Wat Chiang Yuan

A short way off the busy road along the northern moat is Wat Chiang Yuan. The temple appears to date from the earliest period of Chiang Mai. It was the custom for the kings of Chiang Mai to spend some time here before being crowned.

Wat Chiang Yuan
The pagoda of Wat Chiang Yuan

The temple was one of the few maintained by the Burmese during their 200 year occupation of Chiang Mai, and most of the structures seen in the temple today date from the Burmese period. The temple was undergoing reconstruction in mid 2004 to restore some of its former glory.

The main feature of the temple is the rather squat white chedi (pagoda) with golden details. The corners are guarded by Shan styled lion dogs.

To the east of the chedi is the main prayer hall (wiharn). The entrance is guarded by two naga serpents laid along the stairway. The bright red doors to the wiharn are decorated with gold leaf 'angels'. The chapel walls on either side of the doors are decorated with colorful paintings of the Buddha's life.

Further east from the wiharn are some modern school buildings, attached to the temple. Beyond the school rooms is an elaborate iron gate, while behind one of the buildings are a couple of unique buildings built by the Burmese.