Wat Phaya Wat

Small temple with a Mon Dvaravati style stepped pyramid chedi

Mon style chedi of the Wat Phaya Wat temple in Nan
Mon style chedi
Wat Phaya Wat
17th or 18th century
Off route 1025

The Wat Phaya Wat is a small temple in the town of Nan comprising of a combined viharn/ubosot and a Mon style chedi. The temple’s main attraction is its stepped pyramid chedi, one of the very few remaining examples of Mon architecture in Thailand.

The Wat Phaya Wat was built near the old Nan city walls, of which a section remains behind the temple.


A recent building with a multi tiered roof serves as both viharn (assembly hall) and ubosot (ordination hall). It is surrounded by eight sema stones, painted pink and gold, that mark the sacred area of the ubosot.

Elegantly carved wooden bargeboards and gilded chofah adorn its roof. On its side walls are colorful panels with depictions of various animals of the Zodiac signs with small chedis.

Extending on the balustrades of the stairs to the main entrance are the bodies of large Naga snakes, guarding the temple.

The viharn houses the Wat Phaya Wat’s principal Buddha image. The image, named Phra Chao Naikong is enshrined in an intricately decorated alter flanked by celestial beings. In front of it and to the sides of the viharn are a number of smaller wooden Buddha images in various postures. Murals adorn the upper part of the viharn’s walls.

Mon Dvaravati style chedi

Behind the viharn stands a brick chedi in Mon Dvaravati style that was constructed in the 17th or 18th century. The chedi is modelled on the centuries older Mahabol chedi of the Wat Ku Kut in Lamphun, which was built during the time of the Hariphunchai Kingdom (mid 12th century).

Sitting on a square base are five tiers of diminishing size with three niches on each side in which are enshrined standing images of the Buddha. Over the niches are intricately decorated stuccoed arches.

Other chedis in a similar Mon style are found at the Wat Chedi Liam in Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun and the Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai Historical Park.

Second smaller chedi

Between the viharn/ubosot and the Mon chedi is another smaller brick chedi on a base with indented corners. The large niches that are now empty probably enshrined images of the Buddha.

Combined viharn / ubosot of the Wat Phaya Wat
Combined viharn / ubosot

How to get to the Wat Phaya Wat

The temple is located off route 1025 in the South West part of Nan town, West of the Nan river. The easiest way to get there is by private car booked through hotel. Alternatively, charter a songthaew.

Entrance fee & opening hours

The Wat Phaya Wat opens daily from 7 am until 5 pm. Admission is free.