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“Very elaborate”

Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
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$83.14*
and up
Half-Day Temples and City Tour of Chiang Rai
Ranked #2 of 80 things to do in Chiang Rai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This was the original location of the Emerald Buddha, now housed in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo.
Chiang Rai
Level Contributor
96 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Very elaborate”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

It has been said that "once you see one Buddhist temple, you have seen them all". However, this temple is more extravagant than most and contains more buildings and elements than the average neighborhood temple. The buildings are elaborate and very well maintained. The main temple houses the emerald Buddha. An exhibition hall contains many Buddhist artifacts. Signs are generally printed in both Thai and English - helpful for the foreign tourist. The grounds are small and nicely landscaped. The temple is conveniently located near the center of the city across the street from the Overbrook Hospital and one block from the city's main fresh market area. There is no admission charge.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank marcuscromwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
2,740 reviews
1,445 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,509 helpful votes
“Emerald Buddha's Home”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

tip: Chiang Rai doens't have much to see, hardly worth the trip.
pros: FREE.
The temple is nice but not spectacular. You can see the emerald buddha which is very famous in Thailand although this is only a copy of the original which is now in Bangkok in the temple at the royal palace.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank HelenaGuerra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“The grounds were beautiful--the experience wasn't.”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I am definitely an Americanized Thai so I am not at all religious, but I understand the reverence for Buddhism because my parents still practice. Visiting Wat Phra Kaeo was something I definitely wanted to do, but not something I would probably do again.

First of all, it was a trek getting there. We rented a chauffered van for the day, but the a/c was barely blowing and we were there during one of the hottest months of the year. Anyway, when we finally got there, there were hundreds upons hundreds of tourists. I mean, they were everywhere. And they were not pleasant smelling...

There was a lot of pushing and shoving. Sweaty, damp, strange bodies rubbing up against me. I'm germaphobic so this was my worse nightmare. There are no real cool, shady spots so it was hot everywhere. The bathrooms were not clean and because there is a dress code, we were melting in our long maxi dresses and our covered shoulders.

BUT the temple is stunning. I mean, it was truly awesome and breathtaking. I wish it was less crowded so I could have more closely admired all the details, but even so, I was truly blown away.

I am kind of torn. I want to say, "Yes, go see this. You will be amazed," but if you don't like crowds or the heat, then you will not enjoy this experience.

Just a small tip for foriegners, when it is hot outside, I would avoid the street vendors outside of the wat. The food is cooked, but is just sitting around their carts out in the open heat of the sun. It's traveler's diarrhea just waiting to happen. Just sayin...

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank rozandfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great history”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

You can see the great history of Chiang Rai in there. It would bring you backward to the past 700 years. It is a centre of Chiang Rai Spirits.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank siwach007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
Reviewed May 30, 2013

The department of Tourism offers a 9 temple tour that is free. In this temple pictures are allowed. The detail of the temple...breathtaking.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sharron H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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