Thailand Travelogue

Chiang Rai Temple Run in the City

There are no lack of temples in Thailand. Hence, during my solo trip to Chiang Rai, I have decided to do a temple run in the city.
Wat Chatupon (12)
Wat Chatupon (6)
Wat Chatupon (8)
Wat Chatupon (9)
Wat Chatupon (10)
Wat Chatupon is one of the first temple I visited after my futile attempt to visit Oub Kham Museum (went there too late) while I was in Chiang Rai. As it was about 500m away, it took me less than 7 minutes to walk over. But I would highly suggest one to visit Wat Chatupon on a Sunday as the Sunday Market that starts to come alive in the evening is just at the doorstep of the temple.
Wat Chatupon (1)
Wat Chatupon (2)
Wat Chatupon (5)
Interestingly, there is also a simple massage parlour located within the compound, towards the back of the temple. But from what I observed, the clientele is mainly the locals and it closes at 5pm. Apart from that, one can walk around the temple and admire the architecture.

Wat Phra Kaew (28)
Wat Phra Kaew (7)
Wat Phra Kaew (3)
Located along the intersection of Sang Kaew road and Trairat road, Wat Phra Kaew which was once named as Wat Pa Yia (Bamboo Forest Monastery) is a Royal Temple as well as one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai. One of the reason that Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai is well known is also because it is the original home of the green Buddha which is now residing in the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok’s Grand Palace.
Wat Phra Kaew (21)
Wat Phra Kaew (20)
Wat Phra Kaew (12)
Wat Phra Kaew (10)
Unlike the one in bangkok, the temple ground is surrounded with heaps of greenery. It is said that in 1434, a translucent green Buddha was found in an old chedi that was hit by a bolt of lightning. While it damaged the structure, the Buddha image was revealed. Since then, Wat Pa Yia (Bamboo Forest Monastery) was renamed after the Emerald Buddha aka Phra Kaew Morakot as people believed that the Buddha image was made using emerald.
Wat Phra Kaew (23)
Wat Phra Kaew (31)
The current buddha image that you see is Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai is actually a replica of the original Phra Kaew Morakot image was made in honor of the 90th birthday of the late Princess Srinagarindra, mother of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (aka Rama IX) and the grandmother to the current King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Wat Phra Kaew (15)
Wat Phra Kaew (4)
There is also a 2 storey museum, Hong Luang Saengkaew Museum, with rare and valuable Buddha statues located in the premise. Do check it out as there is no entrance fee.

Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (1)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (5)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (3)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (15)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (7)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (10)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (13)
Ku Phra Chao Mengrai (12)
About 5 minutes walk uphill from Wat Phra Kaew is where Ku Phra Chao Mengrai is located. This is the resting ground of King Mengrai who was the first king of Lanna. After a flight of a stairway flanked by Naga serpents, a mythical serpent-like creatures, you will see King Mengrai status on the left and a small temple, Wat Doi Ngam Muang, with a large golden Buddha inside on the right. This is the temple that contains the ashes of King Mengrai. Do take take to appreciate the beautiful Lanna style wood carvings on the entrance door and the pillars when you are here. It is a piece of art on its own.

The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai (3)
The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai (5)
The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai (4)
The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai (1)
Take a relaxing 10 minutes walk from Ku Phra Chao Mengrai and you will reach The Navel City Pillar of Chiang Rai which is on top of Chom Thong Hill with a main pillar and 108 surrounding pillars. The naval was constructed in Khmer style “Banom Ba-Keang” based on Lanna beliefs which symbolises the universe, five great rivers, six levels of heaven and the other three states, form, formlessness and nirvana. It is also said that the main pillar matches the height of the king.
Wat Phra That Doi Thong (9)
Wat Phra That Doi Thong (2)
Wat Phra That Doi Thong (6)
Wat Phra That Doi Thong (8)
Just a stone throw away, on the same premise, is where Wat Phra That Doi Thong is. In fact, this temple is believed to be on the sacred site and existed before the time of King Mengrai. Beside enjoying the view of the surrounding, it is good to know that the very view is what made King MengRai decided to found the city of Chiang Rai in 1260. Hence, it it is common to see the local travelling up to pray.

Wat Ming Muang
Wat Ming Muang-3
Wat Ming Muang-4
Wat Ming Muang-5
Wat Ming Muang-7
Wat Ming Muang-8
Near to the city central of Chiang Rai, Wat Ming Muang is one of the temple that is worth visiting as it is already more than seven hundred year old with the gorgeous one and only wooden Vihara that was built in 1262. This is also a memorial built for King Mengrai’ s mother. Oh yes, the Luang Phor Phra Sri Ming Muang ancient stucco Buddha image is over 400 years old. If you are one serious temple hopper, there are really a lot of temples in Chiang Rai besides the famous White Temple (Wat Rong Khun, which I will share more in the next post) and Wat Rong Seur Ten (Blue Temple) for you to check them out. Some might take less than 10 minutes to explore while some are worth more than half an hour of your time. Do share with me if you have found any interesting ones.

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