Wat Phan Tao is one of the oldest temples in Old Chiang Mai. The first buildings were probably built towards the end of the 14th century. Wat Phan Tao means the temple of a thousand kilns. The name probably derives from the ovens where Buddha statues were cast for another temple, Wat Chedi Luang, which is adjacent to Wat Phan Tao.
The Viharn of Wat Phan Tao was originally a Ho Kham, a throne hall for one of the kings of Chiang Mai, which was built in 1846. After a new king took the throne, the palace hall was probably demolished to make room for a new palace building. The wooden panels of the old structure were used in 1876 to build the Viharn Wat Phan Tao.
The beautiful wooden temple, with a beautiful garden, is often overlooked because the Wat Chedi Luang enjoys more attention. The prayer hall is made of dark teak, and inside there is a golden image of the Buddha. The prayer hall was built when the trade in teak reached its peak, and the wood was a sacrifice to the Buddha. During the ceremonies, the monks will also sit by the pond and sing, and in the evening it will be magical. Further back is the large stupa and a well-kept garden.