Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan, located in the city of Chiang Mai, is a temple that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The temple, which dates back to the 14th century, is a stunning example of Thai Lanna architecture and offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of northern Thailand.
The temple’s history
The temple was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu as a royal temple and was later expanded by King Kuena. The temple is named after the Phra Singh (Lion Buddha) statue that is housed in the temple’s main sanctuary. The statue is considered one of the most important cultural artifacts in northern Thailand.
The temple’s architecture
The temple’s architecture is a mix of Thai Lanna and Burmese styles, with intricate carvings and gilded stupas. The main temple building is adorned with gold leaf and is home to the Phra Singh statue. The temple also features a number of smaller shrines and chedi (stupas) that are worth visiting.
One of the most striking features of the temple is the intricate wooden carvings that adorn the temple’s buildings. The carvings depict scenes from Buddhist mythology and are a feast for the eyes.
The temple’s location
Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan is located in the old city of Chiang Mai and is easily accessible by foot or by bicycle. The temple is surrounded by a number of other temples and shrines that are worth visiting.
The temple’s surroundings
The temple is surrounded by the bustling streets of the old city and offers a great opportunity to experience traditional Thai culture. Visitors can explore the local markets and shops and try traditional Thai food. The temple also has a number of smaller temples and shrines nearby that are worth visiting.
Tips for travelers
- Dress modestly (shoulders and knees should be covered) out of respect for the temple’s religious significance.
- Take a guided tour to learn more about the temple’s history and architecture.
- Bring water and snacks as there are no food vendors at the temple.
- Avoid visiting on weekends and public holidays as the temple can get very crowded.
- Be respectful of the culture and traditions of the temple and the religion.