Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wat Chedi Luang

If you stay in the old town in Chiang Mai one of the first places of interest you are going to visit is Wat Chedi Luang. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the city.

Construction of the temple was started in the 14th Century. It was designed as a big stupa to bury the ashes of the King’s father. However, due to political instability the temple wasn’t finished until half way through the next century.

When finished the temple was 82 meters high with a base diameter of 54 meters. Sadly, the temple suffered damage during an earthquake but in the 1990s was restored with UNESCO funds.

It is an interesting temple to wander around. There are big trees for shade and several things of interest to see around the temple. It is a great example of Thai temple architecture and a symbol for the city of Chiang Mai.

The temple is set in peaceful gardens. It creates an oasis of calm in the city, not that the old city of Chiang Mai is that frenetic. Nearby, there are a couple of good restaurants.

The interior of the temple is lavished in gold ornamentation and contains a large Buddha statue. As with most Thai temples the atmosphere is serene and inspires contemplation.

It is worth visiting Wat Chedi Luang at night when it is lit up by lights.

Please remember to dress modestly as it is working temple, and to take your shoes off before entering the temple. Respect those who come to the temple to worship.

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