Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most popular destinations for all kinds of tourists for breath-taking views, adventures, and rich history. Chiang Mai has it all, including over 300 temples to feast your eyes on!
The city of Chiang Mai was once the capital of the Lan Na kingdom in Northern Thailand between the 13th and 18th centuries hence why most temples in Chiang Mai are of the ‘Lanna’ style. With so many to choose from, we have selected the top 5 temples in Chiang Mai that you simply can’t miss.
BEST TEMPLES IN CHIANG MAI
Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep sits majestically above the city on Mount Suthep with views as far as the eye can see. Located a 30-minute drive from Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples.
To reach the 13th century Theravada Buddhist Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple, you can take the 306 steps flanked by mythical sea serpents. The temples also house a meditation centre, where both locals and visitors can learn and practice meditation.
Admire the Doi Inthanon Twin Pagodas
At the summit of Doi Inthanon, explore the Royal Twin Pagodas dedicated to the late great King Rama IX and the Queen of Thailand. The adjacent Buddhist pagodas, Phra Maha Dhatu Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri, contain Lord Buddha’s relics and were erected by the Royal Thai Air Force.
Tiled mosaics can be found on both pagodas depicting mythical creatures and important events from the life of the Buddha. The views across the Doi Inthanon National Park from this mighty mountain are pretty spectacular!
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Visit Wat Phra Singh Temple
Wat Phra Singh temple dates back to the 14th century when Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna Kingdom and houses three main structures. The main attraction being the ornately decorated Lai Kam assembly hall with its restored murals depicting the lives of locals in days gone by.
The temple is located within the walled old city of Chiang Mai, it is also known as “The Monastery of the Lion Buddha” and is undeniable a divine place of worship for the hundreds of monks and novices living there. This beautiful temple should not be missed on your Chiang Mai bucket list.
Visit Wat Chedi Luang Temple
The construction of Wat Chedi Luang began in 1391 and was finally completed in 1475 during the reign of King Tilokarat. The pain-staking build ordered by King Saen Muang Ma to enshrine the ashes of his father reached a staggering 80 meters high making it the largest in Chiang Mai.
The Wat Chedi Luang, also known as “The temple of the Great Stupa” initially consisted of two more chedis named Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin, which were all merged into one. Damage occurred in an earthquake in 1545 which reduces the size but still remains an impressive structure.
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Wat Chiang Man Temple
Wat Chiang Man is the first temple to be built in Chiang Mai making it pretty special. The temple was established by King Mengrai and although construction began in 1306, many sections were added in later centuries. See the history as you wander around the meditation halls, golden stupas, and stunning grounds that exhibit differing architecture.
There are 2 mediation halls within the complex where the sacred marble Phra Sila and crystal Phra Satnag Man Buddha statues are housed. They are simply outstanding!
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