Chiang Saen National Museum provides information on archaeology, settlement and history of the town. There are ancient relics including Lanna-style sculptures, Buddha statues and inscription stones from Phayao and Chiang Saen itself. In addition, there are exhibitions of indigenous art objects of the Thai Yai , Thai Lu and other hilltribes. These items include musical instruments, ornaments, opium-smoking accessories, etc. Open Wednesday-Sunday from 09.00-16.00 hrs. Tel: 0 5377 7102 www.thailandmuseum.com
Wat Phra That Chedi Luang, located in Chiang Saen old town, was built by King Saen Phu, the 3rd ruler of the Lanna kingdom in early 13th Century. Ancient sites include the bell-shaped, Lanna-style principal Chedi which measures 88 metres height with a base 24 metres width, is the largest structure in Chiang Saen. There are also remains of ancient Viharn and Chedi.
Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong is located within the city wall, built by Prince Thong Ngua, a son of King Tilokkarat, the 12th ruler of Lanna, in 1489. A 1,200-kilogram Buddha statue was cast, a lap 2 metres width and over 3 metres height, named “Phra Chao Lan Thong”. Another Buddha statue called “Phra Chao Thong Thip” was also cast which is made of brass in Sukhothai style.
Wat Pa Sak – about one kilometre to the west of Chiang Saen in Tambon Wiang, was built by King Saen Phu in 1295 and three hundred teak trees were planted, hence the name is Pa Sak (Teak Wood). It was then the residence of the patriarch. The temple’s chedi is beautiful in Chiang Saen architectural style and the exteriors are elaborately decorated with designs. The chedi itself measures 12.5 metres tall with a base of 8 metres width, enshrined the Lord’s Buddha relics.
There are also several ancient sites outside the city wall including Wat Phra That Pha Ngao is a place for dharma practice, Wat Chedi Ched Tod is a peaceful place, located 1 km. further from Wat phra That Pha Ngao. Wat Phra That Chom Kitti , about 1.7 kilometres from town, and Wat Sangkha Kaeo Don Han where sketches on brick slabs tell stories about the various lives of the Lord Buddha.
Chiang Saen Lake is a large natural reservoir with scenic surroundings. Large flocks of waterfowls immigrate to the site during winter. Located 5 kilometres from the district on Highway no.1016, the Chiang Saen-Mae Chan route. Turn left at km.27 and proceed on for another 2 kilometres to reach the site.