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The 10 Best Temples to Visit in Chiang Mai

The 10 Best Temples to Visit in Chiang Mai

One of the most temple-packed provinces in Thailand is Chiang Mai. In fact, there are around 300 temples or wats in this region of the country so it was kind of challenging for us to give you just ten (10) of the best temples in Chiang Mai.

We managed to trim the selection of the best temples in Chiang Mai just for you, though, so you can pinpoint and enjoy which ones are really worth checking out. Read on to know which are the best temples in the province.

1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Address:  Huai Kaeo Road Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai
Contact details:  +66 5329 5003
Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Closed on Holidays

Price: Admission fee of around  30 THB

Wat Doi Suthep (also referred to as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep) is a must-visit if you want to check out the most revered and most-famous temple in Chiang Mai. Your trip going up to the temple through the winding mountain road is an exhilarating experience itself.

You may opt to take a crowded songthaew, ride a scooter or join a private tour to visit this temple. However, the last part of your journey will require you to walk around 300 steps to reach the temple’s golden chedi. 

From here, you’ll get an overlooking view of the city of Chiang Mai, the living quarters of the monks, and the surrounding temple building—a truly breathtaking experience once you’ve seen it with your own eyes! 

Pro tip:

Don’t just take pictures when on the temple grounds. We recommend that you keep an eye out for the seven-headed serpent statues as you walk up the stairs to the temple itself. 

The statues are so unique that it’s hard to duplicate a selfie with them anywhere else!

2. Wat Phan Tao

Address:  105 Prapokklao Rd, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Contact details:  +66 53 814 689
Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed on Holidays

This temple looks quite modest if you compare it with its neighbour– Wat Chedi Luang, the most famous Old City temple in Chiang Mai. 

Don’t let its humble appearance fool you though as it has some of the most detailed and ornately designed statues among all the temples in Chiang Mai. You also need to check out its ceremonial hall as this is one of the few remaining wooden ones across Thailand.

Pro tip:

Schedule your visit to Wat Phan Tao during Yee Pang– a Thailand festival unique to Chiang Mai. During the said festival, you’ll get the chance to see lanterns floating in the air instead of the traditional lanterns floating on the surface of ponds.

3. Wat Chedi Luang

Address:  103 Prapokklao Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Contact details:  +66 97 195 4695
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Price: Admission fee of around 40 THB

Tourists such as yourself will most probably be able to take a trip to Wat Chedi Luang in the Old City. It’s conveniently nestled in the middle of the most popular markets and hotels in the area.

The term “luang” literally means very big and the structure in the middle of the complex certainly lives up to this description. You’ll also want to take pictures of this temple’s impressive chedi as it is one of the highest points within the city at 80 metres.

Pro tip:

Look for the two (2) viharns in the temple complex. One is larger than the other but both buildings are a marvel to look at thanks to their intricate and elegantly designed front facade.

4. Wat Chiang Man  

Address:  171 Ratchaphakhinai Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

You may be the kind of traveller who wants Instagrammable photos wherever you go. Well, Wat Chiang Man is the ideal temple for you as the temple complex is simply magnificent from any angle–a perfect selfie spot if you ask us!

History buffs will also have a field day as you’ll see firsthand the crumbling pagoda within the temple grounds. In a way, it can offer you a glimpse into the glorious past of the temple, especially considering that this was once the home of the city’s founder.

Pro tip:

This temple will be a bit more challenging to find compared to its larger counterparts. You need to traverse Ratchaphakhinai Road and look for the Chang Puak Gate located in the Old City’s northern area. 

Trust us– the view and scenes you’ll get from this temple are all worth it!

5. Wat Phra Singh  

Address: 2 Samlarn Rd, Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50280, Thailand
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Price: Admission fee of around 20 THB

For a temple that is much more visually impressive, we can’t recommend Wat Phra Singh enough! Here, you’ll find one of the most stunning temples in all of Chiang Mai, thanks to the updated paint works and the renovations done on the temple.

The main attraction here is certainly the central building with a decorated facade that sparkles when hit by sunlight and the Lanna-style roofs that have become a cultural icon for the locals and tourists alike. You simply cannot miss taking photos of these!

Pro tip:

Wat Phra Singh is a short tuk-tuk ride away from Wat Chedi Luang. As such, we recommend that you fit these two sites in one morning or afternoon trip in order to efficiently complete your temple tours for the day!

