Wat Phra Kaew was known as Wat Pa Yeah (Temple in the Golden Bamboo Forest), because it was in fact surrounded by bamboo forest. Its name was changed to Wat Phra Kaew in 1977 after its chedi was struck by lightning revealing the Phra Kaew Morakot (emerald Buddha statue) within.
Wat Phra Kaew is famous throughout Thailand as the original home of the translucent green Buddha which graces the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok Grand Palace. The Phra Kaew Marakot remained at Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai for 43 years (1934-1977) before its discovery and remained for two years thereafter, at which time it was moved to Lampang in 1979.
A new Phra Kaew Marakot image was carved in China of Canadian jade in honor of Her Royal Highness Somdej Phrasrinkharintra, the Princess Mother's ninetieth birthday. A dedication ceremony was held in Bangkok on the 20th of September, 1991 and the image was installed by grand procession at Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai on the19th of October in the same year.
Detail: Wat Phra Kaew is located on Trirat Road in Chiang Rai. Wat Phra Kaew was appointed the First Royal Temple of Chiang Rai on the 31st May, 1978.
Address: 19 Moo 1, Tambol Wiang, Ampur Muang, Chiang Rai 57000 Thailand
Tel: +66 5371 1385, +66 5371 5875
How to get there: From the King Mengrai the Great Memorial in Chiang Rai town center, turn left and go straight to the three-way intersection and then turn left about 100 meters you will see Wat Phra Kaew on the right hand side.