Post Image

Wat Phong Sunan

Historical Significance:

Wat Phong Sunan is a treasure trove of ancient history and cultural significance, its roots deeply entwined with the Lanna Kingdom, a powerful realm that once ruled over much of northern Thailand. Built in the 15th century, the temple played a vital role as a religious and spiritual center, attracting devotees from far and wide. Its architectural style showcases the distinctive Lanna craftsmanship, blending elements of Thai and Burmese design.

One captivating anecdote tells of a Lanna king who embarked on a pilgrimage to Wat Phong Sunan. As he approached the temple, he was awestruck by its grandeur and serenity. He dismounted from his elephant and walked barefoot into the temple grounds, paying homage to the sacred Buddha images and seeking blessings for his kingdom. This story encapsulates the deep reverence and spiritual connection that the Lanna people held for this sacred site.

Stunning Architecture:

Wat Phong Sunan is an architectural masterpiece that showcases the intricate craftsmanship and artistry of the Lanna Kingdom. Admire the graceful curves and elegant lines of the viharn, the main assembly hall, and the ubosot, the ordination hall. The chedi, or stupa, stands tall and majestic, its gleaming white spire reaching towards the sky.

Explore the temple's intricate facade, adorned with delicate stucco carvings depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology. The doorways and windows are framed with intricate floral motifs and mythical creatures, adding to the temple's charm and grandeur.

Each architectural element at Wat Phong Sunan holds symbolic significance. The lotus-shaped finials atop the temple's roofs represent purity and spiritual enlightenment. The serpent nagas that guard the temple's stairways symbolize protection and wisdom.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I was particularly drawn to the intricate carvings on the temple's doors. Each panel depicted a different story from the Ramayana, the epic tale of Prince Rama's battle against the demon king Ravana. The craftsmanship was so exquisite that I spent a long time studying the details, imagining the stories they told.

Impressive Murals and Paintings

Wat Phong Sunan is renowned for its exquisite murals and paintings that adorn the temple's walls and ceilings, creating a visually stunning and awe-inspiring atmosphere. These intricate artworks depict stories and legends from Buddhist mythology, showcasing the talent and artistry of the Lanna craftsmen.

One captivating mural portrays the life of Lord Buddha, narrating his journey from birth to enlightenment through vibrant colors and intricate details. Another breathtaking painting depicts the celestial realm of Tavatimsa, adorned with mythical creatures and celestial beings. The murals are not merely decorative; they serve as a visual representation of Buddhist teachings, guiding visitors on a spiritual journey.

As you explore the temple, take the time to admire the intricate details and symbolism embedded within each mural. Notice the delicate brushstrokes, the use of natural pigments, and the harmonious composition that brings these artworks to life. Each mural tells a story, and each stroke carries a deeper meaning, inviting visitors to contemplate the profound teachings of Buddhism.

Sacred Buddha Images

At the heart of Wat Phong Sunan's sacred space, revered Buddha images emanate an aura of tranquility and devotion. Each Buddha, sculpted with intricate detail and imbued with profound symbolism, holds a unique place in the temple's history and the hearts of its worshippers.

Among the most notable is the Phra Chao Thong Buddha, a colossal bronze statue that exudes an air of serenity and grandeur. Believed to date back to the 15th century, this majestic figure is adorned with intricate engravings and exudes a palpable sense of ancient wisdom.

Another revered image is the Phra Chao Lan Thong Buddha, a smaller yet equally exquisite statue crafted from pure gold. With its delicate features and intricate headdress, this Buddha represents the epitome of craftsmanship and devotion.

Devotees often pay homage to these sacred images, offering prayers, incense, and flowers in a display of reverence and gratitude. The serene atmosphere that envelops the Buddha images invites visitors to pause, reflect, and connect with a higher power.


During my visit, I witnessed a particularly moving ceremony where a group of devotees gathered around the Phra Chao Thong Buddha, chanting prayers and offering lotus flowers. The air was thick with the scent of incense and the gentle sound of bells, creating a deeply spiritual and evocative atmosphere.

