Wat Phan Tao

This is one of the old Wat’s in Chiang Mai believed to have been founded at the end of the 14th century in the center of the old walled city.

The name Wat Phan Tao literally means “temple of a thousand kilns”.  This came from the many ovens (kilns) that were used there to create/cast Buddha images used both here and at its immediate neighbor Wat Chedi Luang.

The original viharn (built in 1846) was originally used as a throne hall for the Kings of Chiang Mai.  In 1876 this hall was removed and a new viharn was built using many of the wood panels from the old structure.  The viharn was set on a stone base and is considered one of the oldest all wooden structures in Chiang Mai.  The viharn has a 3 tiered roof with golden Chofah and Naga serpents at the roof ends.  Of particular beauty is the viharns front facade.  Over the pelmet is a gilded carving of s peacock and crouching dog.  Naga serpents and other mythical creatures are also depicted.

The viharns interior has large red teak pillars and long woven banners hanging from the ceiling.  Opposite the entrance is the Wats principal Buddha image, a golden seated Buddha.

Other structures at the Wat include a large white chedi, a small bell tower, a Kuti or monks living quarters and a small garden with many bells.

Outside the Wat’s wall are several Singha (Burmese style lion) guarding the temple grounds.

Getting to the Wat is easy.  At the center of the old walled city, Wat Phan Tao is right next to the well known Wat Chedi Luang.