Wat Chiang Yuen
Just outside the old walked center of Chiang Mai is the small temple Chiang Yuen consisting of a viharn, chedi and several small structures. Its founding date is unknown but it is generally believed to be one of Chiang Mai’s oldest temples.
Wat Chiang Yuen translates to temple of long life and was important in the Lanna Kingdom. All of the new Kings of the Lanna Kingdom would come here to pray to the Buddha image asking for good luck and a successful reign before being crowned.
The Wat was abandoned in the late 18th century when the Burmese conquered Chiang Mai and after they were driven out in 1794 the Wat was reconstructed.
As you first enter the Wat, the first thing that can be seen is the very large Buddha image sheltered by a 9 tiered ceremonial umbrella.
The Wats viharn porch is adorned with colorful murals with Buddhist scenes. Large Naga serpents guard the stairway to the entrance. The interior has 2 rows of red lacquered columns and the walls are adorned with murals showing events fro the life of Buddha. At the back is a large golden Buddha image seated in the subduing Mara posture.
Next is the most noticeable structure, its chedi – a massive white structure adorned with golden decorations. White and gold Chinthe are at each corner guarding the chedi. According to ancient chronicles, sacred Buddha relics are enshrined in the chedi.
Between the viharn and chedi stands a small Lanna style sala with beautiful gables and bargeboards. The Sala enshrines a Buddha image. Next to it are 2 decorated poles with Hamsabirds on top.
The Wat is located on Manee Nopparat Road just outside the old walked center of Chiang Mai.