Peaceful Atmosphere:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, Wat Phong Sunan offers a sanctuary of peace and tranquility. As you step through the temple gates, a sense of serenity envelops you, inviting you to slow down and embrace the present moment. The lush greenery and serene surroundings create a calming atmosphere that encourages contemplation and reflection. Find a quiet spot beneath the shade of a Bodhi tree, close your eyes, and let the gentle breeze wash away your worries. Whether you choose to meditate, practice mindful breathing, or simply sit in silence, the temple provides the perfect setting to reconnect with your inner self and find inner peace.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I sought refuge from the scorching midday sun beneath a sprawling Bodhi tree. As I sat in silence, listening to the gentle rustling of leaves and the distant chanting of monks, I felt a profound sense of peace wash over me. The worries and stresses of my daily life seemed to melt away, replaced by a sense of calm and tranquility. In that moment, I realized that Wat Phong Sunan was more than just a temple; it was a sanctuary for the soul, a place where I could come to find solace and rejuvenation.

Local Beliefs and Practices

The local community holds Wat Phong Sunan in high regard and associates it with various beliefs and practices. Devotees often visit the temple to pay homage to the sacred Buddha images and seek blessings. One unique practice is the belief in the power of the temple's holy water. It is said that drinking or bathing in this water can bring good fortune, healing, and protection.

During festivals and special occasions, elaborate ceremonies are performed by the monks. These ceremonies often involve chanting, music, and offerings to the Buddha images. The temple also serves as a center for meditation and spiritual retreats, where visitors can find peace and tranquility amidst the serene surroundings.

One interesting belief associated with the temple is the presence of a guardian spirit known as the "Chao Pho Khao Kham." This spirit is believed to reside on the mountain behind the temple and is said to protect the temple and its surroundings. Devotees often make offerings to the spirit in the form of food, flowers, and incense sticks to express their gratitude and seek its protection.

Festivals and Events

Wat Phong Sunan comes alive during the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year. One of the most significant festivals is Songkran, the Thai New Year, which is celebrated in April. During this time, the temple is decorated with colorful streamers and flowers, and locals gather to participate in water-throwing ceremonies and other traditional activities. Another important festival is Visakha Bucha, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha. During this festival, the temple holds special ceremonies and processions, and devotees offer food and other gifts to the monks. If you're lucky, you might also witness the annual ordination ceremony, where young men from the community become Buddhist monks. This is a sacred and moving event that offers a glimpse into the deep spiritual traditions of Thailand.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I had the privilege of witnessing the Songkran festival. The temple was transformed into a sea of color and activity, with locals young and old gathered to celebrate. I joined in the fun, splashing water on friends and strangers alike, and sharing in the laughter and joy of the moment. It was a truly memorable experience that gave me a deeper appreciation for Thai culture and traditions.

Monks' Daily Life

Immerse yourself in the spiritual and serene world of the monks who call Wat Phong Sunan their home. Observe their daily routines, which begin early with morning prayers and meditation. Witness the monks as they go about their daily chores, such as sweeping the temple grounds, preparing meals, and tending to the needs of visitors. Learn about their teachings and practices, which emphasize compassion, mindfulness, and the pursuit of enlightenment. Engage in respectful conversation with the monks to gain insights into their unique perspectives and experiences. Discover the importance of monastic life in Thai culture and its role in preserving the country's rich spiritual heritage.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I had the opportunity to interact with one of the resident monks, Phra Ajaan Somchai. He shared with me his journey to monastic life and the profound sense of peace and fulfillment he had found on this path. He spoke of the importance of letting go of worldly attachments and cultivating a deep connection with the teachings of the Buddha. His words and demeanor left a lasting impression on me, reminding me of the power of simplicity and the pursuit of inner peace.

Community Involvement:

Wat Phong Sunan is deeply rooted in the local community, playing a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage and traditions. The temple actively engages in various social and educational programs that benefit the surrounding area. One notable initiative is the temple's support for local schools, providing educational resources and financial assistance to students in need. Furthermore, the temple organizes cultural events and workshops to promote traditional Thai arts and crafts, such as weaving, pottery, and woodcarving. These events not only showcase the rich cultural heritage of Phrae but also provide a platform for local artisans to share their skills and knowledge with the younger generation. Moreover, the temple serves as a gathering place for community members to celebrate festivals, participate in religious ceremonies, and receive guidance and support from the monks.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the temple's dedication to community service. I attended a cultural event organized by the temple, where local artisans showcased their handmade crafts and traditional performances took place. The atmosphere was vibrant and festive, with the temple grounds filled with locals and visitors alike. I was particularly impressed by a group of elderly women demonstrating the intricate art of silk weaving. They patiently explained the process and shared stories about the history and significance of this traditional craft. Their passion and dedication to preserving their cultural heritage were truly inspiring.

