photo opportunities.

 

Wat Phra Singh is dated back to the 14th century and believed to be constructed by King Phayu, the fifth king of the Mangrai dynasty, who had the stupa built to store his father’s ashes. Along with a few other building and shrines built on the same grounds, the temple was originally known as  Wat Lichiang Phra. However, it is believed that in 1367, after the important Buddha Statue, Phra Buddha Sihing, was brought into the temple, presented by the then king of Sri Lanka as some believe, the temple acquired its present day name.

 

Wat Phra Singh is an active Buddhist temple and f utmost important to the locals living here which means that there is no entrance fee to visit the temple however it is necessary that you dress properly – no exposed shoulders or disrespectful clothes.



Opening hours

6:00 - 18:00

How to get there

The nearest airport is Chiang Mai which is connected to many cities and countries but it is a better idea to arrive at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport as it has better connectivity to the rest of the world. You can take a flight further from Bangkok to Chiang Mai or avail the night bus or train. The temple is located within the walls of the old city and on the streets where the weekly Sunday market takes place. Take a yellow songthaew which drops you just outside the gates and the Wat is a walking distance from there. You can also hire a scooter or bike to travel within the city and drive to the temple. It is approximately 700 meters from Tha Pae Gate.

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