Chiang Mai City Attractions
What to See in Chiang Mai City
Chiang Mai is more than just what’s inside and surrounding the Old City walls. Apart from religious monuments, nature and ethnic culture both play an important role in shaping Chiang Mai’s travel landscape.
If you are planning a trip to Chiang Mai, it’s a good idea to browse the comprehensive list of all must-see attractions below to get a feel of what awaits your discovery.Read More
- Excursion to Ancient Temples
- Night Safari Tour
- Arts & Crafts Half-Day Tour
- Sankampaeng Countryside Cycling Tour with Hot Springs
- 2-Day Golf Tour with Zipline Excursion
- Private Thai Cooking Class in Traditional Home
- Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School & Market Tour
- Tour of Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
- Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Dance Performance
- Ancient City of Wiang Kum Kam & Wat Chiang Man
Art in Paradise Museum Chiang Mai is one of the most fun places in the city to take photographs of you and your friends. The museum has over 130 different images of illusions – paintings drawn to create a 3D image which allows people to seem as if they are really in the picture. It is one of the biggest 3D museums in the world spread out over floors. There are six different zones in the museum including the underwater world, wildlife area, classic art, ancient Egypt, Surreal art and the dinosaur zone. Visitors can take a range of unique photos that have been creatively designed and painted onto the Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09.00 – 21.00
- Location: 199/9 Chan Klan Road, Chang Klan, Chiang Mai
- Tel: (+66) 053 274 100
The biggest of the 12 mosques in the province, every Saturday and Sunday, classes are held here for young local Muslims, beginning around 08:00 to the noon prayer. This mosque also receives 20 students each year for parents who can't afford to send their children to a government school.
First built in the 19th century by a group of Chinese people called the Chin Ho from Yunnan, it still caters to this unique ethnic group; you'll hear Yunnanese spoken as often as Thai within the compound. Although the mosque has been rebuilt to represent a more Arabic style the prayer hall still features the Chinese symbols for the word, mosque. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
- Address: Soi 1, Charoen Prathet Road
This mid-sized craft village about nine kilometres east of the Old City specialises in the paper umbrella-making craft. Well known for outstanding handcraft quality as well as signature floral designs, Bor Sang Village has made its name throughout the country and abroad – so much so that the name Bor Sang has become synonymous with the paper-umbrella craft itself and the umbrella, a cultural symbol of Chiang Mai. Read More...
Bua Thong Waterfall near Chiang Mai is a small and beautiful, multi-tiered waterfall made of limestone and mineral deposits. It has been nicknamed ‘the sticky waterfall’ because the limestone creates enough friction to stop slipping, so making it very easy to climb up the waterfall (with the help of ropes). The limestone is slightly rough but it isn’t painful to step on, and forms an interesting bubbly pattern. There are 5 different levels to experience and steps on the side of the waterfall leading all the way to the bottom. Most people walk to the bottom and then climb up the waterfall to the top. On a hot and humid Read More...
- Location: Highway 1001, Mae Taeng district, Chiang Mai
For centuries Chiang Mai has been the centre of religious activity in Northern Thailand. During the Lanna era, Buddhism was the main religion that flourished and grew; the many ancient temples in the city are testimony to this legacy. Important ceremonies and functions are held at the Buddhist association which also serves as a Buddhist youth club.
If you happen to be in Chiang Mai on a Buddhist holiday (known as the wan phra), religious talks and lectures are arranged by the club. These can be a great insight into the religion and those who have chosen to follow it. Read More...
- Address: Thapae Road (opposite Chiang Mai City Tourist Information)
- Tel: +66 (0) 53-276514
The centre is a modern multi-media museum and cultural education centre, featuring a range of medias from video, scale models, enlarged photos, wall murals and text in Thai and English. Built in 1924, the building was the former Provincial Hall of Chiang Mai and is considered to be a stunning example of post-colonial Thai architecture.
