Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is an ancient, and sacred temple. The legend has it that if anyone become sick, and come to worship Phra That (or the Buddha relics) here at this temple, the illness will soon fade away. Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is glamorously built in Lanna architectural style. It was well-preserved, clean, and peaceful. Visitors can see the panoramic view of Mekong river from up here.
The name ‘Pha Ngao‘ (or shading rock) came from the large, gigantic stone where the chedi is located. It gives shady and cool atmosphere to the villagers. Therefore, people named it ‘Pha Ngao’.
In early times, in Yonok Nakhon period, Wat Phra That Pha Ngao used to celebrate its glory. However, when time passed by, it was deserted, and the surrounding area became dense, and overgrown wild forest. All of the antiques were disseminated. Pha Ngao cave where the temple located was shut for a long period of time. Until there was a discovery of an ancient Buddha image, Luang Por Pha Ngao, which was sculpted in Sukhothai style. The statue was in a meditative posture, enshrined on a large firm brick base. Out of faith, local people usually come to worship Luang Por Pha Ngao and make a wish.
Inside the temple also enshrined a beautiful Ubosot, in which was decorated with delicately encarved woods in Lanna style depicting biography of the Lord Buddha. Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is well-preserved, it still looks new, and clean. Moreover, there was also a discovery of three ancient stupas, which had been severely decadent. Therefore, Phra Borommathat Putta Nimit Chedi was built to cover the old ones.
Those who craze for history, and Buddhism-related art shouldn’t miss visiting this temple. Significantly, since the temple is located on high mountains, it becomes an impressive breathtaking viewpoint. Looking over from up here, visitors can see the blue Mekong river contrast with the sand, and the forest. They can also enjoy the sight of Laos landscape on the opposite side. Additionally, the temple also has souvenir shops for tourists as well.
Transportation: From Amphoe Muang Chiang Rai, drive on Highway no.1016 until seeing the traffic circle. Turn right onto Highway no.1029. Then, continue driving along, the temple will be on the opposite to Sop Kham School.
Wat Phra That Pha Ngao
Location: 391 Moo 5 Wiang, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai 57150 Thailand