3 Must See Temples in Chiang MaiThere are so many interesting and unique temples in Chiang Mai.

Some are covered in gold, some are filled with Buddha statues.

Some are in disrepair, and some are beautiful in their simplicity.

I visited three large temples in Chiang Mai.

They are all unique and quite different from each other.

Here’s my list of 3 must see temples in Chiang Mai

1.Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

This sacred temple sits atop the hill, Doi Suthep, from where it watches over Chiang Mai.

It is an important and historic temple in Chiang Mai. With the first stupa having been built in 1383, the temple holds a piece of bone from the original Buddha. It also incorporates Hindu iconography.

Doi Suthep is at the top of 309 serpent steps. If you are visiting in the summer months you will be serenaded by hundreds of shrieking cicadas. You may also take a tram.

The entry price is 30 Baht for foreigners. Once inside you must take off your shoes and cover your shoulders and legs.

Doi Suthep is 15 km outside of Chiang Mai, and is 20-30 minutes by red songthaew taxi.

Unique point: the stairs, the fact that it’s on a hill, and it’s reverence

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

2.Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok is a Buddhist temple sitting next to a grouping of whitewashed mausoleums. These contain the ashes of the late royal family of Thailand and are beautiful despite being tombs.

The large golden stupa is build in Sri Lankan style and contains another relic of the Buddha. Next to this is the assembly hall, intricately adorned with golden details and a large Buddha.

This temple is inside the old city of Chiang Mai. The outside grounds are free to enter, and there is a small fee to enter the temple.

Wat Suan Dok is a great place to practice your photography. It is unique and not overrun with tourists.

Unique point: the garden of white mausoleums

Wat Suan Dok Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok

3.Wat Chedi Luang

Another Buddhist temple in the historic old city of Chiang Mai is Wat Chedi Luang. Like the two previous temples, it is from the 14th century.

Behind the large assembly hall is a crumbling stupa. Unlike other gold stupas, this one is brick and stone. An earthquake in 1545 brought the impressive stupa down to half its original height. It has been partially repaired, but never fully, leaving it in it’s state of semi-ruin.

Wat Chedi Luang used to house Thailand’s sacred Emerald Buddha, but does so no longer.

Monks can be seen walking around the fallen stupa, and there is a place where you can sit and chat with them and ask them questions about Buddhism.

Of these three temples, Wat Chedi Luang was my favourite. Mainly the beautifully damaged stupa.

Unique point: the crumbling stupa, the chance to speak with monks about Buddhism

Wat Chedi Luang Wat Chedi Luang Wat Chedi Luang Wat Chedi Luang Wat Chedi Luang


These are my top three temples in Chiang Mai. I like that there is something unique about each of them. Of course there are more temples in Chiang Mai, but I’m happy with my choices. You can easily visit them all in a single day.

Have you been to any of these three temples in Chiang Mai? Which was your favourite, or do you have another that you like? Let me know in the comment section!

Pin it!

3 Must See Temples in Chiang Mai

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Or sign up for my newsletter:

[mc4wp_form id=”5042″]

Thanks for reading!

You might also like:

Wat Bang Kung, the Temple Inside a Tree

Amphawa Floating Market in Thailand

Rainy day photography tips: Nagoya Castle



  1. The whitewashed mausoleums at once caught the eye. All that gold and white along with the calm of the Buddha…so beautiful, Jen. You look happy in pink! What are you holding in your hand? 🙂

  2. Nice post! loved the photographs! I always love visiting Buddhist temples, although this is something easy to find in my own country as well. Hindu and Buddhist religion are mostly alike I guess in many ways! 🙂

  3. Wow, those architectural details are simply stunning! I can’t decide which one I like the most. All are very different.

  4. I’ve been to Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang. Wat Suan Dok looks interesting and I’ve not been there before. Certainly worth a visit next time. There is another temple Wat Chiang Man inside the old city with it’s unique elephant stupa. It’s also the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. The largest temple is Doi Ithanon but that is like a couple hours drive from Chiang Mai.

    • I remember the name, Wat Chiang Man, but I didn’t know there was an elephant stupa. That sounds interesting. There are so many temples in Chiang Mai. Maybe next time 😉

Leave a reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.