Visitors can partake in interactive exhibitions music and historical displays. A definite must when in Chiang Mai. The museum was awarded by the Royal Association of Siamese Architects for its architectural restoration, back in 1999. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30
- Address: Prapokklao Road between Rajdumnern Road and Rajwithee Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 5321 7793
Opened in 2013, this new museum follows the history of the Lanna (the last 700 years), as well as touching on the period before this. This museum has a much more modern feel when compared to the Chiang Mai National Museum, and it presents information in bite-size pieces, great for children. The displays come with a spoken introduction in a variety of languages, including English, German, French and Chinese. One of the coolest things about the Chiang Mai Historical Centre is that when it was being built the workers discovered an old royal temple underneath. They decided to preserve it and the addition helps you to bring a little slice Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tue-Sun, 08:30 - 17:00
- Location: Ratvithi Road, next to the Arts and Culture Museum and former City Hall
Located near the historic Wat Jet Yod, this is the main museum of northern Thailand and is under the patronage of Their Royal Majesties, the King and Queen. It was renovated in 1996 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the founding of Chiang Mai and now features a larger and better organized exhibition. The museum is housed in a large, two storey traditional Lanna style house, complete with the signature roof design, reminiscent of a bird's spreading wings. Visitors to the museum pass through six sections of exhibits, which constitute a journey from Chiang Mai's prehistory to its present and future course.
The museum begins with the natural and cultural Read More...
- Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 09:00 to 16:00
- Location: On the Highway (Northwest) next to Wat Jet Yod
- Price Range: Admission is 30 Baht
Modeled after a similar attraction in Singapore, this expansive park is part of the Thai government’s huge multi-million baht plan to increase Chiang Mai's attraction to tourists. The concept of the park is to provide visitors with a thrilling experience similar to being out in the wilderness at night.
Apart from touring the three animal zones – Savanna Safari, Predator Prowl, Jaguar Trail – via an open-sided tram or on foot, enjoy a range of activities designed to keep you entertained throughout your visit, from hand-feeding wild animals and petting tiger cubs to a laser light show and ‘dancing’ fountain. Read More...
- Address: 33 Moo 12, Tambon Nhong kway, Amphoe Hang Dong, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai University has a beautiful, green campus and offers tours around the large campus on electric buses. The main entrance to the university is on Huey Kaew Road and this is the only entrance that tourists can enter. Sometimes the guards will ask for your passport or ID card to register when entering. The main gate has a small garden with colourful flowers and the university sign written in Thai. It is a popular place to pose for pictures, but be careful not to step into the street as Huey Kaew Road is a main road. Entering the university grounds you will see parking and the tourist bus stop Read More...
- Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
- Location: Chiang Mai University 239, Huay Kaew Road, Muang District, Chiang Mai (Next to Chiang Mai Zoo)
- Tel: +66 (0)5 394 1300
Although not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of the city, the Chiang Mai Zoo is surprisingly interesting. Covering 200 acres of land in the foothills of Doi Suthep and providing excellent views of the city in addition to its fascinating wildlife exhibits, Chiang Mai Zoo is certainly worth a visit, especially if you've had your fill of temples. Read More...
The Good View is one of the most famous restaurants in Chiang Mai and lives up to its name with some particularly tranquil views over the River Ping just a few metres away from the venue. The whole place is quite huge, with an indoor section (not so good for the views) as well as an outside terrace and further seating down towards the riverbank. It’s open all day (from 10:00 to 01:30), and if you’re coming late for dinner the best advice is to book a table in advance or come early, as most of the riverside tables get taken up fast after sunset.
Good View sits on the Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00 daily
- Location: Canopy Walkway, Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
- Tel: 053 - 841 234
- Website: http://www.qsbg.org/
The Daraphirom Palace Museum is a relatively unknown museum that is nevertheless well worth a visit. It was built back in 1913 for the Lanna princess, Dara Rasmi. The Daraphirom Palace is a large wooden mansion raised up on stilts and painted in a pastel yellow colour. Outside the main entrance is a stone statue of princess Dara Rasmi and the manicure gardens surrounding the museum make the palace photogenic. Inside the museum visitors can glimpse how the princess lived, see handicrafts and paintings from the past, as well as learn about her life and contribution to society. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 Tuesday – Sunday
- Address: Mae Rim Military Base, Rim Tai, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai province
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 299175
Doi Inthanon National Park is a true jewel of natural beauty, consisting of rugged mountainous terrain blanketed by lush tropical forests and dotted with mighty rivers and majestic waterfalls. The park's protected status makes it a sanctuary for a wide range of animal species and it is perhaps the best place in Thailand for bird watching. Approximately 362 different species of bird make their home in Doi Inthanon National Park, many of which are not found anywhere else in Thailand.
