Chiang Mai

Wat Chiang Man

The oldest temple in Chiang Mai town, Wat Chiang Man was built in 1296 by King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai. The temple is famous for its Lanna-style chedi supported by rows of elephant-shaped buttresses and an ancient and invaluable Buddha image named Phra Kaeo Khao. Wat Chiang Man is situated off of Ratchapakhinai Road in the northeast corner of the old city.

Wat Phra Sing

Wat Phra Sing, located on Sam Lan Road, houses the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image cast in Subduing Mara. The Buddha image is now enshrined in Viharn Lai Kham. During the Songkran festival, each April 13-15, people process the most sacred Buddha image around Chiang Mai town for traditional bathing.

Formerly, this area was a Wat Li Chiang Market until 1345, King Pa Yu, the fifth king of Mengrai Dynasty commanded to built this temple and a 24-feet chedi containing his father’s ashes. The temple compound includes the lovely Viharn Lai Kham featuring exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals paintings, a magnificent scriptural repository with striking bas relief, and a circular stupa (in Lankan bell shape).

Wat Prasat

Wat Prasat, located on Inthawarorot Road near Wat Phra Sing. The temple houses traditional Lanna architecture chapel, the chapel roof is decorated in colourful glasses and wooden craved lions. Wat Prasat houses one of the rare Lanna arts’ Buddha image.

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang houses the largest chedi in Chiang Mai. The temple is located right in the middle of the city and was built in the reign of King Saen Mueang Mak, the seventh king of Mengrai Dynasty. The 98-metre tall and 54-metre wide chedi was built in the reign of King Tilokkarat. The construction was completed in 1481. In 1545 the chedi was collapsed due to an earthquake during the reign of King Jiraprapa. The chapel in the front was built by Chao Khun Uba Lee Poramacharn (Sirichantathera) and Chao Kaeo Navarat in 1928. The magnificent methodological serpents ramble from the entrance of the chapel to its door on both sides. It is believed that they are the most beautiful man-made serpents in the northern Thailand.

Wat Phan Tao

Wat Phan Tao, located on Phra Pok Klao Road beside Wat Chedi Luang. The temple was a throne hall for King Mahotara Prateth, thus the peacock shaped doors were built. It is believed that peacock is a symbol of king.

Wat Ku Tao

Wat Ku Tao was formerly called Wat Veru Vanaram. The temple is located in Tambon Sri Phum near Chiang Mai Stadium. It is noteworthy for an unusual watermelon shaped pagoda, thus giving such name by the locals. An exact period of its establishment is somewhat unknown, but from a legend, the Ku Tao chedi contains ashes of Prince Saravadee, the son of King Bureng Nong who ruled Chiang Mai from 1579 to 1607.

Wat Saen Fang

Wat Saen Fang is located on Tha Phae Road. This is the old temple, built in the Burmese architecture. The residence of the abbot dating from more than 100 years is an interesting attraction in the temple compound. King Intavitchayanontha, the seventh king who governed Chiang Mai commanded to destroy the residence of Phra Chao Gavirorossurivongs (Chao Chevit Ao), the sixth ruler of Chiang Mai.1877, later his former residence was rebuilt in this temple. The celebration was held in 1878.

Wat Buppharam

The temple is located on Tha Phae Road, Muang District. Interesting attractions include the chedi constructed in the Burmese architectural style, the carved wooden main chapel roof and the small wood chapel constructed in the local style.

Wiang Kum Kam

Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient city that was built in the reign of King Mengrai in 1286. The city was surrounded by ditches in every corner and they were used as reservoirs. From the discoveries, there are 20 ancient remains in and around Wiang Kum Kam include buildings and temples of Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi, Wat Pu Pia, Wat Ku Khao, Wat E Kang, Wat Hua Nong, and Wat Pu Song. The remains are dating from 21st –22nd Buddhist centuries.