Photography Opportunities:

Wat Phong Sunan is a photographer's paradise, offering endless opportunities to capture stunning images of its intricate architecture, vibrant murals, and serene surroundings. With its unique blend of Lanna and Burmese styles, the temple is a feast for the eyes, and every corner presents a potential masterpiece.

Explore the temple grounds at different times of the day to witness the changing light and shadows that enhance the temple's beauty. The early morning hours offer a soft, golden glow that illuminates the intricate details of the carvings, while the late afternoon sun casts long shadows that create a dramatic effect.

Don't miss the opportunity to capture the vibrant murals that adorn the temple's walls and ceilings. These exquisite artworks depict stories from Buddhist mythology and Lanna history, and each one is a work of art in its own right.

To capture the essence of Wat Phong Sunan, don't be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Climb the temple's staircase to get a bird's-eye view of the complex, or crouch down low to capture the intricate details of the carvings.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I was particularly drawn to the intricate carvings on the temple's doors. I spent a long time photographing the intricate details, capturing the delicate patterns and the stories they told. The result was a series of stunning images that showcased the temple's artistry and craftsmanship.

Respectful Etiquette

When visiting Wat Phong Sunan, it is essential to understand and follow the proper etiquette to show respect for the temple, the monks, and other visitors. Dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees, and remove your shoes before entering the temple grounds. Once inside, maintain a respectful demeanor, speaking softly and avoiding loud noises. Be mindful of your body language, avoiding pointing your feet towards Buddha images or monks. When making offerings, follow the instructions provided by the temple and show reverence towards the sacred objects. By observing these guidelines, you can contribute to the peaceful and harmonious atmosphere of the temple.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I witnessed a heartwarming display of respectful behavior. A group of young students entered the temple, and before proceeding further, they stopped to remove their shoes and bow their heads in reverence. Their teacher reminded them to speak softly and maintain a respectful demeanor throughout their visit. The students listened attentively and followed the instructions, creating a positive example for others.

Local Cuisine

When visiting Wat Phong Sunan, take the opportunity to sample the delectable local cuisine of Phrae province. Immerse yourself in the flavors and specialties that make this region unique. Discover hidden culinary gems and tantalize your taste buds with authentic Thai dishes and street food.

Stroll through the vibrant markets near the temple and uncover an array of culinary delights. Indulge in fragrant curries, savory noodle soups, and grilled meats that burst with flavor. Don't miss the chance to try the local specialty, "Khao Soi Phrae," a rich and creamy curry noodle dish that is a must-try.

For a truly immersive experience, venture into the small eateries and family-run restaurants that line the streets. Here, you'll find traditional dishes prepared with fresh ingredients and cooked with love. Sample the local favorites, such as "Sai Oua," a grilled sausage made with minced pork and herbs, or "Khanom Chin Nam Ngiao," a fermented rice noodle dish served with a spicy pork gravy.

As you savor the delicious flavors of Phrae cuisine, engage with the friendly locals and learn about the culinary traditions that have been passed down through generations. Whether you prefer spicy or mild, sweet or sour, you're sure to find something to satisfy your palate.


During my visit to Wat Phong Sunan, I stumbled upon a small food stall that caught my attention. The aroma of grilled meats wafted through the air, and I couldn't resist trying their signature dish, "Moo Ping." These succulent skewers of marinated pork were grilled to perfection, and the smoky flavor was simply irresistible. As I savored each bite, I felt a sense of contentment and appreciation for the culinary delights of Phrae.

Souvenirs and Handicrafts

As you exit the temple grounds, don't miss the opportunity to support the local economy and take home a unique memento of your visit. Several vendors set up stalls near the temple, selling a variety of souvenirs and handicrafts. You'll find handmade textiles, intricate pottery, and finely carved wooden sculptures. Haggling is expected, so don't be afraid to bargain for a good price.

