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The Ultimate Guide to Wat Phra Singh Temple of Chiang Mai

The Ultimate Guide to Wat Phra Singh Temple of Chiang Mai

Nestled within the heart of Chiang Mai (row 619), Wat Phra Singh stands as a radiant testament to the rich cultural heritage and devout spiritual traditions that have flourished for centuries. 

Join us on a journey of exploration through intricately adorned halls, serene courtyards, and revered relics that echo with whispers of the past. 

Whether you’re an avid traveller, a history enthusiast, or a seeker of serenity, this guide will unveil the captivating allure and profound significance of Wat Phra Singh, a place where the sacred and the splendid converge in harmonious splendour.

Time zone

Indochina Time (GMT+7)

Best Time to Go 

Best Time to Go
(Image source: iStock)

Embracing the beauty of Wat Phra Singh is a delightful endeavour year-round, yet certain periods offer an extra layer of enchantment. 

The months of November to February, during the cool and dry season, present Chiang Mai and its revered temple in their most picturesque attire. 

Alos, the weather is pleasantly mild, making exploration of the temple’s intricate details and serene surroundings a truly enjoyable experience. 

Moreover, this period aligns with several significant Thai festivals, allowing visitors to witness traditional celebrations and rituals that add an immersive cultural dimension to their visit.

Things to Know

Things to Know
(Image source: iStock)

Language: Thai

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Respectful Attire: While exploring the temple grounds, remember to dress modestly out of respect for the sacred environment. Both men and women are advised to cover their shoulders and knees. Scarves or shawls can be useful for this purpose.

Footwear Etiquette: Before entering any of the temple buildings, it’s customary to remove your shoes as a sign of reverence. Keep in mind that this practice extends to the compounds of other temples you might visit in Thailand as well.

Photography: The intricate architecture, ornate statues, and serene ambiance make Wat Phra Singh a photographer’s paradise. 

However, always ask for permission before taking photos of the monks or any religious ceremonies out of respect for their privacy.

Donations: Wat Phra Singh relies on the support of devotees and visitors to maintain its splendour. If you wish to contribute, donation boxes are often placed around the temple. Remember, it’s the spirit behind the donation that matters, not the amount.

Interesting Facts about Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh features stunning Lanna-style architecture

The moment you set foot in Wat Phra Singh, you’ll be awestruck by the captivating Lanna-style architecture that graces the temple’s structures. This architectural style is a true testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Lanna Kingdom. 

Adorned with intricate wood carvings that depict mythical creatures, celestial beings, and intricate patterns, the temple exudes an air of artistic brilliance. 

The sloping multi-tiered roofs are not only a visual delight but also serve a practical purpose in the tropical climate, efficiently directing rainwater away. 

Elaborately adorned gables, known as “Lai Gable,” narrate stories from Buddhist scriptures and local folklore, offering a glimpse into the spiritual and historical tapestry of the region. 

As you explore the temple’s premises, the architectural details will transport you back in time, allowing you to appreciate the dedication and craftsmanship of Lanna artisans.

The Phra Buddha Sihing statue is kept in Lai Kham Chapel

In the heart of Wat Phra Singh stands the revered Lai Kham Chapel, a sanctuary that houses the cherished Phra Buddha Sihing statue. This statue is more than a mere artefact; it holds profound spiritual significance for Buddhists. 

Devotees from across Thailand make pilgrimages to pay their respects to this sacred representation of the Buddha. 

The Phra Buddha Sihing statue is a sublime embodiment of tranquillity and enlightenment. Its presence within the Lai Kham Chapel infuses the surroundings with an aura of serenity and devotion.

Wat Phra Singh was built during the 14th century

The history of Wat Phra Singh dates back to the 14th century when it was founded by King Pha Yu. The temple served as a significant religious and cultural centre for the Lanna Kingdom, reflecting the prosperity and artistic achievements of the time. 

Over the centuries, the temple underwent renovations and expansions, with each ruler leaving their mark on its architecture. 

Today, Wat Phra Singh stands as a living testament to the historical and artistic legacy of the Lanna period.

Phra Buddha Sihing Statue is kept within the Lai Kham Chapel

The heart of Wat Phra Singh lies within the Lai Kham Chapel, where the revered Phra Buddha Sihing statue resides. 

This statue is said to have miraculous origins, believed to have been created during the time of Gautama Buddha himself. 

