Photo: Wat Phra Singh mural details.

Wat Phra Singh

Our rating:

While it doesn’t hold a candle to Wat Doi Suthep in terms of scenery, Wat Phra Singh is Chiang Mai’s most prestigious temple and therefore is the epicentre of the Songkran festivities among the Buddhist faithful.





While there are an awful lot of temples in Chiang Mai, this is the big one—the main city temple and the most prestigious. If your temple saturation point is low then we’d suggest visiting both Wat Chedi Luang and here.

Classic lines. Photo taken in or around Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Classic lines. Photo: Mark Ord

Wat Phra Singh pretty much ticks all the temple boxes: It has attractive grounds full of old trees, some old bits, new bits, Lanna-style worshipping halls, a prestigious Buddha image, a reclining Buddha, jade Buddha and gold Buddhas, giant stupa, saffron-robed monks, murals, prayer flags and last but not least, sticky rice and ice cream in the car park.

The temple complex houses no fewer than three viharn (worshipping halls) where Buddha images are housed, a large ordination/prayer hall (ubosot), an attractive Lanna-style library and a large main stupa or chedi, as well as numerous subsidiary buildings and smaller shrines and chedis. It’s a large complex, and a very pleasant and photogenic spot for a stroll.

Touching the earth. Photo taken in or around Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Touching the earth. Photo: Mark Ord

The temple is said to date from the mid-14th century, built by the Lanna king Pha Vu to house his father’s ashes. Its name and prestige derive largely from a highly venerated Buddha image, the Phra Phuttha Sihing, which according to legend was presented to Chiang Mai by a king of Sri Lanka (dates and routes vary, though it is thought it may have passed through Nakhon Si Thammarat ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Wat Phra Singh
Where Ratchadamnoen Rd meets Samlarn Rd
Mo–Su: 05:00–20:30
Admission: 20 baht to enter the main hall

Location map for Wat Phra Singh

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A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Mai.



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A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Mai.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Mai.
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 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Mai.
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