55 meters into the sky with the gleaming brass exterior, the Chedi of Phra That Chae Haeng of Nan can easily be seen from miles away and is highly revered by the Nan people since the 13th century. Its location also marks the center of the old Nan city before moving to the current site in the present time.
This chedi is believed to be very sacred as it houses 7 of the Buddha relics inside, all in the size of a lettuce seed. According to the legend, when the ruler of Nan arrived from Sukhothai with the gift of these holy relics, 7 miraculous events happened at the temple including the clear sky with no clouds and the rain that covered the whole area but did not fall on anyone during the enshrinement ceremony.
The temple itself is built in the elegant Lanna style with a bit of Burmese influence. The exotic Nan architectural design can be seen above the door of the main Viharn – the 8 mythological Naga snakes that are gracefully intertwined to protect the principle Buddha image inside. Moreover, the roof of the Viharn consists of 3 tiers with delicately carved eaves, and the windows are ornamented with flower motifs. Give yourself a lot of time because you will appreciate the things at this place more if you see deep in the details how exquisitely they were made.
They say “You cannot claim to have been to Nan without having visited Wat Phra That Chae Haeng.” Even local people visit the temple frequently to pay respect to the divine and make merits. The annual celebration takes place on the 6th month of lunar calendar which usually falls on the last week of February to the first week of March of every year. It is one of the biggest celebrations in Nan that you should not miss.
From Nan, follow Highway No. 1168 (Nan-Mae Charim) heading eastwards. After you cross the bridge over the Nan River, continue for 3 kilometers and you will reach the destination.