Legend has it that the statue’s creation was witnessed by the Buddha’s own disciples, rendering it one of the most sacred relics in Thai Buddhism. 

The statue’s journey through history is as captivating as its appearance, encapsulating the devotion and reverence that Thai Buddhists hold for this revered icon.

How to Get Around

Walking: The best way to fully immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of Wat Phra Singh is by walking. Stroll through the temple’s courtyards, admire the intricate architecture, and take your time to appreciate the intricate details.

Guided Tours: Joining a guided tour is a fantastic way to gain deeper insights into the history, architecture, and spiritual significance of the temple. Knowledgeable guides can provide context and stories that enhance your experience.

These tours can unveil hidden details and shed light on the cultural significance of Wat Phra Singh.

Consider booking with reputable tour companies or agencies that specialise in Chiang Mai’s cultural heritage. For example, GetYourGuide, Viator, and are known for their informative temple tours, offering knowledgeable guides who share fascinating insights. 

Audio Guides: Some temples, including Wat Phra Singh, offer audio guides that provide commentary on various points of interest. These guides can help you explore at your own pace while receiving informative explanations.

What to Do

Admire the beautiful architecture of the temple buildings

As you venture to Wat Phra Singh, prepare to be entranced by the intricate details and graceful designs of Wat Phra Singh’s architecture. 

You can marvel at the Lanna-style structures, with their ornate wood carvings, golden accents, and multi-tiered roofs. 

As you stroll through the temple grounds, take in the sight of glistening stupas, elaborately adorned chedis, and serene courtyards that capture the essence of Thai craftsmanship.

Explore the main prayer hall and pay respects to the Buddha image

In Wat Phra Singh, you can enter the inner sanctum of the temple by stepping into the main prayer hall. 

Here, you’ll find the revered Phra Buddha Sihing statue, an object of deep veneration. The serene atmosphere encourages moments of introspection and connection. 

Observe as locals and visitors alike offer floral tributes and light incense, and consider participating in this sacred practice yourself.

Discover the Three Kings Monument

Just a stone’s throw away from Wat Phra Singh lies the Three Kings Monument. This monumental statue commemorates the three revered kings of Chiang Mai: King Mengrai, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai, and King Ngam Muang of Payao. 

The monument serves as a historical focal point, symbolising the city’s heritage and unity under the reigns of these remarkable monarchs.

Witness traditional Buddhist ceremonies and rituals

At Wat Phra Singh, you’ll step into the heart of Chiang Mai’s spiritual heritage, where traditional Buddhist ceremonies and rituals unfold.

From the early morning alms giving, where monks collect offerings from devotees, to the mesmerising candle procession during festivals, each act symbolises a profound connection between individuals and their spiritual journey. 

You can also witness worshippers offering lotus flowers as symbols of purity and enlightenment, partake in water pouring rituals during Songkran for renewal, and join the melodic chorus of monks and devotees during chanting and meditation sessions. 

As you immerse yourself in these timeless practices, you’ll gain insight into the essence of Chiang Mai’s cultural tapestry, where spirituality is interwoven with daily life and shared through gestures of devotion and community.

Visit the library and study Buddhist scriptures (Ho Trai)

Visit the library and study Buddhist scriptures (Ho Trai)
(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

You can delve into the intellectual side of Buddhism by visiting the temple’s library. Housing a wealth of Buddhist scriptures and texts, the library is a treasure trove for those seeking to expand their understanding of Buddhist philosophy and teachings. 

Whether you’re a scholar or simply curious, exploring these sacred texts can provide a profound perspective on the tenets of Buddhism.

Attend meditation sessions or participate in a meditation retreat

As you engage in meditation sessions held within the temple’s tranquil confine, you can discover the serenity within. You can join fellow seekers in cultivating mindfulness and inner peace under the guidance of experienced meditation instructors. 

For those seeking a more immersive experience, Wat Phra Singh occasionally offers meditation retreats, providing a dedicated environment for deepening your meditation practice.

Enjoy contemplative moments in the courtyards

Amid the bustling city, Wat Phra Singh’s courtyards offer an oasis of serenity. Find a quiet spot to sit, reflect, and absorb the tranquil atmosphere. 

Whether you engage in personal meditation or simply allow your thoughts to wander, these courtyards provide a haven for introspection and respite.

