The presence of Buddhism in Chiang Mai through its numerous temples is a substantial part of the identity of the city and one of the reasons why it is so welcoming. If you are interested in Buddhism or want to take the opportunity to see more temples, we suggest you a selection that is worth visiting:
Table of Contents
Wat Buppharam (B)
This monastery has in particular that in its garden you will find quite a few animal statues and among them one of the Donald Duck. It’s probably a trait of postmodernity when everything fits. Anyway, this temple is recommended for those travelling with children.
Wat Chiang Man (C)
The oldest temple in the city. Inside there is a stone with the first inscriptions with the name of Chiang Mai and it houses two revered Buddha figures, very important during the Songkran liturgy in April to propitiate a good rainy season.
Wat Jedyod (J)
Its architecture is unique, unlike any other in the city. Built during the reign of the King Tilokkarat in the 15th Century, it is a sample of Chinese and Indian influence in local art. Jed Yod means seven peaks about the seven chedis perched at the top of the structure.
Wat Ku Tao (K)
This temple also stands out for its uniqueness. The chedi or stupa resembles a succession of watermelons, one on top of the other. For this reason, it is known as Ku Tao (watermelon is ‘ba tao’ in the Lanna dialect). Modelled in Burmese style, in late March here there is a celebration called Poi Sang Long, a unique Burmese style ordination festival.
Wat Lok Molee (L)
Splendid Lanna style temple. It is worth admiring the beautiful wooden crafts on its walls. Its construction dates from the 14th century, during the Kingdom of Lanna.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kham (P)
The name means ‘Temple of the Golden Mountain’. Located on the Doi Kham hill, it offers a similar view to Wat Doi Suthep but is less visited by foreigners and therefore retains the local atmosphere. It is believed that it was built in the 7th Century to house relics of Buddha. It is not far from the Night Safari.
Wat Sri Suphan (SI)
This temple dates from the reign of King Muang Kaew of the Mangrai dynasty, in the 16th century. It’s curious because silver and aluminium have replaced the old structure of the building.
Wat Suan Dok (SU)
Interesting because of its historical significance. The place used to be the flower garden of the royal family of King Mangrai before becoming a sacred monastery, and some beautiful stupas house the ashes of the Lanna kings.
Wat U-Mong (U)
Wat U Mong is an example of the first Buddhist monasteries, generally located on the outskirts of the cities. The community of monks keeps it alive, and here you can take part in a meditation course for foreigners.