Must-see temples in Chiang Mai

THéo COurant

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Must-see temples in Chiang Mai

Discover our selection of Chiang Mai’s must-see temples, spiritual treasures that embody the rich history and culture of this Thai city.

Chiang Mai, the Buddhist heritage

Chiang Mai, Thailand’s “Rose of the North”, is steeped in spirituality and cultural tradition. At the heart of the city are the temples, which are much more than just stone monuments. They are the guardians of Chiang Mai’s soul, the silent witnesses to its history.
To visit Chiang Mai is to encounter the spiritual treasures, the pillars of culture and spirituality that make Chiang Mai such a unique destination.

Must-see temples in Chiang Mai

Wat Phra Singh

chiang-mai-wat-phra-singh
This temple is one of the most revered in Chiang Mai. It houses a very sacred copper statue of Buddha and impressive architecture.

Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai’s landmark temple, is a jewel of Buddhist architecture. Founded in the 14th century, it houses the revered copper statue of Phra Singh Buddha. The building features impressive architecture, ornate roofs, finely crafted wooden sculptures and detailed murals. Visitors find it a place of prayer and meditation, while religious festivals enliven the temple throughout the year, particularly during the Thai New Year.
The beauty of its architecture and the significance of its relics make it a place not to be missed.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

  • Wat Phra Singh
  • Opening hours: Every day from 09:00 to 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free admission
  • How to Get there? Located in the heart of the old town - On foot or by bike.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

chiang-mai-wat-phra-that-doi-suthep
Situated on a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the region's most emblematic monuments.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of Chiang Mai’s most sacred temples, sits on a mountain overlooking the city. Founded in 1383, it houses a precious Buddhist relic. The 306 steps leading up to the temple are adorned with sculptures. Its golden structure is impressive, and it hosts major religious festivals. It’s a place of devotion, remarkable architecture and a major tourist destination.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

How to Get Wat Phra That Doi Suthep ?

  • Driving: Take the 1004 (Huay Kaew Road) towards Chiang Mai Zoo, passing Maya Mall. Drive until you see crowds and flags. Consider alternate transport if inexperienced.
  • Songthaew: Red songthaews leave from Huay Kaew Road near the Zoo, costing 40 baht per person each way. Chartering costs 300 THB one way (as many people as you can fit) or 500 THB round trip.
  • Hiking: Start at Suthep Road, near Chiang Mai University. Look for a sign reading “Nature Hike” and follow the narrow road. At the base, walk up 306 steps or take a cable car (6.00 am – 6.00 pm, 20 THB for Thais, 50 THB for foreigners).

Wat Chedi Luang

chiang-mai-wat-chedi-luang
Wat Chedi Luang is famous for its large, partially destroyed stupa, which is a major attraction in the old town. The temple is also the site of Chiang Mai's "City Pillar".

Wat Chedi Luang, in the heart of Chiang Mai, is famous for its imposing, partially destroyed 14th-century stupa. It is also the site of Chiang Mai’s City Pillar. The temple is of great historical and cultural importance and hosts religious festivals, including Yi Peng, the celestial lantern festival.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

  • Wat Chedi Luang
  • Opening hours: Every day from 05:00 to 22:00
  • Admission fee: Free admission
  • How to Get there? Located in the heart of the old town - On foot or by bike.

Must-see temples in Chiang Mai: Wat Umong

chiang-mai-wat-umong
This temple is unique because of its tunnels and its highly distinctive architecture.

Chiang Mai’s Wat Chedi Luang is famous for its imposing, partially destroyed stupa, a relic of the city’s tumultuous history. Built in the 14th century, it once housed the palace of the King of Chiang Mai. The Burmese damaged the temple during the fall of the Lanna kingdom in the 16th century. Earthquakes also left their mark. Today, the site is a mixture of restored and destroyed statues, offering a poignant reminder of Chiang Mai’s turbulent history.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

  • Wat Umong
  • Opening hours: Every day from 09:00 to 18:00
  • Admission fee: Admission charge for foreigners te
  • How to Get there? Scooter or car.