Light incense and offer prayers for good fortune and blessings

Engage in a timeless tradition as you light incense and offer prayers within the temple’s serene environs. This act holds deep significance in Thai culture, symbolising reverence, gratitude, and a sincere desire for blessings. 

As the fragrant smoke wafts upward, take a moment to connect with your intentions, and seek inner peace, good fortune, and spiritual guidance.

Experience festivals and events at Wat Phra Singh

At Wat Phra Singh, the journey transcends the historical and ventures into a tapestry of vibrant celebrations and cultural immersion. 

Throughout the year, the temple resonates with the heartbeat of Chiang Mai’s traditions through a diverse array of festivals and events. 

From the water splashing jubilance of Songkran to the serene candlelit processions of Visakha Bucha, each occasion offers a unique window into the spiritual and communal essence of the city. 

The enchanting glow of Loy Krathong’s lanterns and the meditative rhythm of the Wian Tian Ceremony further enrich the tapestry of celebrations.

Beyond the temple’s walls, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival paints the landscape with colour and fragrance, while Buddhist retreats and meditation experiences offer personal growth and serenity. 

As you participate in these festivities, you’re not just an observer; you’re becoming a part of Chiang Mai’s living traditions, woven into the fabric of a city that thrives in celebration.

Where to Stay Near Wat Phra Singh Temple

Pakping the Cozy Living

Address: 175 17 Rachadamnoen Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone: +66811752781

Pricing: ฿ 

Book Now

Pakping the Cozy Living, is a charming retreat designed to make you feel right at home, offering cosy accommodations that ensure a restful stay. 

Nestled in the heart of the city, it provides convenient access to Chiang Mai’s attractions while providing a tranquil space to unwind after your adventures.

The room itself was a haven of comfort. The air conditioning worked flawlessly, the shower boasted great pressure and consistent temperature, and the proximity to all things in the old town of Chiang Mai made our exploration effortless. 

A kitchenette with a microwave downstairs will add a convenient touch to your stay.

The Sila Boutique Bed & Breakfast

The Sila Boutique Bed & Breakfast
(Image source:

Address: 3 11 Samlarn Rd, พระสิงห์ Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone: +66811629083

Pricing: ฿ 

Book Now

If you’re in search of a stay that combines style and a welcoming ambiance, The Sila Boutique Bed & Breakfast fits the bill perfectly. This unique accommodation offers thoughtfully designed rooms adorned with chic decor and modern amenities. 

The rooms are not just spacious but also adorned with a lovely balcony, adding a charming touch.

You’ll experience the comforts of home with the added touch of elegance. With its prime location, you’ll be steps away from the city’s highlights while enjoying a serene retreat to recharge.

However, despite the name, The Sila Boutique Bed & Breakfast doesn’t offer breakfast, unlike other non-B&B hotels. Additionally, while they do have food available, there are better dining options nearby, and the common area and kitchenette downstairs are convenient additions. 

99 the Heritage Hotel

Address: 2 Singharat Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone: +6653326287

Pricing: ฿฿฿ 

Book Now

99 the Heritage Hotel is an exceptional establishment that seamlessly blends the grandeur of the past with modern hospitality. 

Each corner of the hotel tells a tale of Chiang Mai’s rich heritage, creating an immersive experience for guests. From the elegantly designed rooms to the top-notch amenities, your stay here promises to be a journey through time that’s filled with contemporary comfort.

The complimentary ice cream and meals were a delightful surprise, and the overall ambiance of the hotel, adorned with lush greenery, was truly enchanting.

Plus, the location couldn’t have been better. Being within walking distance of temples, the main town area, and the Sunday street market made our exploration effortless.

Buri Gallery House Resort
(Image source: Buri Gallery House Resort)

Address: 102 Rachadamnoen Rd, Amphur, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone: +66934900878

Pricing: ฿฿ 

Book Now

Situated amidst lush surroundings, Buri Gallery House Resort offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. What sets it apart is the integration of captivating artworks throughout the property, creating an atmosphere that’s as calming as it is creatively inspiring. 

You can relax by the pool, stroll through the gardens, and immerse yourself in a tranquil world of natural beauty and artistic expression.

Plus, the resort’s location is also a convenient hub for exploration. Arriving on a Sunday grants you the chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant market that unfolds right under the structure. 

