In and around Chiang Mai you can visit about 300 temples. The most beautiful temples include:
- Wat Umong
- Wat Phra Singh
- Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep
- Wat Chedi Luang
- Wat Jed Yod
- Wat Bup Pha Ram
- Wat Chiang Man
- Wat Suan Dok
- Wat Sri Suphan
Your visit to Chiang Mai should include at least a few of these temples.
Wat Umong is a jungle temple built in the foothills of Doi Suthep mountain. The unique features include an artificial mound that is criss-crossed with tunnels (umong is Thai for “tunnel”). On top of this mound is the main bell-shaped chedi. Wat Umong is a beautiful place to visit especially to walk around under the forest trees that surround the temple. The complete name for the Buddhist temple is Wat Umong Suan Puthatham.
Click here for a map to the Wat Umong temple.
Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Singh situated in the heart of the city originates from the 14th century but most of its buildings were built in the 19th century. This temple contains beautiful examples of Lanna art. The library hall or scripture repository (Haw Trai) near the main entrance is used to keep Buddhist scriptures.
Click here for a map to the Wat Phra Singh temple.
Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep
The most famous temple of Chiang Mai is located on the Doi Suthep mountain. It can be reached by car via a winding road through the forest offering splendid views over the city. A long naga stairway takes you to the temple complex with its shiny golden chedi which can be seen day and night from everywhere in Chiang Mai. A visit to Chiang Mai is not complete without seeing this temple.
Click here for a map to the Doi Suthep temple.
Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai. The Emerald Buddha was once enshrined here, but it was moved after the main structure partly collapsed because of an earthquake. The Grand Pagoda, Phra Dhatu Chedi Luang, is now at its base about 60 meters wide and is 56 meters heigh. The temple is home to several Buddha statues, including a 9 meter tall standing Buddha statue and a 9 meter long reclining Buddha statue.
Click here for a map to the Wat Chedi Luang temple.
Wat Jed Yod
Wat Jed Yod temple gets its name from the seven chedis (jed = seven). The temple has an Indian design and is decorated with seventy celestial images on the walls of the base. The temple area is shaded by old trees and especially beautiful just before sunset.
Click here for a map to the Wat Jed Yod temple.
Wat Bup Pha Ram
Wat Bup Pha Ram is a beautiful temple located at the Tha Pae road, which is one of the main roads in the center of Chiang Mai. The temple area has several buildings in different styles and a tall chedi, all worth visiting and within walking distance from Chiang Mai’s Night Bazar.
Click here for a map to the Wat Buppharam temple.
Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man (or Wat Chiang Mun) was founded more than 700 years ago. This old temple is located in the old city on the Rachpakinai Road. At the base of the chedi are rows of elephants supporting the structure.
Click here for a map to the Wat Chiang Man temple.
Wat Suan Dok
Wat Suan Dok (the flower garden temple) is located on the west side of the moat on Suthep road. This temple has a very large ordination hall.. Near this hall is an area with dozens of small white chedi, which contain the ashes of many of Chiang Mai’s Royal Family. The largest chedi contains a Buddha relic. As in most temple compounds also here you will find several Buddha trees (Bodhi tree), which is a symbol of enlightenment.
Click here for a map to the Wat Suan Dok temple.
Wat Sri Suphan
Wat Sri Suphan is an old temple on Wua Lai road just south of the moat. In the area around the temple skilled craftsman are working on all kinds of decorative items of silverware. One of the temple buildings is decorated in shining silver as an example of their art and craftsmanship. Visit this temple on Saturday afternoon and then stay on to buy some handicrafts in the Saturday market when Wua lai Street is closed to traffic.
Click here for a map to the Wat Sri Suphan temple.
Wat Doisaket is located on a small hill near the village of Doisaket at about 15 kilometers north-east of Chiang Mai on highway 118, which is the main road from Chiang Mai to Chiangrai.
Click here for a map to the Wat Doisaket temple.