Wiang Kum Kam is located in the southeast of Chiang Mai, between Km.3-4 along Chiang Mai-Lamphun route, Tambon Wang Tan, Saraphi district. Take the road at Nong Hoi Polce box to the Ko Klang Pa Kluai intersection and en route to Chedi Liam Police box. Wiang Kum Kam Information Center Tel: 0 5327 7322

Wat Chedi Liam or Chedi Ku Kham was built in 1288 in the reign of King Mengrai after he had authorised an administrative responsibility of Lamphun town to his minister, Aey Fah. King Mengrai established a town in the northeast of Chiang Mai for 5 years and then resettled a town near the Mae Ping River in 1277 and renamed it “Wiang Kum Kam”. In 1287, the stupa of Wat Jamthewi, Lamphun was rebuilt in Wiang Kum Kam for the locals to worship.

After that for hundreds years, the temple was left abandoned. In 1908, a Burmese tycoon renovated it, thus the temple has influences of Burmese architecture instead of its former Khmer style. Only some parts were rebuilt in Khmer architecture.

Wat Chedi Liam or Chedi Ku Kham

The temple, situated in newly developed tourist destination, Wiang Kum Kam, was built in 1288 during the reign of King Meng Rai. Hundreds of years later, the temple was left abandoned until a Burmese tycoon renovated the temple in 1908. As a result, the temple has some Burmese influences in addition to its former Khmer style of which only some parts were rebuilt.

Wat Chedi Chet Yot

Wat Chedi Chet Yot or Wat Photaram Mahaviharn, located on the Super Highway (Chiang Mai-Lampang), 4 kilometres from Chiang Mai town. It is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai and was recently renovated. The interesting attraction of this temple is the seven tapering finial stupa, which is supported by lovely divine sculptures at its base. The most interesting is the stupa possesses architecture of the Phuttakaya stupa in India. Besides, the stupa contains ashes of King Tilokkarat, Mengrai Dynasty, who built this temple. It is a worth to visit.

Wat Umong

Wat U-Mong, located on Suthep Road in the town. The spacious temple was found in the reign in King Mengrai around 1296. The renovation was done in the reign of King Kue Na. The large wall like building with a connected tunnel inside is a remarkable piece of art located in the temple compound. A large stupa is located near the temple’s wall. Wat U-Mong is teemed with various kinds of trees, thus making it an ideal meditation place.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is the most important and visible landmark, and overlooks the city from its forested mountain backdrop. This temple is 15 kilometres from town , 3,520 feet above sea level, and dates from 1383. The temple is approached on foot by climbing a steep Naga staircase comprising 290 steps. The less energetic may ascend by railcars. The temple’s pagoda contains holy Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year. The temple compound offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and surrounding countryside.

Phra Borom That Saen Hai

This temple is situated in Wiang Haeng, San Pa Tong District, which can be dated back to the early Buddhist times, was renovated in 1914. The pagoda is a unique blend of Myanmar and Lanna Thai architecture. According to the legend, King Naresuan the Great rested his troops here and built a pool at the foot of the hill for his use and that of his elephants.

Wat Phra That Doi Kham

Temple of the Golden Mountain, this temple is situated in Tambon Mae Hia, Amphoe Mueang. It is a beautiful temple situated on a lush mountainside near Chiang Mai Town. 'Wat Phra That' refers to the fact that this temple houses relics of the Buddha, and 'Doi Kham' means 'Golden Mountain’.

Wat Thaton

Wat Thaton occupies an area of more than 160 acres and spreads over several rolling hills. The temple is situated on the bank of the Mae Kok river and offers beautiful scenery.

Address: Wat Thaton Vipasana Meditation Center, Tambon Thaton, Amphoe Mae Ai, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50280 Tel: 059 459-468. 053-459-309 Website : WAT THATON
E-mail : meditation[at]

Capacity : 20 persons (Reccommend booking two weeks in advance). We request new students stay for a minimum of 7 days for their frist retreat.

Description : The retreat is widely open for both beginner and experienced meditatiors. On the retreat, all mediatators are requested to keep silence at all times except when giving meditation reports.