The only minor downside is the thin walls, which can lead to some noise from adjacent rooms. Nevertheless, the beautifully designed rooms exude cosiness and comfort, providing a pleasant respite. 

Pissamorn House

Pissamorn House
(Image source: Fran Cormack)

Address: 175/14 Ratchadamnern Road, Prasingh, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Phone: +66819503918

Pricing: ฿ 

Book Now

Pissamorn House is a welcoming guesthouse that not only provides comfortable accommodations but also offers a glimpse into local living. 

The rooms are a testament to comfort and cleanliness, rivalling pricier accommodations. The robust Wi-Fi was an unexpected bonus, enhancing the overall experience.

Located conveniently in the heart of the city, you’ll find yourself surrounded by bustling markets, charming cafes, and cultural attractions. 

Moreover, breakfast at Pissamorn House was a treat in itself. The owner’s homemade bread and freshly cooked eggs provided a hearty and delicious start to our days. 

Where to Eat Near Wat Phra Singh Temple

Tam Leung Restaurant

Tam Leung Restaurant
(Image source: Tam Leung Restaurant)

Address: 3 10 Samlarn Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand

Operating Hours: Daily 11 AM to 11 PM

Pricing: ฿

Tam Leung Restaurant is a hidden gem that offers an unbeatable combination of budget-friendly prices and mouthwatering dishes. This place left an indelible mark on our culinary adventure in Chiang Mai. 

The mango sticky rice, a highlight of the menu, stood out as both affordable and arguably the best we’ve ever tasted. A noteworthy feature is its late operating hours, setting it apart from many other Thai eateries. 

Also, the relatively uncrowded setting ensures finding a seat isn’t a challenge, while the friendly and helpful staff contribute to a pleasant dining experience. 

The flavours of the food are undoubtedly impressive, although some may find the portion sizes to be a point of contention. A slight delay in receiving an order might occur, but the taste more than compensates for the wait.

SP Chicken

Address: 9/1 Sam Lan Road, Soi 1 Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Operating Hours: Daily 10 AM to 5 PM

Pricing: ฿


SP Chicken is a haven for chicken enthusiasts, offering an unforgettable culinary experience that leaves a lasting impression. The roast chicken served here ranks among the best we’ve savoured in Thailand, a true testament to the art of gastronomy.

The infusion of copious amounts of garlic infuses the chicken with an irresistible flavour that lingers on the taste buds. Plus, the accompanying sauces complement the chicken impeccably, enhancing its delectable profile.

Affordable pricing further enhances the appeal. Just be prepared for the lunch rush – arriving early is recommended, as the popularity of the establishment might lead to a shortage of chicken later in the day.

Akha Ama Phrasingh

Address: 175 2 Rachadamnoen Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Operating Hours: Daily 8 AM to 5:30 PM

Pricing: ฿฿


Coffee and compassion blend seamlessly at Akha Ama Phrasingh.The architecture and design are nothing short of incredible, creating an inspiring atmosphere that fuels creativity. 

Beyond aesthetics, their coffee is nothing less than perfect, a testament to their dedication to the craft. The fact that they roast their own beans since 2010 is evident in every sip, reflecting the years of experience they’ve carefully cultivated.

Our visit to this expansive two-level café was a minimalist dream come true. The hanging plants, the seamless blend of wood and stone, and the overall ambiance combined to create a visually pleasing setting. 

Their attention to detail extended to crafting drinks tailored to our preferences, showcasing a commitment to customer satisfaction. Despite the upscale feel, the prices remain reasonable – just keep in mind, it’s a cash-only establishment!

Hanna Restaurant & Coffee Shop

Hanna Restaurant & Coffee Shop
(Image source: Janejira Chumsang)

Address: 1 Samlarn Rd, Phra Sing, Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Operating Hours: Daily 8 AM to 4 PM

Pricing: ฿฿


Conveniently located near the Wat Phra Singh monastery, Hanna Restaurant & Coffee Shop offers a refreshing oasis.

The food and drinks at Hanna Restaurant & Coffee Shop unquestionably reach a superlative standard. The dedicated staff, despite occasional delays, maintained a friendly and welcoming demeanour. 

However, its Achilles’ heel lies in its seating arrangements. The retro-style chairs and tables, while adding character, proved uncomfortable and even unsafe, a detail worth addressing for the comfort of all patrons.

