Wat Phra Chao Thongtip

Wat Phra Chao Thongtip: An Ancient Temple with an Extraordinary History


Wat Phra Chao Thongtip is an ancient temple located in Tambon Sri-Toy, Amphoe Mae Saruay, Chiang Rai province, thailand. This temple holds significant historical and cultural importance, as it is believed to have an extraordinary history dating back to the 16th century. The temple is home to the sacred Buddha image, Phra Chao Thongtip, which has been revered for its miraculous powers, particularly in granting infants. In this article, we will explore the rich history, legends, and architectural features of Wat Phra Chao Thongtip.

Legend of Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat

The legend surrounding Wat Phra Chao Thongtip begins with Phra Chao Chiang Mai, who reigned in the 16th century. It is said that he bestowed his daughter to Phra Chao Potisan of Srisattanakahut Kingdom, now known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. However, the couple faced infertility issues and sought the help of the sacred Buddha image, Phra Chao Thongtip, in their quest for a child. Their prayers were answered, and the queen gave birth to a prince named Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat.

Succession to the Throne

When Phra Chao Chiang Mai passed away, there were no heirs to succeed him on the throne. The courtiers then requested Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat to rule the Chiang Mai kingdom instead. Phra Chao Potisan agreed to this request and took the Buddha image, Phra Chao Thongtip, with him as a symbol of his authority. On their journey back to Chiang Mai, the boat carrying the statue ran aground at Tambon Sri-Toy, Amphoe Mae Saruay, where the temple is now located. Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat decided to enshrine the Buddha image in a mondop (a small pavilion) at this spot.

Return to Luang Pra Bang

Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat ruled the Chiang Mai kingdom for two years before his father, Phra Chao Potisan, passed away. He then returned to Luang Pra Bang, taking with him several significant Buddha statues, including the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew Morakot), Phra Putta Sihing, and Phra Setangkamanee. However, Phra Chao Thongtip was left in the forest for a hundred years before being brought back to the temple and well-protected.

Phra Chao Thongtip: The Miracle-Granting Buddha Image

Phra Chao Thongtip is a Buddha image depicted in the ‘Pang Marn Vichai’ posture, with the right hand resting on its lap. The image measures 80 cm in width (from knee to knee) and 120 cm in height. It has gained fame for its ability to grant infants to those who seek its blessings. Devotees from near and far visit Wat Phra Chao Thongtip to pay their respects and seek the Buddha image’s blessings.

History and Architecture of Wat Phra Chao Thongtip

Wat Phra Chao Thongtip was originally built in 1825 by the Venerable Phra Khru Bayano and three laymen. Over the years, the temple has undergone several renovations, with the most recent one taking place in 1998 under the supervision of Phra Atikarn Prayuth Tikavaro, the present Chief Abbot of Wat Phra Chao Thongtip. The temple’s architecture is a remarkable example of Lanna style, featuring a boat-like meditation hall in the front of the site. This unique design adds to the temple’s charm and attracts visitors from all over the world.

Attractions near Wat Phra Chao Thongtip

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, Wat Phra Chao Thongtip is surrounded by other interesting attractions. Visitors can explore the Chiang Rai Winery, known for its popular Lychee wine, located along the road to the temple. The nearby Mae Saruay reservoir offers splendid views and opportunities for water activities, such as water rafting on River Laos. Another notable attraction is the Ban Lek Nai Pa Yai Intiation Royal Project, also known as the Small Home in the Big Forest Project, which promotes sustainable agriculture and community development.


Wat Phra Chao Thongtip is not just an ancient temple; it is a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Thailand. The legend of Phra Chao Chai Chettatirat and the miraculous powers attributed to Phra Chao Thongtip have made this temple a revered pilgrimage site for devotees seeking blessings and miracles. The temple’s stunning architecture, including the boat-like meditation hall, adds to its allure, while the surrounding attractions offer visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of the region. A visit to Wat Phra Chao Thongtip is a journey through time and a glimpse into the spiritual traditions that have shaped Thailand’s history.

Address And Location:

Si Thoi Mae Suai Chiang Rai 56130