Wat Tilok Aram

Historical Significance

Wat Tilok Aram, also known as Wat Tilok Aram (วัดติโลกอาราม), stands as a testament to the rich history of Kwan Phayao, or Lake Phayao, in Thailand. This ancient monument, estimated to be over 500 years old, provides insights into the vibrant community that once thrived in this area. The temple was constructed by Phraya Yutthitsathira, a ruler of Phayao town under the command of Phrachao Tilokkarat of the Kingdom of Lanna in Chiang Mai, between 1476 and 1486. This suggests that the community had already settled in the area during that time.

Submergence and Restoration

In 1939, the Department of Fishery built a water gate in Lake Phayao to control water levels, resulting in the flooding of several temples, including Wat Tilok Aram. For more than 68 years, the temple remained submerged under the lake. However, in an effort to preserve its historical and cultural significance, Phayao province decided to relocate Luangpho Sila, a revered Buddha statue, to a spot in the center of the lake. This allows tourists and the general public to pay their respects and enjoy the beautiful scenery while traveling by boat.

Candlelight Procession

Wat Tilok Aram holds particular significance during important Buddhist days such as Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, and Asalha Bucha. On these occasions, visitors can witness a mesmerizing candlelight procession on the water surrounding Phrathat Chedi Wat Thilok Aram. This unique activity has gained recognition as one of its kind in the world, attracting both local and international visitors.

Wat Si Khom Kham

Ancient Temple and Buddha Image

Situated by Lake Phayao, Wat Si Khom Kham (วัดศรีโคมคำ) or Wat Phrachao Ton Luang is a prominent temple in the city. It was constructed around the 15th century and houses the largest and oldest Buddha image in the Lanna Kingdom, known as Phrachao Ton Luang. This statue holds great significance, as it is linked to the arrival of Lord Buddha and a Buddhist-related prediction about building Phrachao Ton Luang in the area known as Nong Iang. Historical records suggest that the temple was built in 1524, during the reign of Phraya Mueang Yi, the ruler of Phayao.

Annual Homage Paying Festival

Every year, in the sixth lunar month (May), a grand homage paying festival is held to honor Phrachao Ton Luang. This festival attracts a large number of devotees and offers an opportunity for people to express their reverence for this sacred Buddha image. The festival features various religious ceremonies, cultural performances, and traditional rituals, providing visitors with a unique insight into the local customs and traditions.

Phayao Walking Street

A Shopper’s Paradise

Phayao Walking Street (ถนนคนเดินพะเยา) is a vibrant market that caters to the shopping needs of both locals and tourists. It is an ideal destination for those looking to buy souvenirs and local products from the province. Visitors can find a wide range of items, including Khaep Mu (crispy pork skin), Namphrik Num, and Namphrik Ong (chili pastes), all at reasonable prices. This bustling market takes place in front of Kwan Phayao on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On regular days, it is held at the City Pillar Shrine.

Wat Analyo Thipphayaram

A Mythical Temple

Wat Analyo Thipphayaram (วัดอนาลโยทิพยาราม) is a temple shrouded in myth and legend. According to the temple’s myth, Phra Achan Phibun Sumangkhalo, a monk from Wat Rattanawanaram, had a dream in which he saw golden sand flowing down to the temple. The beam of golden sand poured down like a stream, enveloping the temple and transforming it into a golden sanctuary. Intrigued by this vision, Phra Achan Phibun Sumangkhalo explored the area and discovered a sacred spot where he decided to build an ecclesiastical residence for the locals to make merit. This area was known for the presence of a bright, round light that would often float above the high mountains, casting a golden glow on the surroundings. These phenomena were typically observed on important Buddhist holy days, such as the 8th or the full moon days of the waxing moon of the lunar month. As a result, the temple was named “Analyo Thipphayaram,” which means “temple of the golden mountain.”

Ban Din Kham Pu Chu

Living in Harmony with Nature

Ban Din Kham Pu Chu (บ้านดินคำปู้จู้) is a unique community that promotes sustainable living through the construction of earthen houses. The concept of living in an earthen house is rooted in the belief that it provides natural cooling during the summer and warmth in the cold season. Moreover, it is an affordable and eco-friendly option for those seeking self-sufficiency. The idea of Ban Din Kham Pu Chu was born out of the desire of a married couple, Khru Chui-Chonlada and Khru Cho-Sakchai Weyue, to live independently. They embarked on a journey of studying and gathering information about earthen houses, eventually building their own. Inspired by their transformation and newfound knowledge, they decided to share their experience with the community. Today, Ban Din Kham Pu Chu serves not only as a residence for the teachers but also as a learning center for anyone interested in earthen house construction, sustainable farming, and art training. The center offers free access to knowledge and aims to empower individuals to become self-reliant.

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