Phra That Doi Tung Temple (วัดพระมหาชินธาตุเจ้า ดอยตุง)
Phra That Doi Tung (a chedi which preserves Buddha’s relics) is enshrined in Wat Phra That Doi Tung, it is famous for its ancientness, and beauty. Phra That Doi Tung has been constantly renovated. Tourists can visit there easily, it is adjacent to many tourist attractions, such as Mae Fah Luang Arboretum, Doi Tung Royal Villa, Mae Fah Luang Garden, etc. Inside the Chedi has a sign stating that according to the legend, Phra That Doi Tung was the first Chedi of Lanna Kingdom. It was constructed for preserving the left collar-bone relics of the Buddha that King Achutarat brought from India. Later, Khru Ba Sriwichai had renovated the Chedi. In the latest maintenance, a new stupa was built to cover the old chedi.
Moreover, the legend also has it that in ancient times, people used to demarcate the site with 2000-meter-long narrow Flags (known as ‘Tung’) on the mountaintop. Wherever the flag tail reached, that spot would be used as a location for building a stupa. Accordingly, this chedi was named Phra That Doi Tung after the name of the flags decorated on the hilltop. Phra That Doi Tung were a twin Lanna-style Stupa in castle shape with a small bell-shaped top, located on a square earthenware base. It is considered as relics of Pi Kun(or the Year of Pig). Unlike Chinese astrology, Pi Kun in Lanna astrology is not the year of pig, but of the elephant. Phra That is opened for worshiping from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
To Receiving wide respect, in festival to worship Phra That Doi Tung, a lot of Buddhists will make a pilgrimage to Phra That every year. They come from Thailand, and from neighbor countries, such as from Chiang Tung, Chan State, Myanmar, and from Luang Prabang, Vieng Chan, Laos. In winter, the surrounding will be covered in fog, since Phra That is located up high on the mountain, approximately 2000 meters above sea level.
How to get there:
- Phra That Doi Tung is at 17.5 kilometer stone, on Highway no. 1149. Take a new road to Doi Tung, pass Baan Taai Yaai Rom Tsai at 2 kilometer stone. Then, pass the viewpoint at kilometer 12.
- Drive pass the left turn leading to Doi Tung Royal Villa, then at kilometer 14, turn left. Go straight, and follow the way up to Phra That Doi Tung. The trail is quite narrow, and winding, and it takes around 3 kilometers to reach the destination.
- Without personal vehicles, you can take the bus from Chiang Rai town (Route: Chiang Rai-Mae Sai), and get off at Ban Huai Khrai. Then, take the purple-painted Song Taew bus(two-row seated bus) up to Doi Tung junction Tel. 053-667-433. For back-forth round, it charges 750 Baht for 12 passengers (or 60 Baht per individual).