Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a Lanna-styled temple; it is one of the most impressive temples in Thailand, and one of the most famous, popular attractions in town, for both locals and foreign tourists that come here on their day trips from Chiang Mai.
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is some 15 km from the town of Lampang, on a small hill surrounded by a brick wall which gives it a fortress look.
The temple is one of the most impressive examples in the country for a Lanna-styled shrine; its prayer halls (Viharn) are open from all sides, which characterizes the style.
The impressive entrance features two lion guards and a wide staircase with snake-shaped banisters leading towards the impressive complex gate.
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang was built in the 15th century and is considered one of the most ancient wooden structures in Thailand. Unlike many temples that were renovated and adjusted to more recent times – the temple remained as is in excellent condition, and so it gives visitors a nice, interesting look into Thailand’s history and culture.
Inside the temple complex, you’ll find several impressive structures including the Viharn Luang (prayer hall) – this large building is open from the sides and its 3-level roof is supported by massive pillars in black varnish and golden decorations. Another impressive structure is the ancient Chedi that towers up to 45 meters high. Its roof is made of bronze and copper that changed its colors during the hundreds of years that passed. The Chedi features one of the Buddha gates and it isn’t open to the public.
The temple has ancient wall drawings and Buddha statues that were created hundreds of years ago, and so the visit here provides an experience that has both historic and aesthetic values. One of the ‘gimmicks’ is a tiny room with a tiny opening in the wall that enables light to come through, creating an image of the Chedi – an optic phenomenon known as Camera Obscura.
Phra That Lampang Luang is admired by many Thai people so that at any time you can watch and partake in many rituals on-site – which further enhances the visitor experience.
The temple is also a popular destination for tourists coming on their day-tours from Chiang Mai so it may be crowded at certain times, and it is recommended to visit before or after the tour busses of the arranged day tours arrive.
Conclusion: Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is an ancient Lanna-styled temple that is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Thailand and I highly recommend visiting there.