Posted on: 19th February 2016
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is the original place of the enshrinement of the Emerald Buddha. It was previously known as Wat Pa Ya which means Bamboo Forest Temple. One stormy night in the year 1434, the main golden stupa was struck by a bolt of lightning and cracked, revealing the much-revered Emerald Buddha inside. Having been relocated to several sites including Lampang, Chiang Mai, Vientiane and Luang Phra Bang, the Buddha was eventually placed at Wat Phra Kaew. Today, a replication of the Emerald Buddha made by a Chinese sculptor and dressed in complete regal attire is positioned inside the crimson behind the chedi.
What to See at Wat Phra Kaew
The main chapel or ubosot is guarded by two serpent deities and houses the principal image of the Buddha, Phra Jao Lan Thong. Believed to be dating back to 700 years, Phra Jao Lan Thong has been cast from copper and brass in the magnificent Chiang Saen style. It had been relocated from the temple bearing the same name in the town of Chiang Saen. There is an exquisite two-story pavilion to the left of the temple’s main chapel. It is constructed with gilded roof finials in the ancient Lanna style. A museum is housed inside with permanent exhibitions on ancient Buddhist relics and the Lanna culture.
Our car rental deals for Thailand also include Chiang Rai as the rental location; hence make a booking, avoid dependency on public transport and visit Wat Phra Kaew with a car rental at your disposal.