I remember one particular stall that caught my eye. The vendor was selling hand-woven scarves in vibrant colors and intricate patterns. I couldn't resist trying one on, and I was immediately hooked. The scarf was so soft and lightweight, and the colors were simply stunning. I ended up buying two scarves, one for myself and one for my friend back home.

Whether you're looking for a small trinket or a special gift for someone special, you're sure to find something to your liking at the stalls near Wat Phong Sunan. So take your time, browse the selection, and support the local artisans who create these beautiful works of art.

Nearby Attractions

Beyond the captivating walls of Wat Phong Sunan, Phrae province beckons with an array of hidden gems and captivating attractions. Embark on a journey to discover ancient temples steeped in history and architectural marvels, such as Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang and Wat Sri Don Chai. Immerse yourself in the province's rich cultural heritage at the Phrae National Museum, showcasing artifacts that tell the story of Phrae's past.

For nature enthusiasts, the verdant embrace of Wang Thong National Park awaits, offering breathtaking landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Hike through lush forests, marvel at the majestic Pha Sorn Kaew rock formations, and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the park's natural pools.

Venture off the beaten path to uncover lesser-known treasures, like the serene beauty of Huai Mae Na Reservoir, where you can relax on its tranquil shores or embark on a scenic boat ride. Explore the vibrant local markets, where friendly vendors offer an array of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delectable local delicacies.

Anecdote: During my visit, I stumbled upon a hidden gem nestled amidst the rolling hills – the enchanting Wat Phra Non. This lesser-known temple boasts a unique blend of architectural styles, featuring intricate carvings and serene Buddha images. As I wandered through its tranquil grounds, I felt a profound sense of peace and tranquility wash over me, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

Insider Tip:

For a truly unique and serene experience, visit Wat Phong Sunan during the early morning hours, before the crowds arrive. As the sun casts its golden rays upon the temple grounds, you'll have the opportunity to capture breathtaking photographs without distractions. The atmosphere is particularly peaceful at this time, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the temple's sacred ambiance. Take a moment to sit in meditation or simply wander through the tranquil gardens, savoring the tranquility and beauty of this hidden gem.

You may also like

Post Thumbnail

Phra That Sop Waen

Phra That Sop Waen Temple is shrouded in a rich tapestry of legends and myths that have been passed down through generations, adding to its allure and mystique. One of the most captivating tales revolves around the temple's origins. According to l...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Nestled atop Doi Suthep Mountain, overlooking the vibrant city of Chiang Mai, lies the revered Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a sacred temple that holds immense religious and cultural significance in Thailand. The temple's origins date back to the 14th...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Chedi Mae Klang

Wat Chedi Mae Klang, nestled in the heart of Phrae, stands as a testament to the city's rich history and cultural heritage. Constructed in the 15th century, this revered temple holds immense religious and historical significance for the local comm...

Post Thumbnail

Nan Riverside Art Gallery

Phrae, a city steeped in rich history and cultural heritage, invites you to embark on a journey through time. As a former trading hub, Phrae played a pivotal role in connecting the diverse cultures of Lanna and Burma, leaving an indelible mark on ...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Ket Karam Museum

Wat Ket Karam, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Chiang Mai, Thailand, holds a significant place in the city's rich history and cultural heritage. This ancient temple, dating back to the 15th century, was founded by King Ket, the ruler of the L...

Post Thumbnail

Lanna Folklife Museum Lampang

The Lanna Folklife Museum stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Lanna people, an ethnic group inhabiting the northern region of Thailand. Established in 1975, the museum is housed within the former residence of Chao Intanon, t...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Phra Bat Ming Mueang Worawiharn

In the heart of Phrae, Thailand, nestled amidst lush greenery and ancient ruins, lies Wat Phra Bat Ming Mueang Worawiharn, a sacred temple that has stood as a testament to the province's rich history and vibrant Buddhist culture for centuries. Thi...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Chom Sawan

Wat Chom Sawan, nestled in the heart of Phrae, Thailand, holds a significant place in the region's historical and cultural tapestry. Its origins trace back to the 15th century when Phraya Klang, a prominent figure in the Lanna Kingdom, commissione...

Post Thumbnail

Wat Sri Chum

Wat Sri Chum, a revered Buddhist temple located in the charming city of Phrae, Thailand, stands as a testament to the artistry and architectural brilliance of the Lanna Kingdom. Built in the 14th century, the temple boasts a rich history that inte...