Destinations
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Top temples to visit in Chiang Mai

When you plan to visit Chiang Mai, a well-known place for 300 Buddhist temples, you must be thinking which temples you should add in ‘must visit’ list. Well, it is easy to say that you should see as many as possible as the real beauty of this place lies in those beautiful and historic temples. Some of them are deeply hidden in alleyways while some needs to be hiked on a millions of stairs. Every temple has its own charm with some religious ambiance and peace in the air that you can cherish as a beautiful memory. Below is the list of some top listed temples which deserves to be seen for sure.

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man

Now this temple is what you can call to be purely oldest of all as it dates back to 1296. Oh yes, you read it right that it was built in that time by King Mengrai who stayed in this temple during the construction of city. You would love to see the 15 beautifully carved elephants into its base along with a beautiful Lanna and Sinhales styles in its architecture.

Chiang Mai Temple

Wat Phan Tao

It is a small temple but very famous as it is made of teak wood in whole. This area was earlier an assembly hall which was used as a Throne hall for Chiang Mai’s Kings. You would surely get amazingly fascinated with the long and tall teak pillars along with mirrored mosaics. You would love to see a gold covered chedi behind it as well which is stunningly beautiful.

Temple Decorations

Wat Umong

This is a unique temple which is totally different from others and deserves a must visit. It is also known as a tunnel temple due to being built into a forested foothill of Doi Southep around some 700 years ago. This gives a unique experience of crouching through different narrow and small tunnels to explore the beauty of this temple.

Inside Temple

Wat Chedi Luang

It is considered as one of the oldest temple in Chiang Mai as it is dated back from 1400s while there are some other temples too which are even older than this. This temple is a bit destroyed from its top area but the source for this destruction is unknown as it happened centuries ago. The good thing is that it does not look this much older and in fact, people visits this temple to see the ruins of damaged Chedi which are maintained very well here.

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Phra Singh

This temple is known to be the most popular one amongst the visitors due to its Lion Buddha image which can also be seen in a small chapel which is next to the golden chedi. Also, you would find some amazingly beautiful Lanna styled architecture in this temple which is another reason of its popularity. And the best part is its location on west side of the old city which is also famous route way for street markets on every Sunday while you can use it for a walking tour of old city temples as well.

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Hey there! I am a small town girl who used to work as a Software Engineer for a Fortune 500 company. I left my 9-5 job to travel the world. I am a certified Level 2 scuba diver, a Vinyasa yogi and a former IT professor. I love trekking the mountains, fishing and camping. I speak 5 languages. Cheers!

4 Comments

  1. Michelle Lopez says

    I love Chiang Mai and these temples are definitely among the popular ones. Unfortunately, they can get packed during mid-day due to Chinese tourists. Sometimes, it ruins the experience. I highly suggested to go early in the morning!

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    • I completely understand your sentiment. It is a good idea to arrive early on these temples, esp those inside the square. Nevertheless, it will be worth it waking up early.

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  2. Simon Jones says

    Chedi Luang was my favorite! Although, there is a mean ladyboy that works there. I forgot to take off my hat and he went full om ballistic on me. Completely unnecessary in my opinion. Regardless, I love the temple.

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    • They can be very aggressive at times esp to tourists who disrespect their religion and culture. With the mass tourism in Thailand esp in Chiang Mai, they get that far too many times a day thus their aggressiveness and irritation. You just have to be more patient and understanding 🙂

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