Wat Phra Kaew – One of the most revered temples in Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew is located on Trairat Road in the middle of the city of Chiang Rai. It was in this very temple that the famous Emerald Buddha, or Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon – currently housed at Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (Wat Phra Kaew) in Bangkok – was discovered.

According to history, around 1434, during the reign of Phaya Sam Fang Gan as the King of Chiang Mai, an abandoned chedi was struck by lightning. Within this chedi, a gilded Buddha image was found. Later, it was discovered that the Buddha image actually has a green color and is made of jade.


This image would later come to be known as the Emerald Buddha. At present, Wat Phra Kaew (Chiang Rai) currently housed a new Emerald Buddha, which was commissioned to be created.

Interesting Features Within Wat Phra Kaew

Phra Chedi

In 1434, a bolt of lightning struck and collapsed a part of the chedi, revealing the Emerald Buddha hidden within. The image was then moved to various cities as Lampang, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Thon Buri, and eventually Bangkok, in that order. The Fine Arts Department of Thailand registered the old Phra Chedi as an important archaeological site of Thailand in 1935.

Phra Ubosot

Phra Ubosot Buddha Image

The Ubosot has a Chiang Saen style with a low foundation and steep-angle roof. It was constructed in 1890 and was granted a Wisukhamsima on April 6th, 1952. The main Buddha image in the Ubosot (Phra Jao Lan Thong) is brass and has a Maravijaya attitude. It is considered one of Thailand’s largest and most beautiful Pala images.

Hor Phra Yok

Hor Phra Yok Chiang Rai

An ancient Lanna-style building. It is the resting place of Phra Buddha Ratnakorn Navuti Wassanusornmongkhol or Phra Yok Chiang Rai. The walls of the building are decorated with murals detailing the tales from the legend of the Emerald Buddha, the temple’s construction, and the dedication ceremony to the temple on October 19th, 1991.

Hongluang Saengkaew Museum

An applied Lanna-style building, its construction began on November 6th, 1995, with Mrs. Amara (Saeng Kaew) Munikanon as a patron. The interior is a museum that exhibits valuable Buddha images and displays the Buddhism arts and cultures in a modern format.

Hongluang Saengkaew Museum

Map & Direction

YT Review

Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai

Temple Walking Tour


Wat Phra Kaew is important for its history and spiritual significance. It is considered a sacred pilgrimage site for many Buddhists. It is also a symbol of Chiang Rai and provides a sacred space of worship and meditation.

Wat Phra Kaew was known for its Emerald Buddha statue, which is said to be the oldest and most valuable Buddha statue in the world. It is also known for its intricate Lanna-style architecture and artwork, and is an important spiritual site for many people in Thailand.

Wat Phra Kaew is mainly used for religious ceremonies, such as ordinations, weddings, and merit-making. It is a popular site for pilgrimage, with many people coming to Chiang Rai to visit the temple.

The origin of Wat Phra Kaew dates back to 1434, when the statue of the Emerald Buddha was found in abandoned chedi.

Some of the highlights and features of Wat Phra Kaew include the Emerald Buddha statue; the Lanna-style architecture, including pagodas and viharns; the intricate carvings and artwork, and other objects related to Thai Buddhism.

Wat Phra Kaew is known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in English.

Entrance to Wat Phra Kaew is free, but you can make a donation or buy Buddhist amulets, thereby supporting the temple financially, to make repairs and restoration work in the future.

Working hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Don’t forget to dress appropriately and neatly when visiting Buddhist temples.

Before visit Wat Phra Kaew, be sure to check our rental rates and read our bike travel tips. You can contact us to book a motorbike on this page. Don’t forget that Chiang Rai Province is full of mountainous and hilly roads with long and steep slopes. Therefore, we strongly recommend reading the article on why even experienced riders can have brake failure. See you!

Cat Motors Team

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