I hired a bike and cycled through the centre of Chiang Rai and approached Wat Klang Wiang unexpectedly. This was an unplanned bonus temple in Chiang Rai! Built in 1432, it is one of the oldest and most ornate temples in Chiang Rai.
#30Temples30Days: temple #3
How to get there: Walk (it’s central Chiang Rai!)
The Chiang Rai City Pillar
When you enter the temple complex, you will see a shrine on the left hand side, which contains the city pillar, which marks the exact centre of Chiang Rai. A naval pillar is also located at Wat Doi Tong, but this pillar is said to mark the spot where the King looked out to decide where to build the city, rather than the centre of the city itself.
The city pillars guarded by two really cool looking Yakshas or mythological guardian figures.
The Vihara or Main Temple of Wat Klang Wiang
The the temple hall (vihara) is built in contemporary Lanna style (traditional Northern Thai style architecture from approximately 700 years ago). It is decorated with sky tassels and tooth like ridges on the sloping gables.
As well as being guarded by Nagas (mythical dragons to protect the temple), Bodhisattvas are also present. Bodhisattvas are historical figures who achieved enlightenment, but remained in this life to help others.
The inside the hall is decorated a fiery red (this plus the adornment of the roof gives it the nickname the fire temple of Chiang Rai) is a golden principle Buddha image.
The Charng Kham Stupa
The Charng Kham Stupa is a contemporary design adorned with Buddha images and adorned elephants demonstrated a Srinlankan influence. Mythology says that they hold up the earth.
One of the most beautiful buildings is the scripture library, built to store the Pali Buddhist scriptures. It is designed with a high triangle roof and balcony.
The scripture hall is decorated by sacred Elephants showing the Sri-Lankan influence on Wat Klang Wiang.
By the Monks sleeping quarters, you will find a great sign explaining why you should never quarrel…it will always result in a negative outcome!
Bell and drum Tower
You will also find a bell tower and a drum tower. Bell and drum towers are important parts of Buddhist temples as they act as signals for monks to gather.
The most amazing part was coming out of the temple to see that my Bike Basket had been filled with snacks and goodies for the journey by the Buddhist Monks!