Guide to Top Temples to Visit in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand, is home to several beautiful temples (known as “wats”). They are worth visiting for their historical and architectural significance. Here is a list of some of the top temples to visit in Chiang Mai. You may also want to check out my Guide to Top Temples to Visit in Chiang Rai as well.

1. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Starting from the most popular would be the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. The temple is located on a mountain overlooking Chiang Mai and offering breathtaking views of the city. It is one of the most sacred temples in Northern Thailand and a popular pilgrimage site. Do prepare to climb a huge flight of steps before you could reach the temple site.

There will be an entrance fee to access the temple complexes.

2. Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang, also known as the “Temple of the Great Stupa,” is one of the most iconic and historically significant Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai. It is located in the heart of the Old City area and is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

The temple complex features a mix of architectural styles, including Lanna (northern Thai), Burmese, and Sri Lankan influences. The towering chedi is definitely the highlights of the temple. There is also a reclining Buddha within the compound, and towards the exit.

There will be an entrance fee of 50 baht to access the temple complexes.

3. Wat Chiang Man

This is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, located in the northern part of the Old City of Chiang Mai, which is the historic center of the city. Located within the square-shaped moat and walls that once protected the ancient city.

Wat Chiang Man features a mix of architectural styles, with influences from both Lanna and Sukhothai traditions. The temple is also known for its ancient chedi and two important Buddha images.

4. Wat Sri Suphan

Wat Sri Suphan, also known as the Silver Temple, is a unique and beautiful Buddhist temple located in Chiang Mai. The temple is situated in the Wua Lai Road area of Chiang Mai, not far from the Old City.

What sets Wat Sri Suphan apart from other temples is its stunning architecture that is entirely constructed from silver. It is the only silver temple in Thailand and one of the rare few in the world. The intricate silverwork on the temple’s exterior is a sight to behold, shimmering beautifully in the sunlight.

There will be an entrance fee of 50 baht to access the temple complexes. Receive a silver image of the temple, mounted on wood keyring as you purchase the tickets.

5. Wat Umong Suan Phutthatham

Wat Umong, also called Tunnel Temple, is a 700-year-old Buddhist temple. It is famous for its large chedi as well as its network of ancient tunnels within a serene forest setting. It is also unique for being a peaceful retreat and an excellent place for meditation.

The tunnels are interlinked within and there is an entrance fee of 20 baht to access them.

6. Wat Jet Lin

Wat Jet Lin is one of the lesser-known Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai city. It receives relatively few visitors as compared to the other famous temples from this list. The compound is pretty quiet and what stood out would be the pond within. People may choose to purchase food and feed the fishes and tortoises.

7. Wat Suan Dok

Another temple situated just west of the old city walls, Wat Suan Dok is easily accessible from the city center. One of the distinctive features of Wat Suan Dok is the large number of white chedis (stupas). These striking row of white stupas houses the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family members. Within its compound, there is a main chedi, a 48-meter-tall golden structure known as the “Phra Chedi Kuha”. It enshrines the relics of Buddha.

All in all, these are just a few of the many top temples you can explore in Chiang Mai. Each has its own unique charm and cultural significance, making temple-hopping a rewarding experience in this culturally rich city. Remember to dress modestly when visiting these temples since they are religious sites after all. Additionally, it’s customary to remove your shoes before entering the temple buildings.

Do check out my other travel reviews as well.