Chiang Mai’s magnificent Buddhist temples
Morning tour by samlor, Chiang Mai’s living heritage
Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at 0800 for your Chiang Mai Temples Day tour. We will drive to Thapae Gate, where our samlor drivers will be waiting. In the morning, you will visit some very famous and lesser-known temples located within the Old City of Chiang Mai by samlor, the traditional bicycle taxi. After lunch, we will visit Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most famous temple, amongst others, by minivan. Here you can find more information and pictures of the temples that are featured in today’s tour.
First of all, we will head off to Wat Laam Chang. This temple has an ancient brick ruined chedi. It is only a short ride to Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai’s oldest temple. King Mangrai, the founder of Chiang Mai, built this temple in 1296. After this, we head for beautiful Wat Phra Singh, probably Chiang Mai’s most revered temple. Wat Phra Singh currently houses Phra Chao Thong Tip, the most venerated Buddha image in Northern Thailand.
Lesser visited magnificent Temples.
From Wat Phra Singh, we make our way to Wat Phuak Hong, one of the lesser-visited temples with a characteristic Mon-style chedi. We continue to Wat Phra Chao Mengrai, a significant and seldom visited temple named after the founder of Chiang Mai. The next stop is the Chiang Mai Gate market, the most popular and interesting fresh market located within the moat. We taste some of the local delicacies on offer before hopping on the samlor to go to Wat Chedi Luang with its giant ruined chedi. An earthquake in 1545 damaged the chedi. Next to Wat Chedi Luang is Wat Phantao, which is a beautiful wooden temple. Here your vehicle will wait for your afternoon tour. We will say goodbye to our samlor drivers.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chet Yot
We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will drive to the foot of Doi Suthep mountain. We stop briefly at the statue of Kruba Srivichai, the “engineer monk,” whose followers constructed the road to Chiang Mai’s most famous temple in 1935. You can read about this here. We recommend the walk up the famous Naga staircase of Wat Pra That Doi Suthep. Your guide will explain the Buddhist religion at this most popular of Chiang Mai Temples.
From the temple, you have a fantastic view over Chiang Mai. On the way down, we will briefly stop at Wat Pha Lat, a temple hidden in the forests. The last temple of the day is Wat Chet Yot, the temple of the seven spires. Few tourists visit this unique and unusual complex. The main structure is Maha Chedi, which was inspired by the Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya in northern India, where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, attained Enlightenment. This is not the only interesting building on this beautiful and impressive complex.
Then we will drive back to the hotel where your tour ends. We also offer a half-day samlor tour to the temples within the old city.