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Wat Phra That Pha Ngao
Sarawut VRW [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wat Phra That Pha Ngao

Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is a small Buddhist temple located in Chiang San of Chiang Rai.

It gets its name from the fact that it has a chedi that was erected on a large rock within the temple compound, with its name in the local language meaning ‘rock that gives shade’.

Wat Phra That Pha Ngao, Buddhist Temple, Address & Hours, Chiang Saen

The temple also has several other notable features. One of these is the hilltop pagoda with seven spires, and a viharn that houses the image of Luang Po Pha Ngao. But what is most remarkable about this temple is that it was built in the traditional Lanna style using beautiful teak wood.

This is an important temple to the locals, with legend saying that if you are sick and you come to pray before the Buddha relic, your illness will be soon gone. Over time, its popularity amongst the locals as a place for worship and the nearby areas soon became engulfed in wild, dense forests. The antiques were lost, and in the Pha Ngao cave where the temple was located, was closed for a long time. However, with the recent addition of an old Buddha image created in classic Sukhothai carving style, people began coming back. The Buddha image was kept on top of a large brick case and eventually, people would come to make wishes.

Compared to many of the older temples in the area, Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is one of the more well-maintained, it is clean and looks new. Many new chedis were also added to cover the old ones who didn’t look well-preserved.

If you are looking for a temple where you can marvel at traditional Buddhist culture, art, and religion, this one is highly recommended. As a bonus, it also comes with beautiful views of the forest and even the legendary Mekong River.

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