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Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao is a small but very interesting temple, especially for visitors who are interested in Thailand’s unique heritage and religious framework.

Thailand is largely a Buddhist country, so it comes as no surprise that the temples are one of the most critical tourist attractions.

Wat Phan Tao Buddhist Temple & Dress Code Chiang Mai, Thailand

Interestingly, the name of the Phan Tao translates to ‘a thousand-fold increase’. The two temples were constructed around the same time, believed to be in the late fourteenth century. The temples were among four temples that were constructed for use by royalty.

One of the most fascinating features at Wat Phan Tao is the wiharn. This wooden structure was built to give devout Buddhists a place to make their petitions. This structure was built specifically for the laypeople, those who had not yet become monks.

This wooden structure was transferred to the temple location by the then King as it was customary for each new King to oversee the construction of a brand new palace. Subsequently, old palace buildings were channelled to different uses including providing space for temples across northern Thailand.

At the main entrance of Phan Tao, one of the first things that you will notice is the presence of an imposing wood carving symbolising a peacock surrounded by an array of mythical creatures. Incidentally, the peacock depicted the reign of kings in previous eras, giving insight into Chiang Mai’s heritage.

Take time to view the incredible artefacts, some of which include the dhamma casket, Buddhist teachings written on ancient palm leaves as well the pulpit. As with all temples in Thailand, visitors must ensure they are dressed respectfully. This includes covering knees, shoulders and midriffs.

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