The diversity of Doi Inthanon does not only extend to plant and animal species, however. The park has long been home to settlements of Northern Hilltribes as well. Recent efforts Read More...
Doi Pui, at 1,685metres above sea level, is the highest peak in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. It is famous for its beautiful waterfalls which are easily reached from the main road. But one of the hottest attractions for Doi Pui must be Hmong Tribal Village situated less than five kilometres from the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. A visit to this village is an eye-opener into the tribal villagers’ private life. Witness their simple way of living, their homes, as well as learn about their culture through a collection of objects, such as musical instruments, traditional silver-embroidered costumes and bamboo crafts. Read More...
The highest peak in the park is Doi Pui which tops off at 1,685 meters (5,528 feet), making it the eighth largest mountain in Thailand. Flowing from these heights are some of the most highly enjoyable and accessible waterfalls in the Kingdom's northern reaches. Mae Sa Falls, Huay Kaew Falls and Monthathan Falls are among the most popular sights of the park and are easily reached from the main road. The forest is also home to a variety of wildlife, including many small mammals and birds as well as the rare Crocodile Salamander, which is only found in four places in Thailand.
The park's high elevation keeps the temperature pleasantly Read More...
- Tour Available: Doi Suthep
Here we have the first school museum in the north of Thailand which serves as a learning centre for people of all ages, creeds and cultures. One of Chiang Mai's best known boy’s schools reflects over its influential history with an in house museum. When in 1905 Prince Vajiravudh [King Rama VI] came to Chiang Mai to preside over the foundation laying of the Butler Building, which housed the first classrooms, he stayed the night in Harris House and also renamed the school ‘Prince Royal’s College’.”
Harris House was awarded the Best Preserved Building prize by the Siam Architecture Society after a fire struck in 1980 and the building was Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00-16:00
- Address: 117 Kaew Nawarat
- Tel: + 66 (0) 5324-2038
Huay Tung Tao is a large lake with bamboo huts to relax in while overlooking mountains of Doi Pui. Huey Tung Tao is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Chiang Mai and offers a beautiful, peaceful setting away from the busy city. To enter Huay Tung Tao costs 20 Baht per person and there is parking available just to the right of the entrance. Huay Tung Tao lake has a two lane road running in a circle all the way around it which is perfect for cyclists, joggers and people wishing to walk. The circle is about 4KM and many runners start from Canal Road (where there is another Read More...
- Opening Hours: sunrise - sunset
- Location: 107 Don Kaeo, just off Canal Road
Boasting some of the most spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations in the country, Chiang Dao Cave stretches many kilometres into the mountains. Legend has it that it connects with several other caves, before eventually emerges at the other end somewhere in Shan State across the border. The official figure, though, is 12 kilometres, and you can explore only a small part of it. Read More...
Directly opposite the army barracks in a small but pleasant park is the Kawila monument. The monument was erected in the honour of Kawila. Born in 1742, Kawila was the first of Prince Chai Kaew's 10 children who played a major part in the defense and rebuilding of Chiang Mai and consequently is considered as one of the founders of the new city which was reborn after the repressive Burmese regime was driven out. Behind the statue lies a small museum where you can learn more about this great and much revered Thai leader. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (museum)
- Address: 285 Wat Ket Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 24 8604
Opened alongside the Chiang Mai Historical Centre, this museum has a beautiful location, inside the old courthouse, which was renovated with the project in mind. It’s close to the three kings monument in the centre of Chiang Mai Old City. The exhibition is all about the people who live and have lived in the region, setting the scene for many daily activities through wax works and relics. They manage to avoid it looking too creepy, so another great spot to bring the family to. The museum only has two floors and a visit will take around an hour or so. If you plan to visit the Chiang Mai Historical Centre, Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tue-Sun, 08:30 - 17:00
- Address: Phrapokklao Rd, Chiang Mai
The Traditional House Museum is fantastic way to take a step back into the past and get a taste of Lanna culture in the past hundred years. This hidden museum was set up by Chiang Mai University and for some strange reason has been overlooked by visitors. Thankfully this makes the visit much more enjoyable as you get to walk around the leafy outdoor site and peek inside some of the buildings without any crowds. Entry is free, although donations are welcomed, and the museum is open weekdays from 08:30 until 16:30. There are 12 buildings to explore at the Traditional House Museum and a visit won’t take over an Read More...
