Wat Ming Muang – The Elephant Temple Chiang Rai

Elephant temple Chiang Rai

Spending more than just a few days in Chiang Rai? I recommend a visit to the Elephant temple (Temple of the crouching elephants), officially called Wat Ming Muang (not to be confused with Wat Mung Muang!)

Visiting times – 8am – 4pm

Wat Ming Muang – The Crouching Elephant Temple of Chiang Rai

There is part of the main temple that is still being built (still under construction in April 2018).

Wat Ming Muang

Wat Ming Muang is free to go in and worth a look simply for the beautiful elephant statues.

Crouching Elephant Temple Chiang Rai

The temple was built in Lanna style by Queen Ta La Mae Sri, King Mengrai’s wife as a memorial for his mother. Mengrai was the 25th king of Ngoenyang and the first king of Lanna. He established a new city, Chiang Mai, as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom Lanna Kingdom (an Indianized state centered in present-day Northern Thailand from 13th to 18th centuries). Wat Ming Muang is one of the oldest temples in the city and is as old as the city itself.

Wat Ming Muang

Vihara Mai Lai Khum

The main wooden vihara (lay person’s prayer hall) is Viharn Mai Lai Khum, a mixture of Thai Yai (Myanmar) and Lanna.

Always look up at Thai temples – the roof ridge is decorated with 34 swan figures.

Luang Phor Phra Sri Ming Muang

The ancient Buddha image stored at the temple is ‘Luang Phor Phra Sri Ming Muang’. The ancient stucco Buddha image is over 400 years old. The rays of light stream from the hair bun of Buddha’s head in a lotus shape, carved from semi precious gemstones.

Ming Muang Stupa

Head round to the back of the temple to see the Myanmar influences on the Ming Muang Stupa (Chedi). It houses the relics of Chao Nang Talamae Sri.


#Buddha of #WatMingMuang in #ChiangRai. #buddhism #Thailand

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Sacred Water Well ‘Chang Mub’

It is believed that Chang Mub is an ancient water well, used to bring travellers good fortune before a long journey.


#HolyWater of #WatMingMuang. #traveldeeper #Thailand #slowtravel #Buddhism

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Visiting Chiang Rai?

The Elephant Temple is walkable from the centre of Chiang Rai (see directions on TripAdvisor)

Where to stay – Connect Hostel

Where to eat – Barrab, Sawaddee, Smiling Moon Cafe.

You might also like to read about the Black House Chiang Rai and the Blue temple Chiang Rai – don’t miss them!

What to wear when Visiting Temples in Thailand

What should you wear when visiting temples in Thailand? Dress conservatively when visiting temples in Thailand. Wear trousers or a long skirt and cover shoulders.

long paisley skirt

A scarf is a good thing to have handy in Thailand as you can use it to cover yourself if you are wearing a vest top or maxi dress. Men should avoid shorts and wear t-shirts or a smart-casual shirt.

You will need to remove your shoes before going up the temple steps so wear some comfortable sandals or shoes that you can slip on and off. Birkenstocks are a good option.

One thought on “Wat Ming Muang – The Elephant Temple Chiang Rai

  1. Pingback: Chiang Rai Temples - Including the Blue Temple and the White Temple

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