Old temple with a modern touch
Wat Chiang Rai
No, you’re not in the wrong place. This temple ‘Wat Chiang Rai’ is named after another city in Northern Thailand. Legend has it that long ago a Lampang king convinced Chiang Rai folks to settle down in Lampang. The people established a village and a temple here by the riverside and named it after their hometown.
Aside from a few original pieces, you’re really looking at one of the city’s most modern temples. Wat Chiang Rai has been revamped many times to stay up-to-date. The most recent additions include the big white Buddha statue and selection of miniature stupa replicas around Asia in front of the temple.
Have a look inside the temple museum. It may be small but packs a punch. There’s a giant original wooden garuda woodcarving and Lanna ‘Salung’ silverware. And there’s more to come! When the Prince of Lampang got into troubled waters, the head monk helped him to preserve some of the royal family’s invaluable art pieces and they will be proudly put on display in the new on-site museum.
Wat Chiang Rai is open at night! No cost has been spared to make this a memorable and enlightening experience.Head monk Abbot says: ‘Most temples are closed at night, but we welcome visitors and hope they come here instead of going to pubs and bars.’