Wat Phra That Doi Koeng

The temple with its golden stupa is strikingly situated on a high mountaintop, overlooking the landscape as from heaven above. It commands a breathtaking panoramic view of the rugged mountains with their sweeping clefts of deep verdant valleys.

Phra That Doi Noi Temple

Situated in Doi Lo, Chom Thong District along Highway No.108 between Km. 43 and 44, the temple was built by Queen Jamathewi in 658 AD. During excavations, numerous marble Buddha images, Buddha image containers, and a chapel were discovered. The hilltop temple provides visitors with a panoramic view of the scenic beauty of the Mae Ping River and surrounding hills and valleys. The temple can be reached on foot by climbing 241 steps.

Phra That Si Chom Thong Temple

This temple is situated approximately 58 kilometers from the town in Chom Thong District. The temple can be dated back to the mid-1400s and houses a collection of bronze Buddha images while the secondary chapel contains a holy Buddha relic.

Tham Tap Tao Temple

This temple is situated in Chai Prakan Sub-district along the Chiang Mai-Fang route between Km.120 and Km.121. Temple attractions include a scripture hall located in the middle of a pond and Tap Tao cave which houses several unique Buddha images.

Phutha Oen Temple

The temple is located in Chang Khoeng Sub-district, Mae Chaem District. According to legend, it was built in the early Ratanakosin era. One of the most intriguing features in this temple the Water Chapel, a chapel surrounded by water battlements instead of the ordinary cement battlements.

Ban Wat Chan Pine Forest

The Mu Se Khi, a Karen ethnic group has lived in this forest area for more than 100 years. They protect and nurture the forest so well that the forest is indeed as a family member. In Karen custom, a newborn baby’s umbilical cord is brought out into the forest and tied around a tree. That tree is then considered a member of the family. Karen villagers have the utmost respect for each other, and would never cut down one of their neighbors’ trees.

Pines in this area are two-leaf pines and three-leaf pines which grow only at altitudes of 1,000 m above sea level. Their resin is very useful for tempering the strings of the Saw, a traditional Thai instrument which is in the violin family. In addition, distilled pine sap can be mixed with paint to make the paint dry faster.

In order to conserve the pine forests in this area, the villagers do not earn their living from collecting pine sap. Rather, they have been supported by a royal development project in chicken farming, producing fine quality meat which brings a very good price.

The serene and well-preserved natural beauty of this area is well worth visiting, and all visitors can learn valuable lessons from the gentle lifestyle of the Karen people. The weather is comfortably cool and the air is fresh. In wintertime, the forests explode in a breathtaking panoply of colored foliage. Visitors are encouraged to bring bicycles to cycle around the beautiful pine forests, and the area also presents wonderful boating opportunities.

Accommodations are available. Contact Forest Industry Organization, Ban Wat Chan, tel. 0 5324 9394.

Getting There:
By Bus
Yellow pickup trucks called Song Thaeo with two benches in the back perform run daily from Chang Phueak Road in Chiang Mai Town to Ban Wat Chan from 09:00 and 11:00. The fare is 120 baht. The trip takes 4 hours via Samoeng.
By car
Please note that a 4WD vehicle is required for all routes. The most convenient route is Highway 1095 from Mae Malai to Pai.

There are two possible routes:
1. Take Highway 1095 Mae Malai – Pai, to KM 80, and then turn left onto an unpaved road and continue for another 40 kilometres.
2. Take Highway 1095 Mae Malai – Pai, take the entrance at Wat Phra That, continue for about 500 m, take the left turn to the Chom Chaeng – Ban Mueang Rae – Ban Bo Rae route. The total distance is 165 kilometres.

Other routes are:
Samoeng – Wat Chan – Ban Bo Kaeo – Ban Dong Sam Muen
This route is about 155 kilometres, half of which is on a rough, unpaved road.

The other two routes, which are tougher and rougher, are Amphoe Mae Chaem – Ban Wat Chan, or Amphoe Mueang Mae Hong Son – Ban Wat Chan. The later is very beautiful.