For breakfast enthusiasts, Hanna Restaurant is a true gem. It offers a delightful breakfast experience, with each dish crafted from the finest, freshest ingredients. 

Finally, Hanna’s friendly staff adds to the charm, making it a noteworthy option for morning sustenance.

Zohng Coffee

Address: 58 Intrawarorot Road Soi 2, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Operating Hours: Daily 8 AM to 5:30 PM

Pricing: ฿฿


For those seeking the quintessential breakfast or brunch experience, Zohng Coffee is the go-to spot that delivers on both flavour and consistency. 

With an array of sides and customization options, you can fine-tune your morning cravings and kickstart your day with culinary perfection.

The atmosphere, especially in the open indoor setting that welcomes a gentle morning breeze, creates the ideal ambiance for brunch.

Nevertheless, the prices remain reasonable, and the overall experience makes Zohng Coffee a delightful morning ritual.

Where to Shop Near Wat Phra Singh Temple

Sunday Walking Street Market (Tha Pae Walking Street)

Address: Rachadamnoen Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Operating hours: Every Sunday 5 PM – 10:30 PM

Imagine strolling through a bustling market illuminated by the warm glow of lanterns and vibrant stalls. That’s the Sunday Walking Street Market for you! 

Every Sunday evening, Tha Pae Road transforms into a mesmerising extravaganza of local art, handicrafts, clothing, and delectable street food (row 616). 

As you meander through the colourful maze, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of handmade treasures, from intricate wood carvings to traditional textiles and jewellery

Wualai Walking Street Market

Address: 69 Wua Lai Rd, Haiya Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Operating hours: Every Saturday 5 PM to 11 PM

Wualai Walking Street Market is another gem that beckons shopaholics and culture enthusiasts alike. 

Located in the heart of the Silver District, this market offers an enchanting blend of artistry and tradition. 

As you traverse the illuminated lanes, you’ll be captivated by the gleam of delicate silverware, exquisitely handcrafted jewellery, and intricate sculptures. 

The market’s focus on silver isn’t its only charm – you’ll also find an array of charming trinkets, clothing, and accessories that highlight the region’s artistic diversity.

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar

Address: Changklan Rd, Chang Moi Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 5 PM to 12 AM

As the day gives way to the allure of the night, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar emerges as a shopping paradise that ignites the senses. 

The bazaar’s sprawling expanse beckons with a captivating array of goods, from fashionable clothing and accessories to handmade crafts and trinkets. Don’t miss the chance to explore the labyrinthine alleys, discovering unique finds at every turn!

Beyond the shopping, you can immerse yourself in the bazaar’s energetic ambiance, where live performances and street entertainment add a touch of magic to your evening. 

Warorot Market (Kad Luang)

Address: Wichayanon Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

Operating hours: Daily 4 AM to 6 PM

Nestled in the heart of Chiang Mai, Warorot Market, affectionately known as Kad Luang, is a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and dynamic commerce. 

The market’s authentic charm lies in its dedication to tradition, with vendors proudly showcasing local delicacies and traditional clothing. 

From vibrant fruits and aromatic herbs to intricate woven fabrics, Kad Luang captures the essence of Northern Thai culture. 

What to Expect from Chiang Mai’s Weather

What to Expect from Chiang Mai’s Weather
(Image source: iStock)

Cool and Pleasant Winter (November – February): As the cool season graces Chiang Mai, you’ll be welcomed by comfortably mild temperatures and clear skies. 

This is the peak tourist season, and for good reason – it’s the perfect time to explore the city’s cultural gems, trek through lush landscapes, and savour outdoor activities without the sweltering heat.

Be sure to pack some layers, as mornings and evenings can be refreshingly crisp.

Hot and Dry Pre-Summer (March – May): March and April bring rising temperatures, with daytime highs that can be quite toasty. Sunscreen and light clothing are your allies during this period. 

While the heat might beckon you to cool off in the city’s refreshing attractions, be prepared for the occasional haze that can affect visibility.

Refreshing Rainy Season (June – October): Chiang Mai’s rainy season, also known as the green season, invites a refreshing change. Rain showers intermittently bless the landscape, rejuvenating the flora and turning the region into a lush haven. 

While rain can be expected, it often arrives in short bursts, leaving pockets of time for exploration. 

Don’t forget your umbrella or raincoat – they’ll be your trusted companions. This season also brings cooler temperatures, offering respite from the earlier heat.

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