Chiang Saen Historical Site
Chiang Saen Historical Site
Attraction : #Exploration #Park
Tambon Wiang - Chiang Rai ( Chiang Saen )
06.00 - 18.00  - $   | View Events
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Chiang Saen Historical Site

Chiang Saen is a small city located on the west bank of the Mekong River, about 60 kilometers north of Chiang Rai. Besides being an excellent starting point to visit the famous Golden Triangle, in the city was found a site of an ancient settlement precedent to the construction of Chiang Rai. In ancient times the city was called Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang, and it was the first capital of the Lanna Kingdom before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai in 1262. After the fall of Lanna Empire the city was conquered by the Burmese in the 16th century, and it was later sacked by King Rama I in 1803. Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang became a ghost town for a hundred years and was repopulated only in 1900. Old remains of double walls of the ancient city and other historical remains are visible inside and outside the new Chiang Saen. There are also several ancient sites outside the city wall including Wat Phra That Pha Ngao, Wat Chedi Ched Tod, Wat Phra That Chom Kitti and Wat Sangkha Kaew Don Han.
Wat Phra That Chedi Luang is located in Chiang Saen old town, next to Mekong River. The temple was built in 1290 by King Saen Phu, the 3rd ruler of the Lanna Kingdom. The Wat’s main attraction is its bell-shaped, Lanna-style principal Chedi that measures 58 metres height with a base 24 metres width, which is the largest structure in Chiang Saen.
Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong is located within the city wall. The temple was built in 1489 by Prince Thong Ngua, a son of King Tilokkarat, the 12th ruler of Lanna Kingdom. Inside Viharn of temple lies a big statue of Buddha in massive brass. Known as Phra Chao Lan Thong, the sacred image is taller more than 3 meters, with a base of 2 meters for a total weight of 1,200 Kg. In the temple is preserved another brass statue called Phra Chao Thong Thip, dating from the period of the Kingdom of Sukhothai.
Wat Pa Sak is located about one kilometer to the west of new Chiang Saen in Tambon Wiang. The temple was built by King Saen Phu in 1295 who also ordered the plant of three hundred teak trees, hence the name is Pa Sak, meaning Teak Wood. The temple's chedi is beautiful in Chiang Saen architectural style and the exteriors are elaborately decorated with designs. The chedi itself measures 12.5 metres tall with a base of 8 metres width, enshrined the Lord’s Buddha relics.
Chiang Saen Museum hosts remains of settlements and the history of the ancient Wiang Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang. Among the many ancient antiquities you can be seen sculptures in Lanna style, Buddha statues and stone inscriptions dating periods Lanna and Phayao. Phayao Kingdom was once the main antagonist of Lanna in the control of northern Thailand. In addition, there are exhibitions of indigenous art objects of the Thai Yai, Thai Lu and other hilltribes. These items include ornaments, musical instruments and accessories for smoking opium. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9:00 to 16:00.
Getting there: The most convenient way to reach Chiang Saen is to rent a car in Chiang Rai, but you can also opt for the motorbike as it would be easier riding due to the condition of the roads. Alternatively you can choose to use the bus service from Chiang Rai. It costs only 20 THB for one-way trip, but the travelling time is unpredictable, depending on the traffic and the several stops that the bus makes, which could be from 45 minutes to two hours.
Path Chiang Rai-Chiang Saen: To reach Chiang Saen follow the Asian Highway AH2 for about 30 km to the north, then turn right on Highway N° 1016 and continue for another 32 Km before you come unto the city.
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