Wat Phra Singh Place guide

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Chiang Mai

Wat Phra Singh

One of the city’s finest temples, it is the second most venerated temple after Doi Suthep.

About

If you’re looking for picture-worthy temples, then the stunning and lavish monastic buildings of Wat Phra Singh (Lion Buddha) are more than up for the task. One of the city’s finest temples, it is the second most venerated temple after Doi Suthep. Built in the 14th century and having undergone recent renovations and changes, this mosaic-inlaid sanctuary is acclaimed for its northern Thai/Lanna designs and immaculately trimmed grounds.

Upon entering the main gate, you’ll first be greeted by a dusty parking lot – but don’t let looks deceive you, as across the lot, you’ll see the large viharn (prayer hall) with an intricately carved front facade. The main viharn houses a 15th-century Buddha image cast in copper and gold. Once you enter the viharn, you’ll see a beautiful altar inside with donation boxes littered around it. If you look to your right, you’ll see a small library, the foundation/base of which has a myriad of gilded carvings.

Continuing around the complex in a counter-clockwise direction, you'll find a drum tower in a shaded yard, with several local artists selling their works. Directly behind the viharn, you’ll see the ordination hall (the area where monks get ordained). Next to this, you will see two pagodas, one a large whitewashed chedi, the other a smaller but more ornate gold and ochre one. It is in this chedi that you will see the highly revered image of Buddha in the graceful ‘lion’ style. You can also see walls with murals depicting the locals’ way of life and some popular folklore, as well as some elaborately gilded columns and windows.

Want to get in on some temple fun? Check out this Chiang Mai Historical Temples Tourfor a sample itinerary.

Good to know

  • While a popular tourist attraction in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra Singh is first and foremost a sacred and religious site, and must be treated with respect.
  • It is advisable to wear clothing that covers the legs, shoulders, and feet as Thai temples generally have a strict dress code. People who do not follow the dress code may be denied entrance.
  • Refrain from conversing with the monks, as it may distract them from their meditation.
  • Entrance fee: Free, but there is a 50THB fee for the main viharn
  • Operating hours: 6:00am to 8:00pm

How to get there

  • You can find Wat Phra Singh at the end of Ratchadamnoen Road. This road nearly bisects the old city, running from the Tapae gate all the way to the temple. You can find the temple just inside the Suan Dok gate.
  • Address: Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

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