Welcome to Chiang Mai
Welcome to the Silver Temple in Chiang Mai! Chian Mai is the biggest city in the north of Thailand and is basically the temple central. Chiang Mai is famous for the tones of Buddhist Temples, with more than 300 in the city’s main area itself. The oldest temples Doi Suthep and Wat Chiang Mai date from the 13th century.
In Chiang Mai, you can visit a Gold Temple, a Silver Temple, a Red Temple, and Everything-You-Wish-For-A-Temple… So, there is something for every taste! Having the numbers in mind, I can totally approve of the statement that Chiang Mai is the spiritual capital of Thailand!
Things To Know Before Visiting The Silver Temple
Chiang Mai was the beginning of our second chapter in Thailand. With our hotel conveniently situated near the south gate of the old city, we embarked on our first adventure to the Silver Temple. Just a brief two-minute stroll from the south gate, or a pocket-friendly 30 THB ride on the iconic red truck known as the “Songthaew” taxi in Chiang Mai if you’re within the old city.
Nestled in proximity to the vibrant Wualai Street Market, the temple is an enchanting sight. As Saturday night unfolds, Wualai Road transforms into a bustling marketplace, renowned for its exquisite silver art and jewelry. It comes as no surprise then that the Silver Temple is adorned with awe-inspiring handcrafted silver embellishments. Despite having explored numerous temples across Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, the Silver Temple exceeded all expectations, leaving an indelible impression.
During our initial morning in Chang Mai, the radiant sun illuminated the city, casting a warm glow as the temperature soared to approximately 35 degrees. It was on this remarkable day that we encountered the most captivating temple I have laid eyes upon in Thailand thus far—the illustrious Wat Srisuphan, famously known as the Silver Temple. This sacred marvel, constructed in 1502 under the reign of King Mengrai, stands as a shining beacon in the northern region. While it is often mistaken for the White Temple in Chiang Rai, the Silver Temple boasts its own distinct allure, making it an indispensable gem for tourists visiting Chiang Mai.
If you ask me, the Silver Temple is a literally a hidden gem of the north and a stroke of genius! Since its original construction from 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.
Upon your arrival, your gaze will be immediately drawn to the majestic ordination hall, affectionately referred to by the locals as the silver ubosot. Its captivating silver hue symbolizes the profound Yin energy, associated with the moon, imparting a sense of age-old wisdom and sagacity.
The Silver Temple in Thailand boasts an exquisite exterior and interior, unrivaled in their beauty. Adorned with intricate silver artwork and delicately carved depictions of Buddhist legends, it stands as a testament to artistic mastery. However, it is important to note that not all structures within the temple complex are silver. Some buildings and statues are adorned in vibrant shades of crimson, metallic blue, and gold. The surrounding area exudes tranquility and seclusion, offering a peaceful respite. One of its greatest charms is the lack of tourist crowds, setting it apart from the bustling temple culture of Bangkok.
Regrettably, only men are permitted to enter the temple as per Lanna tradition, which restricts women from accessing the main ordination hall. Typically, I would feel quite frustrated when denied entry due to my gender, but this time, it was somewhat tolerable due to the temple’s captivating exterior. Besides, my husband managed to capture some photographs for me.
There are informative signs indicating that beneath the Ubusotha’s base, within the monastic boundary, lie numerous precious artifacts, incantations, amulets, and other sacred objects buried over five centuries ago. Entering this area could potentially harm the site or, hypothetically, the lady herself. Well, as a believer in Girl Power, I find it hard to accept that my presence alone could cause any harm. Obviously.
Nonetheless, the temple’s most breathtaking view undoubtedly awaits from the outside, and the surrounding gardens provide a delightful environment for a leisurely stroll.
Things to Know Before You Go
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
Hotels Near Wat Sri Suphan: Find the best deals here!
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
As you would expect from a major travel destination in Southeast Asia, Thailand has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. As always, I’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible.
Our Recommendation for Accommodation in Chiang Mai
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai: Located amidst lush greenery, offering a serene and luxurious retreat. The spacious rooms and villas feature traditional Thai decor and modern amenities. Enjoy world-class facilities including multiple restaurants, a spa, and a swimming pool. Take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rice paddies.
- Anantara Chiang Mai Resort: Nestled along the banks of the Mae Ping River, this resort offers a tranquil setting. Stay in stylish rooms and suites with contemporary Thai design and modern amenities. Experience exquisite dining with river views, including a rooftop bar. Amenities include a spa, fitness center, swimming pool, and cooking classes.
- Tamarind Village: Situated in the historic part of Chiang Mai, this hotel is surrounded by ancient temples. Stay in spacious rooms with a rustic yet elegant design, featuring traditional Thai elements. The hotel offers a beautiful courtyard, an outdoor pool, and a renowned spa offering traditional treatments. The on-site restaurant serves delicious Thai dishes made with fresh local ingredients.
- Art Mai Gallery Nimman Hotel Chiang Mai by Compass Hospitality: Located in the trendy Nimmanhaemin area, known for its art galleries and hip cafes. The hotel offers art-themed rooms with vibrant and contemporary decor, showcasing local artwork. Enjoy a rooftop swimming pool and bar with panoramic views of the city. The hotel is in close proximity to shopping, dining, and nightlife options.
- Stamps Backpackers: Situated in the old city, this hostel offers affordable dormitory-style rooms. It provides cozy common areas for socializing, including a rooftop terrace. The hostel has helpful and friendly staff who can provide travel assistance. It is within walking distance to temples, markets, and restaurants.
- Green Sleep Hostel: Situated near the Night Bazaar, this hostel offers budget-friendly accommodations. Stay in simple and clean dormitory rooms with individual lockers. The hostel provides a communal kitchen, lounge area, and a garden for relaxation. The helpful staff can provide local tips and assistance for exploring the city.
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Enjoy the day!
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