One of the things every backpacker should do when visiting Chiang Mai is to enjoy the history of the city by visiting its many temples, enjoy a good day admiring these architectural gems while getting to know the surroundings of the city or its old part.
Chiang Mai was founded in 1296 and is a real treasure trove of all the culture that developed in northern Thailand during the Lanna period, Burmese occupations and later Siamese Kingdoms. All this is reflected in the number of temples throughout the city of Chiang Mai. Here is the list of Temples in Chiang Mai that you should not miss.
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CHIANG MAI TEMPLES THAT YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
Our list of Chiang Mai temples that you should not miss on your visit are as follows:
WAT PHRATHAT DOI SUTHEP
The Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is located just over 15 km from the city within the area of the natural park of the same name is undoubtedly the most famous temple in the entire region and a must for anyone in town. Built in 1383, legend has it that it was thanks to an elephant that its location was established. The story goes that an elephant with a relic of a Buddha chose the area by blowing its trunk.
WAT PHA LAT
Located on the slopes of Doi Suthep, the Wat Pha Lat is also known as the Temple of the Leaning Rock.
WAT CHIANG MAN
The Wat Chiang Man is the oldest temple in the city and the former residence of Chiang Mai’s most famous king, King Mengray. It contains in its interior 2 famous and venerated images of Buddha Phra Sila (marble Buddha) and Phra Satang Man (crystal Buddha). It is located inside the ancient city wall.
WAT CHEDI LUANG
The Wat Chedi Luang was built around 1401 and is situated near the ancient wall and is famous for having the ruins of the largest Chedi in the city, representing the religious architecture of Lanna.
WAT PHRA SINH
Located in the old part of the city, Wat Phra Sinh is a temple that is quite revered by the city’s inhabitants as it is the most important religious temple during the Songkran or Thai New Year festival.
Located on the outskirts of the city near Chiang Mai University, the Wat Umong is a complex carved into the rock, surrounded by parks and a lake famous for housing a statue of a fasting Buddha and hundreds of Buddhist messages on the trees.
One of the best options to see the temples is to do it at night so you can see the play of lights that illuminate them:
HOW CAN I VISIT THE TEMPLES IN CHIANG MAI?
Take a whole day to visit the Doi Suthep. Rent a motorcycle and take the opportunity to visit both the Wat Phrathat and end the day relaxing visiting the Wat U -Mong and lying down to relax near the lake.
The temples located in the old part of the city or nearby are perfect to visit by bike, they are cheap and Chiang Mai is a perfect city to use them. You can also take advantage and get to know them by walking.
If you are still not sure what to do in Chiang Mai, we suggest you check the following link: What to do in Chiang Mai in 4 days
Remember to dress correctly when you visit the Temples in Chiang Mai. Be very respectful of the environment and the local people.
A good way to end the day is with a comforting massage. We especially recommend that you visit the Women’s Prison and try a massage there.