The Wat Inthrawat in the countryside of Chiang Mai province is one of the finest examples of classic Lanna style architecture in Northern Thailand. The complex consists of a viharn, an open pavilion and a large open mondop.
The temple, locally also known as the Wat Ton Kwen or Wat Ton Khwen, is one of the very few remaining wooden temples in its original state in Chiang Mai province. The temple is under the care of the Thai Fine Arts Department. Renovations have been carried out aiming to leave the original structures in tact as much as possible.
The wooden viharn of the Wat Inthrawat
The simple and small, yet very elegant viharn was built in 1858 in Lanna style with Thai Lü influence. It is surrounded on three sides by an open pavilion. The stairs of the viharn contain large mythological Naga snakes on either side guarding the entrance of the structure.
The viharn has the typical Lanna style steep three tiered roof with large stylized Naga serpents on the top of the roof ends. Beautifully carved wooden barge boards decorate the ends of each roof tier. The facade of the building is made of richly decorated carved wooden panels. The gilded wood carvings, inlaid with colored mosaics show Lanna style flower patterns. The columns on either side of the entrance also contain carved flower motifs.
The main Buddha in subduing Mara posture is set on a pedestal with smaller images in front of it. The back wall of the viharn is decorated with gilded red lacquer. Most of the original murals have unfortunately been painted over, only a small part is still visible.
The Sala Bat and the mondop
The viharn is partially surrounded by an open pavilion named Sala Bat. The original wooden floor of the Sala Bat has been replaced with a concrete one. The mondop was built as a temporary shelter for the Phra Boromathat Chom Thong Buddha relic, that is now enshrined in the Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong temple further South West of Chiang Mai.
The entrance of the Wat Inthrawat temple complex is guarded by lion (Singha in Thai) figures.
The atmosphere at the Wat Inthrawat is one of tranquility. The temple does not receive many visitors because of its location outside of the city. There are no monks living quarters on the temple grounds. The temple is set in an attractive rural area full of rice fields and palm trees.
How to get to the Wat Inthrawat
The Wat Inthrawat is located a little over 10 kilometers South West of Chiang Mai city in the village of Ban Ton Kwen in Hang Dong district.
The best way to get there is by private taxi. Most hotels in Chiang Mai can book one for you. Agree on the price before setting off. Since it might not be easy to find a taxi in Ban Ton Kwen village, book a round trip and have the driver will wait.
Entrance fee & opening hours
The temple grounds are open daily from 6 am until 5 pm. Admission is free.