On my first day in Chiang Rai, Thailand, I decided to go and see some temples, and the first I came to was Wat Phra Singh.
Wat Phra Singh dates back to the 14th century when it was built by King Pra Chao Maha Proma. It once housed the famous Phra Singh Buddha image that is now in the temple of the same name in Chiang Mai.
A lot of people will tell you that when you travel to Thailand all of the temples will begin to look the same after a while. I think the key is to slow down and notice the difference between the temples, learn it’s story and appreciate the small details rather than the grand picture.
The first thing I noticed when I entered Wat Phra Singh was that there were no other tourists here. The second thing I noticed was some beautiful Buddha images surrounding an old tree.
From here I made my way to the ubosot (main shrine) where the Phra Singh Buddha image once stood. Built in the typical Lanna style, the ubosot is beautifully decorated with lovely details and artwork. At the head of the shrine is a replica of the famous Phra Singh Buddha.
The replica is much smaller than the original but just as beautiful. I absolutely love the colours that are found in Thai temples, and the artwork on Wat Phra Singh’s walls is fascinating.
Behind the ubosot is a typical golden chedi, but next to that is what I thought was a dead tree. When I looked closer I noticed that it wasn’t dead and that it in fact had these interesting flowers on it. I later found out that this is called a Cannonball Tree and they are quite common in Chiang Rai.
Although Wat Phra Singh is rather plain compared to other temples in Thailand, it has it’s own story and unique details that make it well worth visiting.
Have you been to Chiang Rai? What was your favourite temple?