Wat Pa Pao

Built in 1883, Wat Pa Pao is not like most of the Lanna style temples in Chiang Mai.  Located just outside of the old city walls, this is a Shan Burmese style temple.  During the 19th century many Shan Burmese migrated to Chiang Mai to work in the teak logging industry.  They built Wat Pa Pao as their own place of warship.

A wall surrounds the courtyard which contains a large chedi, a viharn and an assembly hall.  Next to the courtyard is a more recent Shan style viharn and another smaller building.

By the way, the name Wat Pa Pao translates to grove of Pao trees temple.

A current brick building, adorned with stuccoed ornaments has replaced the original 19th century wooden viharn.  It is topped with an elegant 5 tiered Pyatthat roof decorated with colorful motifs and topped with a golden ceremonial umbrella.  There are 3 large Buddha images inside, however it is usually closed to the public.

Next to the viharn you’ll see a large bell shaped chedi which is adorned with small mythical creatures.  At each of it corners is a large Qilin, resembling a lion with a dragons head, it is a mythical creature associated with good luck.  The chedi is set on several square tiers and a single octagonal tier.  The bell is topped with a golden spire and multi tiered Pathein Htee or Burmese style umbrella.  Bodies of Qilin and stairways on each side lead to niches which enshrine Buddha images.

Within walking distance, the Wat is located just north of the Northeast corner of the old walled city.