Chiang Mai’s most highly regarded temple, Wat Phra Singh is dominated by an enormous, mosaic-inlaid wi-wahn (sanctuary). The lavish monastic buildings and trimmed grounds clearly shows the prosperity here. Dotted with coffee-stands and massage pavilions. The image known as Phra Singh (Lion Buddha) is one of the most famous sights here. Housed in Wihan Lai Kham, a small chapel near the rear of the temple grounds.
This statue is said to have come to Thailand from Sri Lanka and was enshrined in 1367, and the chapel is similarly striking with gilded naga gables and sumptuous lai-krahm (gold-pattern stenciling) inside
Very little is actually known about the Phra Singh image, which has more in common with images from northern Thailand than with Buddha statues from Sri Lanka. Adding to the mystery, there are two nearly identical images elsewhere in Thailand, one in the Bangkok National Museum and one in Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihaan in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Regardless of its provenance, the statue has become a focal point for religious celebrations during the Songkran festival.
As you walk around the grounds, keep an eye out for the raised temple library housed in a dainty teak and stucco pavilion known as Ho Trai , decorated with bas-relief angels in the style of Wat Jet Yot. Absolutely gorgeous when you see everyone in orange for their devoted followers.