Phra That Chae Haeng, Phu Phiang, Nan Province
Year of the Rabbit: The province of Nan is just one of those places that don’t and won’t get many visitors. Mainly because it is tucked away along the border with Laos but also because it isn’t on the route to anywhere. We had driven down from Chiang Rai to Phayao on highway 1 which is a good road. We then had to cut across country to Nan which seemingly took forever as there were many hills and sharp corners. We were actually in two minds to go because a week earlier a hundred or so people had become very ill from food poisoning and some of them had to be flown to Bangkok. But, we were determined to visit Phra That Chae Haeng, which is an important pilgrimage site for people born in the Year of the Rabbit. So we just made a point of not stopping to eat anywhere.
Living in Central Thailand I had become so used to the temples there that it was easy to believe that they represented the whole of Thailand. But, as you can see from my photographs, this isn’t the case. Both the three-tiered bot and the square based golden chedi, are very different from what we have locally. And as I travelled from province to province in Northern Thailand I could see subtle differences in both architecture and materials used. Like other sacred temples, this chedi also contains relics of the Lord Buddha. But, it also has 40 gold and silver voltive tablets. The weather wasn’t really good the day we were there. There had been some rain. The golden chedi would have looked better with some direct sunlight and a dark blue sky as a backdrop. There are a few other temples in this city worth visiting as well and I will share the pictures another day.