Fodor's Expert Review Wat Chamthewi

Lamphun Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

About 2 km (1 mile) west of Lamphun's center is Wat Chamthewi, often called the "topless chedi" because the gold that once covered the spire was pillaged sometime during its history. Work began on the monastery in AD 755, and despite a modern viharn added to the side of the complex, it retains an ancient, weathered look. Suwan Chang Kot, to the right of the entrance, is the most famous of the two chedis, built by King Mahantayot to hold the remains of his mother, the legendary Queen Chamthewi. The five-tier sandstone chedi is square; on each tier are Buddha images that get progressively smaller. All are in the 9th-century Dvaravati style, though many have obviously been restored. The other chedi was probably built in the 10th century, though most of what you see today is the doings of King Phaya Sapphasit, who reigned during the 12th century. You'll probably want to take a samlor down the narrow residential street to the complex. This is not an area where samlors generally cruise, so... READ MORE

About 2 km (1 mile) west of Lamphun's center is Wat Chamthewi, often called the "topless chedi" because the gold that once covered the spire was pillaged sometime during its history. Work began on the monastery in AD 755, and despite a modern viharn added to the side of the complex, it retains an ancient, weathered look. Suwan Chang Kot, to the right of the entrance, is the most famous of the two chedis, built by King Mahantayot to hold the remains of his mother, the legendary Queen Chamthewi. The five-tier sandstone chedi is square; on each tier are Buddha images that get progressively smaller. All are in the 9th-century Dvaravati style, though many have obviously been restored. The other chedi was probably built in the 10th century, though most of what you see today is the doings of King Phaya Sapphasit, who reigned during the 12th century. You'll probably want to take a samlor down the narrow residential street to the complex. This is not an area where samlors generally cruise, so ask the driver to wait for you.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

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