In the early times, Chiang Saen was very significant as the capital city of Lanna. Originally, it was named Wiang Hirun Nakhon Ngoen Yang. Phra Chao Saen Pu, a nephew of King Mengrai—the founder King of Lanna, had built this city as a center to monitor many provinces in Yonok kingdom, and to contact with cities along the side of Mekong river. Wat Phra That Chedi Luang was built during the time Chiang Saen city was established. Therefore, this temple is ancient, and so sacred that it has been respected by locals for a long period of time.
Wat Phra Chedi Luang was constructed in 1344. Nowadays, it has aged more than 70 years. The name of the temple came from the most gigantic Lanna bell-shaped chedi in Chiang Saen. Even the time passed by, the chedi still stood there firm through times, reflecting the glory and greatness of the old Chiang Saen city, and invincible faith in Buddhism in people till nowadays. Some of the ancient Vihara had crumbled down, however, the remaining 8 relic stupas have been protected, and well-conserved. Yet, none of them were renovated to alter from the original style, in order to maintain memory and the early history of Lanna-Thai people.
At present, it is open for visitors to worship to Phra That from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. The temple is surrounded by shady giant trees, giving the peaceful, and pleasant atmosphere. A parking lot is provided. Travelers can visit here, and go to Chiang Saen National Museum located near right away. It doesn’t waste any time, and really worth travelling to.
How to get there:
Amphoe Chiang Saen is 59 kilometers away from Chiang Rai. Take Highway no.1 from Chiang Rai city to Amphoe Mae Chan. Continue driving around 30 kilometers. Then, turn right onto the Highway no. 1016. It takes around 30 kilometers from Ciang Rai city walls to reach them temple.