Wat Suan Dok

chiang-mai-wat-suan-dok
Located just outside the old town, Wat Suan Dok has a number of white stupas containing the ashes of members of Chiang Mai's royal family.

Wat Suan Dok, founded in 1370 by King Kue Na of the Mengrai dynasty, is a historic temple in Chiang Mai. Its name means flower garden in Thai, reflecting its origins. Built on a former royal cemetery, the temple is a final resting place for members of the Lanna royal family. The white stupas preserve the ashes of members of the royal family, giving the temple great historical and cultural importance as a witness to the royal history of the region.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

  • Wat Suan Dok
  • Opening hours: Every day from 06:00 to 17:00
  • Admission fee: Admission charge for foreigners
  • How to Get there? Scooter, bicycle, car or public transport (Songthaew)

Must-see temples in Chiang Mai: Wat Pan Tao

chiang-mai-wat-pan-tao
A charming temple located near Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Pan Tao is a traditional teak temple, very charming, not to be missed.

Wat Pan Tao, next door to Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai, is a charming and picturesque temple, prized for its traditional teak architecture adorned with detailed wooden carvings. It is a well-preserved example of traditional Thai architecture. Visitors are often impressed by the gilded decorations and carved elements, which add to the atmosphere of serenity and spirituality.

Chiang Mai

Useful Information

  • Wat Pan Tao
  • Opening hours: Every day from 09:00 to 18:00
  • Admission fee: Free admission
  • How to Get there? Located in the heart of the old town - On foot or by bike.

Other treasures to discover in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai’s oldest temple, dates back to the city’s foundation in 1296. Its traditional architecture and two distinctive chedi are well-preserved. The temple is home to Buddhist statues and works of art.

  • Wat Chiang Man
  • Open every day.
  • Free admission
  • How to Get there? Located in the heart of the old town - On foot or by bike
Chiang Mai

Must-see temples in Chiang Mai: Wat Sri Suphan

Wat Sri Suphan, also known as the “Silver Temple”, is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai famous for its exterior adorned entirely in silver. It is famous for its intricate silver craftsmanship, including carvings and decorations.

  • Wat Sri Suphan
  • Open every day fom 06:00 to 18:00
  • Free admission
  • How to Get there? Located just outside the historic center - Transport: by bike, scooter or on foot
Chiang Mai

Wat Lok Moli
Le Wat Lok Moli à Chiang Mai est un temple bouddhiste élégant datant du XIVe siècle, caractérisé par un stupa complexe de style lanna. Il abrite une précieuse relique bouddhiste et est le lieu de festivals religieux et de célébrations bouddhistes.

  • Wat Lok Moli
  • Open every day from 07:00 to 17:00
  • Free admission
  • Tansports : Juste en dehors du centre-historique au niveau des douves - vélo, scooteur ou à pied

Other temples to explore :
Chiang Mai is full of temples to discover, both in the city and in the surrounding area. These include sites such as Wat Phra That Doi Noi, Wat Jet Lin, Wat Sri Suphan and Wat Buppharam. The city has a rich heritage, with many wonders waiting to be discovered. As you stroll through the old town, you’re likely to come across little treasures around every corner.

Tips for visiting the Temples

When visiting the temples of Chiang Mai, you should pay close attention to the following eight points:

  • Dress appropriately, covering shoulders, knees and ankles.
  • Remove your shoes before entering the buildings.
  • Speak in a low voice to maintain the tranquillity of the premises.
  • Avoid interrupting religious ceremonies and be discreet.
  • Respect statues and sacred objects by not touching them inappropriately.
  • Only offer flowers, incense or food after asking.
  • Ask permission before taking photographs inside temples.
  • Find out about the specific rules of each temple.

Chiang Mai essential information

For an easy and pleasant stay, consult our guides to Chiang Mai: what to see? What to do in Chiang Mai? Transport to and from Chiang Mai, … information to make your trip easier.

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