Discover 5 unique and beautiful temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Discover 5 unique and beautiful temples in Chiang Mai Thailand

This post was brought to you by Alana Morgan, a Seattle native residing in Chiang Mai who likes off-the-beaten-path treasures as much as the rest of us! As part of our endeavor to make BMTM an even greater resource in Southeast Asia, Alana is here to offer her in-depth expertise of this beautiful northern Thai city.

Chiang Mai has several temples. Hundreds in fact.

I can understand why people visiting Thailand could be seduced. It’s like seeing churches in Italy — they’re amazing, gorgeous, and, well, they all start to look the same after a time. Yet while Buddhist temples inevitably have their commonalities, they may also be distinctive, notably in the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

In Thailand, you can tell if a region is significant – and has a lot of money – by the number of temples you see. As temples are erected purely through contributions, this is a wonderful method to gauge the wallets of the inhabitants. Being the capital of the north for almost 700 years, Chiang Mai has a lengthy history at the top and the temples to show it.

Although the statistics vary depending on whatever source you check, there are around 200 temples throughout the province and roughly 80 within the city boundaries. Nevertheless, many tourists choose to merely visit the same tiny choice of locations mentioned in their guidebooks.

Although temples like Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep with the golden chedi (stupa) on top of the mountain to the east of the city, or Wat Chedi Luang situated right in the middle of the ancient city, are surely magnificent and worth seeing. , there is so much more to explore. Here are the top temples in Chiang Mai for individuals who want to think beyond the box:

What Palat

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When most people arrive to Doi Suthep to view Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep, they overlook another beautiful temple that rests halfway up the mountain.

Wat Palat, alternatively written “Wat Palad”, “Wat Pha Lat” or Wat Palaad, is unlike any other temple you will encounter in Chiang Mai. While most temples contain an opulent main temple hall, known as the “vihara”, Wat Palat is not based around one enormous edifice. The grounds, not the temple structures, are what will linger in your memory with meandering woodland walks, numerous shrines, and sculptures wherever you turn, and the fact that the complex is perched directly at the top of a falling waterfall. to the city below.

How to get there: As you drive to Doi Suthep, look for the enormous shrine on your left with a giant white Buddha statue, then go down the alley to the left of the shrine. (It is recommended to have your own set of wheels when visiting Doi Suthep, but you may also rent a cab or Songthaew (red truck) (red truck). You may also visit the temple by a forest route from the end of Suthep Road at the foot of the mountain. )

Vat Sri Suphan

Discover 5 unique and beautiful temples in Chiang Mai Thailand

At Wualai Road (the Saturday walking route) just outside the old walls on the south side of the city, Wat Sri Suphan has a ubosot (shrine) adorned with hammered silver motifs crafted by local artists. The region was formerly a silver workers’ quarter and you can see the artisans still hard at work at the on-site workshop (the shrine is currently in development) (the shrine is still in progress).

How to get there: From the Old City, travel towards the Chiang Mai Gate and cross in a southeasterly direction on Wualai Road. Keep an eye out to your right for the temple signage since it is on a little side street. 100 Wualai Road

Wat Lok Molee

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Wat Lok Molee is one of the city’s few intact wooden temples and boasts a big brick chedi to boot. There is a lot to see here — while the interior of the main temple structure is refreshingly simple, the grounds are packed with a diverse mix of religious and secular sculptures, shrines, and artwork. You may also treat yourself to a coffee or perhaps a massage and, although not far from the major tourist hub, you won’t meet many other international passengers.

How to get there: Wat Lok Molee is roughly 400 meters east of Chang Phuak Gate on Manee Nopparat Road. You can get there simply on foot from the old town.

Vat Umong

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Initially, Wat Umong was founded as a forest monastery in the 14th century, but as the city expanded, what was once a solitary shrine is now very near to Chiang Mai University and housing clusters. popular with students. Nonetheless, it still preserves its forest-like aspect and houses a number of tunnels discovered under the main chedi. There is also an on-site meditation facility available to foreigners and Thais interested in learning more about Vipassana meditation.

How to get there: Situated near the foot of Doi Suthep and south of Chiang Mai University on Cherng Doi Road, travel on your own or with a tuk-tuk.

Vat Jed Youd

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Minutes from the renowned Nimmanhaemin neighborhood, Wat Jed Yod is inspired by Maha Bodhi Temple, the temple in Bodhgaya, India, where the Buddha is claimed to have obtained enlightenment. This is another wonderful example of a Thai Buddhist temple that is unlike any other and does not see many international tourists.

How to get there: The temple is immediately off the highway, north of the Nimmanhaemin-Huay Kaew crossroads, and within walking distance of Nimmanhaemin Road and Maya

About the Author: Alana Morgan is a 20-something traveler attempting to understand life one location at a time and blogs about it on Paper Planes. Originally from Seattle, she has lived, worked, and traveled in Thailand and Southeast Asia for three years with no intentions to settle down anytime soon.

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I have been living in Southeast Asia for over five years and I love to share my experiences on this blog. You will find stories about my daily life, as well as my travels around the world. From exotic tastes to stunning views and funny encounters from across the globe, join me on my amazing journey at

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