10 Best Chiang Mai Temeples You Must Visit

Jump To a Topic

Chiang Mai Temeples

One of the best thing to do when you visit Chiang Mai, Thailand is explore the Buddhist temples. There are over 40,000 temples in Thailand, with around 300 active temples in Chiang Mai alone. What impressed me most about these temples was their uniqueness, as each temple has a very different story and design.

It is difficult to visit all the temples in Chiang Mai on a standard trip. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best temples in and around Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here is a comprehensive list of some of my favorite temples from my trip to Thailand.

As you read this article, you may come across some terms that may be unfamiliar to you:
Wa: The meaning of temple in Thai
Stupa/Pagoda: Terms used interchangeably to describe an architectural structure located outside a Buddhist temple and containing artifacts.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep 003RS

The most significant temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Constructed during the early 19th century in the Buddhist era, this temple showcases the stunning beauty of Lanna architecture with its Chiang Saen style golden pagoda and intricate details. As you ascend the stairs, you will be greeted by statues of seven-headed serpents. The view of Chiang Mai from this vantage point is simply breathtaking.

Additionally, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep hosts the Tiaw Khuen Doi Festival, where people travel up Doi Suthep Hill to pay homage to the sacred Buddhist relics enshrined there. It is an experience that should not be missed. Located in Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai Province, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is approximately 11 kilometers away from the city center.

If you are traveling by car, simply follow the Huai Kaew-Chiang Mai University-Chiang Mai Zoo road and you will find clear signposts directing you to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
To reach Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, there are two options available.

The first is to ascend the seven-headed serpent stairs, a picturesque route that also provides an excellent opportunity for photography. Alternatively, visitors can opt for the electric tram, which operates from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. The tram ride costs 20 THB for the locals and 50 THB for the foreigners. It is worth noting that small buses from Chiang Mai University are also an option, running between 5:00 am and 5:00 pm. The temple is open daily.

Wat Pha Lat

Chiang Mai - Wat Pha Lat - 0001

One of the temples in Thailand that holds a special place in my heart is Wat Pha Lat. What makes this temple so unique and captivating is its hidden location within a dense jungle. Unlike other temples in Chiang Mai, accessing Wat Pha Lat requires a bit of a challenge, but the reward is well worth it. To reach the temple, visitors must embark on a hike up the secluded Monk’s Trail on Doi Suthep Mountain.

As you make your way up the trail, you’ll notice the vibrant orange robes of the monks lining the path, serving as your only guide to the temple. There are no signs or indications of its presence, adding to the sense of discovery. The hike itself is an adventure, taking approximately 40 minutes one way. Once you arrive at the top, you’ll be greeted by the temple nestled amidst the lush greenery, colorful flowers, and peaceful flowing water. The only sounds you’ll hear are those of the surrounding jungle, creating a serene atmosphere perfect for reflection and relaxation. Wat Pha Lat truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok 7


Established in 1373, this significant monastery was constructed on what used to be a flower garden. It serves as a sanctuary for one portion of a revered Buddha relic, while the remaining half was carried to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep by a white elephant. Dominating the landscape is the main chedi, adorned in gold and shaped like a bell, standing tall amidst a multitude of white memorial chedi paying tribute to the Thai royal family. The majestic Doi Suthep mountain range looms in the background, completing the picturesque scene.

Inside the spacious main sanctuary, resembling a hangar, stands an immense Buddha statue that nearly grazes the ceiling. Make sure to allocate a few moments to explore the garden of whitewashed chedi located in front of the monastery. These chedi serve as a memorial and hold the remains of numerous generations of Lanna royalty.

Wat Chedi Luang

Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang - 0001


The renowned 14th-century temple, home to the City Pillar Shrine, is widely recognized for its colossal chedi, standing at an impressive height of 282 feet and measuring 144 feet in width at its base.

The temple known as Wat Chedi Luang derives its name from the northern dialect word “Luang,” which translates to “large.” This name is fitting, considering that the temple is home to Chiang Mai’s largest Buddhist chedi, standing at an impressive height of 98 meters and boasting a diameter of 54 meters. Originally constructed in 1481 during the reign of King Mengrai, the chedi underwent a restoration process after its destruction in 1545 due to an earthquake. The front of the temple also features an ordination hall, showcasing the exquisite Lanna architecture, with its notable serpent motifs leaving a lasting impression. Visitors can explore this magnificent site daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Chiang Mai city temple
Chiang Mai 3 Days Itinerary - You Cannot Miss These Locations
About Chiang Mai Chiang Mai was one of my favorite cities to visit in the north. One of the most amazing...
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2025
About Flower Festival Event In 2025 An event that occurs every year in Thailand is the Chiang Mai Flower...