Chiang Mai, Thailand is nothing short of amazing so why should it’s temples be any different?! With so much to see in Chiang Mai, we want to make sure you see the 3 not to miss temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
3 Not To Miss Temples In Chiang Mai, Thailand
1) Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Situated in the western district of Chiang Mai, on top of a mountain (Doi Suthep), you’ll find this beautiful Wat waiting for you to explore her. Not only is the view of the city worth the trip, but the Wat Doi Suthep itself is absolutely stunning.
About Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
One of the most sacred sites for Buddhists is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Construction of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep began in 1386 and it is believed to have been built to house a piece of bone from the Buddha’s shoulder.
Once you arrive, be prepared to climb the 306-step staircase to get to the Wat itself. The staircase is nestled between two jeweled nagas (serpents). As you reach the top of the steps, you’ll see a white elephant and that is where Buddha’s bones are believed to be.
At this point, you can enter Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and witness devotees worshiping or walk around the beautiful grounds that surround Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We recommend you do both!
Getting To Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The best way to get there, in our opinion, is to rent a scooter. Make your way to the 1004 and that will take your straight to the entrance of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. There is scooter parking at the top.
Renting a scooter is a fun way to buzz around town and up the mountain. You can stop at scenic areas for amazing views and a few pictures on the way.
TIP: Get a moped that’s at least 125cc or you’ll be putting up the mountain like we were screaming “C’mon ol’ girl, you can make it!”
If a scooter isn’t your thing, you can head to Huay Kaew Road (near the Zoo) where red songthaews wait to take visitors up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The cost is 40 baht per person, one way. Expect drivers to wait for a car load (8-10 passengers) before they depart. Fair warning, you could be waiting for a bit or be charged more if they want to leave early.
Whatever way you choose to go, it’s a 30 – 60 minute ride to get there
Entrance Fees and Hours of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Plan to spend several hours at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep exploring the grounds and surrounding mountain town. The official hours of visitation are 6am – 6pm, every day.
The cost to enter is 30 baht per person.
2) Wat Sri Suphan
About Wat Sri Suphan
Wat Sri Suphan, also referred to as the Silver Temple, is an entire temple made of chiseled silver. From the floors to the ceilings, even the Buddhas…all silver.
Built-in 1502, this temple served as the main temple for the silversmith village of Chiang Mai. The area around Wat Sri Suphan still has many local silver shops for you to peruse on your way to/from the Wat.
Something special Wat Sri Suphan does is Monk Chat. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings, visitors can ask monks questions about Buddhism and also participate in meditation with the monks. The monk chats take place from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.
Monk Chat is free to the public but donations are welcomed.
Getting To Wat Sri Suphan
Wat Sri Suphan lies within the Old City of Chiang Mai along Wulai Road. You can reach it easily by foot when exploring the old city.
Entrance Fees and Hours of Wat Sri Suphan
Wat Sri Suphan opens at 6:00am and closes at 9:00pm. When we visited in 2017, it was free. However, now we understand there is a 50 baht entrance fee.
Fair Warning: The inside of the temple can only be visited by men. Women are not allowed in the temple itself, only on the grounds.
3) Wat Chedi Luang
About Wat Chedi Luang
Probably the best-known temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Chedi Luang. Built sometime between 1385 and 1402, Wat Chedi is a sprawling compound that used to hold Thailand’s most sacred relic, the emerald buddha.
You turn a corner and more of the compound presents itself to you. Just make sure to grab a brochure on the way in so you really can appreciate the history of this place.
Getting To Chedi Luang
Like Wat Sri Suphan, Wat Chedi also lies within the Old City of Chiang Mai but on Phrapokklao Road. You can reach Wat Chedi easily by foot when exploring the old city from any of it gates. It should be around a 10-minute walk.
Entrance Fees and Hours of Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang opens at 6:00am and closes at 5:00pm, every day. The entrance fee is 40 baht per adult.
Temple Dress Code for Men and Women
There is a dress code to adhere to when entering temples. You should dress respectfully.
For instance, men and women should cover their shoulders aka no tank tops. Also, women’s knees should be covered so if you are wearing shorts, bring a sarong to wrap around your bottom half.
Skirts and dresses are fine as long as your shoulders and knees are covered and the cleavage doesn’t cut low.
Remember to remove your shoes before entering too.
For The Budget Conscious: Great vibe, fun, friendly, and social atmosphere, look no further than Stamps Backpackers. The owners are Thai and Canadian and were great resources for the area and not to mention SUPER friendly. It was clean and a great location so if you’re backpacking this is seriously the spot for you
The The Luxury Inclined: Phra Singh Village is a luxury located in the heart of Chiang Mai. From a killer breakfast buffet to one hell of a pool Phra Singh Village is your luxury oasis.
For Something In Between: Located in the old city, Pha-Thai House is a short walk from all of Chiang Mai’s highlights. Featuring a pool and gardens, this place will be a nice little break from city site seeing.
For more places to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)