Chiang Mai is the biggest city in Northern Thailand and one of the favourite cities of all Digital Nomads in South East Asia! I could totally image, me living here for a while, because there is much to see and do without the commotion of a megacity like Bangkok. During my first time in Chiang Mai I had 5 days in order to discover the true face of the city, which was everything but less than enough! So we decided to spend most of our time in temple hopping around the city!
Chiang Mai is home to more than 300 Buddhist temples. Some of the temples were built in the Himalayan Foothills at the very beginning of Chiang Mai’s development (1296). During that period, Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom (1296-1768). Nowadays, the city is still the spiritual capital of Thailand and is well worth a visit.
“A Silver Temple. A Gold Temple. A White Temple. A Mountain Temple. A Big Stupa Temple. A Lanna-Style Temple. An Indian Style Temple. An Everything-You-Wish-For-A-Temple”
Chaing Mai has them All!
And there is something for every taste!
Having the numbers in mind, I can totally approve the statement that Chiang Mai is the spiritual capital of Thailand!
Chiang Mai has some of the most jaw-dropping ancient Buddhist temples, which always leave visitors in awe.
Here are my top 9 temples which you should definitely visit on your next trip to Chiang Mai!
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Chiang Mai
Although there are hundreds of temples within the city walls of Chiang Mai, the most sacred one is overlooking the city from its mountain throne of Doi Suthep! Wat Phra That Doi Suthep can be seen from almost every place in Chiang Mai as it is located on the top of the mountain near the city. Doi Suthep Temple is important not only for the people of the north but it is also one of the most sacred temples for Buddhist in- and outside Thailand…
Things to Know Before You Go: Doi Suthep
Official Name: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Address: 9 Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Doi Suthep is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tickets: 30 THB per person, donations are always appreciated
Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai
Wat Chedi Luang, the Temple of the Big Stupa, is an impressive ruined Buddhist temple in the centre of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The temple is dating from the 14th and 15th centuries and is one of Chiang Mai’s most important attractions as well as one of the most noteworthy temples in the city.
We visit the temple during our Chiang Mai Temple Tour. It was definitely worth visiting the 600 years old temple – Wat Chedi Luang is one of the must-sees when you are staying in Chiang Mai.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Chedi Luang
Official Name: Wat Chedi Luang
Address: 103 Prajadhipok Road Si Phum, Chiang Mai
Opening Hours: Wat Chedi Luang is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tickets: 40 THB for adults and 20 for children (free for locals)
Wat Chiang Man Chiang Mai
Wat Chiang Man is one of the most remarkable temples located inside the city walls of Chiang Mai’s old town. Wat Chiang Man is a relatively small Buddhist temple which is reported to be the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. The temple was built by King Mengrai some 700 years ago. King Mangrai was also Ching Mai’s founder who lived in the temple while overseeing the construction of the new capital of Lanna Kingdom. According to a stone inscription found within the temple, Chiang Man was restored in 1471, 1558, 1571, and 1581…
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Chiang Man
Official Name: Wat Chiang Man, often written as Wat Chiang Mun
Address: 171 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Wat Chiang Man is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tickets: No entrance fee
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Singh is one of the most beautiful temples out of the 300+ temples found in the Chiang Mai area. And if you ask, it is one of these temples that you must see during your stay in the city. I won’t easily forget the impressiveness of its layout, architecture and golden shine!
Wat Phra Singh is located on the western side of the old town of Chiang Mai. The complex is not only a temple but also an active monastery and school as well. Wat Phra Singh is known as “The Monastery of the Lion Buddha” or “The Temple of the Lion Buddha”. Many monks and novices are also living here.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Phra Singh
Official Name: Wat Phra Singh
Address: 2 Samlarn Rd, Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Wat Phra Singh is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tickets: Free entrance (sometimes it could be 20 BHT for foreigners)
Wat Sri Suphan
If you ask me, the Silver Temple is literally a hidden gem of the north and a stroke of genius! Since its original construction in 1502, Wat Srisuphan has been renovated numerous times. The most recent redesign began in 2004 when local silversmiths assist in renovating the temple into what we can see nowadays.
The Silver Temple has probably the most beautiful exterior and interior you will find in all of Thailand. Both are covered by silver art pieces and display some detailed silver carvings of Buddhism legends. Anyway, not every building within this temple complex is silver! Many of the structures and statues within the temple complex are painted in the shade of crimson, metallic blue, and gold. Its surrounding area is absolutely secluded and peaceful. And the best thing – there are almost no tourists… different than the buzzing temple culture in Bangkok.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Sri Suphan
Official Name: Wat Sri Suphan
Address: 100 Wulai Road, next to the Wualai Saturday Walking Street Market, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: Wat Sri Suphan is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 9:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
Wat Suan Dok
The Wat Suan Dok is located just West of the old walled part of Chiang Mai City. Wat Suan Dok is famous for its numerous small white chedis. The chedis have different sizes: some of them are three meters high, and others are up to six meters. The temple houses the ashes of many of the Chiang Mai Royal Family.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Suan Dok
Official Name: Wat Buppharam
Address: 143 Thapae Rd, Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300
Opening Hours: Wat Suan Dok is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
The Wat Buppharam is located outside the wall of Old Chiang Mai, on Thapae Road, the street in front of the Thapae Gate. The Temple was built in 1497 during the reign of the Lanna King Muang Kaeo. The Chedi was built in Burmese style and the ordination hall – in Lanna style.
Things to Know Before You Go: Buppharam
Official Name: Wat Buppharam Dok Mai
Address: 139 Suthep Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Wat Buppharam is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
Wat Chet Yot
The Wat Jed Yod is an interesting Temple located in the city walls of Chiang Mai’s Old Town. Wat Chet Yot was built during the 15th century in Lanna, Rattanakosin, Lao, Chinese and Indian styles. In 1477, it hosted the eighth meeting of the World Buddhist Council, convened to clarify doctrinal matters.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Chet Yot
Address: Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Wat Chet Yot is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
Wat Fon Soi
Wat Fon Soi Temple is located on the south side of the moat behind the market. Wat Fon Soi has a white, square-shaped chedi and a richly decorated main hall. The grounds are beautifully decorated with trees and flowers.
Things to Know Before You Go: Wat Fon Soi
Official Name: Wat Fon Soi
Address: 45 Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200
Opening Hours: Wat Fon Soi is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 4:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
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