6. Wat Sri Suphan

Address:  100 Wua Lai Road, Tambon HaiYa, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Contact details:   +66 61 403 2815
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Price: Admission fee is around 50 THB

The word “stunning” isn’t enough to describe this temple located in the middle of Chiang Mai. You’ll easily see the difference between this temple and the others in the area due to its coat of shiny silver paint that reflects brightly when hit by sunlight.

The stupas are also something you need to watch out for at night as their tips have a neon light display that looks awesome especially when you view them with the clear night sky. It’s truly a sight to behold and one that you wouldn’t want to miss!

Pro tip:

There’s a silver-working school nearby that keeps the tradition of this craftsmanship alive. You can check it out when you visit this temple, along with the nearby market and monk’s quarters nearby.

7. Wat Suan Dok

Address:  139 Suthep Rd, Suthep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Contact details:  +6653278304
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 6:00 AM to 500 PM

Located just outside the Chiang Mai city Walls, Wat Suan Dok isn’t the most visited temple in this locale. However, we guarantee that if you visit it, you’ll have one of the most unforgettable experiences in terms of temple sightseeing!

For starters, this temple has a glowing golden stupa surrounded by brilliant white chedis. The said chedis themselves are worth your curious stares thanks to their intricate designs and patterns that make them stand out even more.

Pro tip:

We recommend visiting this temple on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM. During these days, the temple offers monk chats and free meditation classes for guests.

8. Wat Phra That Doi Kham

Address:  Mae Hia, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Price: Admission fee is around 20 THB for locals and 50 THB for foreigners

Most tourists don’t usually get the chance to see Wat Phra That Doi Kham due to it being out of the way of the common tour packages. However, we strongly recommend that you drop by this fascinating temple—the giant Buddha statue here is worth it in and of itself!

This particular statue is truly a sight to behold, painted in gold and bright white and towering 20 metres into the air. And aside from viewing this masterpiece, you’ll have plenty of things to explore around the complex, such as its pagodas, shrines, and relics.

Pro tip:

The name Wat Phra That Doi Kham literally means the Temple of the Golden Mountain. 

We highly recommend that you take photos of and even selfies in this picturesque location as the area is surrounded by mountainous landscapes that are simply breathtaking.

9. Wat Umong 

Address:  135 Moo 10, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Contact details:  +66 93 278 7733
Operating hours: Mondays to Sundays, 5:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Wat Umong is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai—and it shows. Despite the numerous renovations, the temple is showing its age with its weather-worn and crumbling stupa located in the middle of a green lawn and well-maintained garden.

The stupa of this temple is a fantastic photo opportunity for you and your family but you can try the other activities being offered by Wat Umong. Some of these include walking around the “talking trees” and feeding the turtles and the fishes in the garden’s pond.

However, what we really enjoyed in this location is the series of ancient tunnels located underground. It has that sense of history and mystery that we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy as well.

Pro tip:

Guests should refrain from making loud noises when visiting temples in Thailand but Wat Umong requires that you strictly adhere to this rule on being silent. 

This is because the temple has become a popular medication site for Buddhists across the globe, thanks to its minimalist structures and peaceful atmosphere.

10. Wat Lok Moli

Address:  298/1 Manee Nopparat Rd, ตำบล ศรีภูมิ อำเภอ เมืองเชียงใหม่ Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Visiting a 14th-century temple such as Wat Lok Moli can transport you back into history thanks to its unique architecture and weathered overall look. 

What’s so special here, though (and the feature that’ll probably catch your attention the most), is the temple’s three-tiered roof. It’s such a unique design that you won’t see any temple with a similar roof design.

While the Chedi located in the back of the complex certainly looks weathered, you’d be surprised at how well-maintained the main temple hall is. It looks recently painted over and the temple’s interior will give you that feeling of spic and span clean!

Pro tip:

If you’re looking for a temple tour that is tranquil and more relaxing, then you shouldn’t miss a day at Wat Lok Moli. While it is located in the city centre, most other tourists miss it since it’s out of the way and most hidden.

Hence, you don’t get the massive crowds in this temple compared to other similar sites. 

Another bonus is that this temple is near Chang Puak Gate (or Elephant Gate) where you can take photos or selfies while the sun is setting before heading out to the nearby market to score some good finds! (don’t forget to haggle!)

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