Chiang Mai Temple Tours
We offer Chiang Mai temple tours that start and end in Chiang Mai. The city has more than 300 temples. The majority of visitors just visit the main temples such as Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Man (and Wat Phantao next door) and Wat Phra Singh. Chiang Mai’s temples are really magnificent. You could spend several days visiting temples and monasteries.
Many people who arrive in Chiang Mai complain about “temple fatigue”. They have been to Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Po in Bangkok which has made them “templed out”. This is a pity because the temples of Chiang Mai are actually far more interesting and less visited than the temples in Bangkok.
Besides the temples of the “first category” such as Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chiang Mai and Wat Pra Singh there are a number of other temples that are at least as interesting as the aforementioned. We organize Chiang Mai Temple Tours that also visit these less well known temples.
Wat Umong, the forest temple
Each temple has its own fascinating story. For the casual visitor they all look alike but once your guide starts his or her explanation that will become clear. Take, for example, Wat Umong. This unique forest temple has a couple of tunnels (Umong means tunnel in Thai) under the mound on which the main chedi of the temple is located. Wat Umong has a very special, serene atmosphere. It is located at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain.
Wat Suan Dok, the cemetery of the Chiang Mai rulers
Wat Suan Dok is an ancient temple, dating back to the 14th century. It is located on Suthep road, outside the old City. Wat Suan Dok literally means “flower garden temple”. The ruler of Chiang Mai used the temple area as a flower garden in the past. The temple was located in a walled compound as aerial pictures from World War Two show.
There are a large number of white chedis apart from the main golden chedi which is 48 meters high. It contains a relic of the Buddha. The smaller white chedis closer to the road contain the ashes of the Chiang Mai Royal Family. Princess Dara Rasmi, one of the princess consorts of King Rama V, took the initiative to bring the ashes of the Royal Family of Chiang Mai to be interred at Wat Suan Dok.
Wat Chet Yot, a unique temple
Wat Chet Yot is another remarkable temple. It is located just off the super highway, not far from the Nimmanhaemin area. It dates back to the 15th century. The design is inspired by the Mahabodhi temple in Bagan, Myanmar. This temple design was a copy of a temple of the same name in North India. It was the location where Siddharta Gautama attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. Wat Chet Yot doesn’t have an equivalent in Chiang Mai: it is really unique.
Wat Umong, Wat Suan Dok and Wat Chet Yot are all temples that are at least as interesting as the better known, earlier mentioned “wats”.
Temples in Chiang Mai feature in our tour Buddhist temples of Chiang Mai.