Wat Phra Singh, lively temple in Chiang Mai

This royal monastery is one of the most famous in the city of Chiang Mai and has a large Buddhist community that keeps it bustling. Located in the city centre, in the moat that marks the old part of town, it is a regular stopover for travellers to the area.

Opening hours: 08h00 – 17h00

Wat Phra Sing, Chiang Mai.
Small assembly hall on the left, golden stupas and the ordination hall on the right

Wat Phra Sing was founded in 1345 by King Pha Yu in honour of his father, King Kam Fu, as a shrine to house his ashes.

The community that lives here today has a school and a centre for Buddhist studies, so when you visit it, you may be lucky to watch some kind of ceremony or educational activity.

It is important to emphasize that traditionally the religious and social life of the populations has revolved for centuries around the monasteries.

Assembly hall or vihan, Wat Phra Singh
Assembly hall or vihan, Wat Phra Singh

Among other activities taking place here, laypeople celebrated their meetings in the vihaan or assembly hall, where they discussed common issues of everyday life. Travellers are even allowed to spend the night here on certain occasions.

Life in the cities accelerate the change of habits and customs, but even today the link between the Thai people and Buddhist monasteries is very intense.

Main Assembly hall, Wat Phra Singh.
Main Assembly hall, Wat Phra Singh
Main Assembly hall, Wat Phra Singh.
Main Assembly hall, Wat Phra Singh
Library of the monastery, Wat Phra Singh

This monastery has two assembly halls (vihaan). The small one –called the Lai Kahm– is a magnificent example of the Lanna architecture typical of Chiang Mai, with low walls and slightly curved, three-tiered roofs.

Lai Kahm, small vihaan, Wat Phra Singh.
Lai Kahm, small vihaan, Wat Phra Singh.

The ends of the gables are embellished with various gilded figures depicting the head and part of the body of a bird, and an elephant’s trunk. Apart from being decorative, these details have the symbolic function of protecting the building from evil spirits.
Inside the vihan is a revered Buddha called Phra Buddha Sihing.

Lai Kahm, small vihan, Wat Phra Singh.
Article Name
Wat Phra Sing, lively temple in Chiang Mai
The terrace with the golden stupas has no comparison in Thailand. It's gorgeous! Same as its library and other buildings. Moreover, it has a lot of activity all day. Don't miss it if you go to Chiang Mai.
Publisher Name
Manuel Francisco Jalón

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