Wat Phra Sing is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai town centre not far from the more famous Wat Phra Kaew.
Wat Phra Sing is open every day from 06:00 to 17:00 and admission is free.
About Wat Phra Sing
Wat Phra Sing is a small and understated temple that is best described as a ‘hidden’ treasure, with an interesting past history.
Wat Phra Sing was constructed towards the end of life of Pra Chao Maha Proma who lived from 1345 to 1400. Pra Chao Maha Proma was a royal prince who famously tried to take the throne of the Lanna Kingdom from his brother the rightful heir. After failing he fled to live in the neighbouring Ayutthaya Kingdom, returning some years later to Chiang Rai with an important Buddha statue, known as the Phra Singh Buddha.
According to legend, the Phra Singh Buddha statue is a copy of a statue which once resided within the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India. The Mahabodhi Temple is built on the spot where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and as such is the most sacred place in the world for many Buddhists. The Phra Singh Buddha is believed to have made its way to Ayutthaya in Thailand via Sri Lanka and then Nakhon Si Thammarat in Southern Thailand, which was the first centre in Thailand of the form Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka. The Phra Singh Buddha now resides in Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai.
There are several replicas of the Phra Singh Buddha at Wat Phra Sing, including one which sits within a magnificent altar within the prayer hall.
The ordination hall at Wat Phra Sing is also an impressive work of art. This small building is made largely from wood and features a very ornate gable end decorated in gold. Inside the temple there are some wall mural depicting scenes from the life of the Lord Buddha and more Buddha statues.
The ordination and prayer halls at Wat Phra Sing are perhaps 100 to 200 years old, the only original feature of the temple dating back to the 14th Century is its chedi. The gold plating is likely to have been added more recently as is the case with other Lanna period temples from the same period.
Location of Wat Phra Sing
- Wat Phra Sing is located 1.2 km walking distance from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1.