Chiang Mai offers great memories, friendly locals, beautiful scenery, and 300 awe-inspiring temples. If you don’t have time or the energy to visit all 300 temples, there are definitely some must see temples, which should be on your list.
Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phan Tao are beautiful temples located within the city walls and all three temples can easily be visited in one day. Another awe-inspiring temple and most visited is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, but this temple requires a journey up a mountain road and 309 step walk to reach the top of the temple.
The Temple Of Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang is definitely not flashy, shiny, or gold plated, but it’s definitely are-inspiring. Built in 1441, Wat Chedi Luang stands as one of the largest ancient structures in Chiang Mai. The temple was a little bit taller until ether an earthquake or cannon fire during the recapture of Chiang Mai from the Burmese in 1775 destroyed the top of the chedi.
The temple has 4 sides, each with a staircase guarded by mythical Naga creatures. Midway up the stairs, located on one section of the temple, are beautifully sculpted stoned elephants standing guard and overlooking the grounds. Besides the towering and awe-inspiring Chedi, the temple grounds contain two viharns, which are structures used for ceremonies and worship.
The first viharn, which is used as an assembly hall, is a large beautiful building with a three tiered roof and is gold plated on the front. Inside the building stands a large Buddha, which dates back to the time of when the temple was constructed. The second viharn is much smaller, but equally impressive and stunning. The entrance leading into the viharn is elegantly decorated with intricate wood carvings and guarded by large Nagas, which are mythical snake like creatures.
A Much Needed Break After The Craziness Of Bangkok And Pattaya
It is highly suggested to take a 14 hour train ride from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, you’ll notice that the city was much greener, there were zero skyscrapers, and everything was much more low key.
Visit some of Chiang Mai’s awe-inspiring temples. Hire a tuk tuk to Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phan Tao. Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phan Tao are adjacent, which provides two stunning temples within a short walk of each other.
The temples of Chiang Mai are definitely worth a visit and something everyone should see if there, visiting Thailand.