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 08:30 to 16:30, Closed weekends and bank holidays
- Address: 239 Huay Kaew Road,Muang, Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0)53 9436 2526
By far the most romantic of Thailand’s celebrations, Loy Krathong takes place on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month. The Thai word 'Loy' means 'to float in Thai, while 'Krathong' is a small raft, about a hand span in diameter, made from a section of banana tree trunk – although today specially made bread 'flowers' or even Styrofoam are used. Thais decorate their Krathongs with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense sticks. Some people also add hair or fingernail clippings.
Between the months of August and October the tides in Thailand’s waterways are at their highest and with the moon at its brightest, the stage is set for
Mae Rim is a small town packed with tourist attractions just north of Chiang Mai. While Mae Rim town consists of one long busy road, there are lots of unseen hotels, restaurants and activities hidden down the side streets of the town. The most popular area of Mae Rim is highway 1096 which goes though Mae Sa Valley, also known as the start of the Samoeng Loop. The Samoeng Loop is a popular day trip for motorcycle riders and adventure seekers as there are lots of extreme sports along highway 1096. There is also the popular Mae Sa Waterfall, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, Mae Sa Elephant Camp, and the Elephant Read More...
- Location: Mae Rim, Chiang Mai province
Having secured their names in the Guinness World Record, the elephants at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp are no ordinary beasts. Apart from going about their daily routine of bathing, eating, sleeping and just being domesticated elephants, these extremely intelligent animals have been trained to paint, play football, dance and perform a string of talent shows that will change the way you think about Thai elephants. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 8:00 – 16:00 daily (shows three times daily, at 8:30, 9:40 and 13:30)
- Location: Mae Rim-Samoeng Road (km. 18)
- Tel: +66 (0)53 206 247, +66 (0)53 206 248
- Tour Available: Mae Sa Elephant Camp
Mae Sa Valley is a green, forested area with one main road running through it and lots of tourist activities scattered along the road. The highway 1096 runs from Mae Rim (about 10KM from Chiang Mai) to the town of Samoeng which is a popular destination for motorbike day trippers traveling the Sameong Loop. Many people stop along the way at attractions in Mae Sa Valley while other travellers visit Mae Sa Valley just for the attractions. Read More...
- Location: Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
Mae Sa Waterfall is an impressive eight level waterfall with a small plunge pool for swimming in. It is popular with both Thai’s and foreign tourists and can get especially busy on weekends with families. Entrance costs 200 Baht for foreigners and it is a good idea to pack a blanket or picnic and spend a day at the waterfall. There is a large parking lot with lots of street vendors selling grilled pork and sticky rice, fruit, bottled drinks and ice cream. Mae Sa waterfall covers a large area and if you climb up to the fifth or sixth level there are less people. At the top of the Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily sunrise – sunset
- Location: Mae Rim - Samoeng Road (close to the 7KM marker)
Mon Jam is a beautiful mountain top viewpoint and restaurant that has views over the Mae Rim Valley and Royal Project farms. Mon Jam is about an hour’s drive away from Chiang Mai and can be reached by car or motorbike. The road going up to the view point is quite steep so it is not recommended for new drivers. Mon Jam is located close to the Mae Sa Valley and along highway 1096 to Samoeng. Mon Jam is sometimes written as Mon Cham which can be confusing when driving there. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – sunset
- Tel: 22/8 Moo 7, Mon Jam Royal Project, just off Highway 1096
For some creepy crawly fun, head over to this museum of the oogie, run by Manop Rattanarithikul, an eccentric entomology enthusiast and his wife Rampa, a PhD in the field. Manop, nicknamed "The Mosquito Man", has been studying and collecting insects for most of his life and he and his wife have travelled the world studying and working with bugs. They founded the museum together in 2002 and have been giving visitors the willies ever since.
Manop himself will guide you through exhibits that run from massive beetles that look like something out of the movie Dune to almost invisible little gnats. Anyone who's spent time in Thailand will get Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00
- Address: Srimankalajarn Road
- Tel: +66 (0)53 21 1891
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is located 30 minutes north of Chiang Mai, along the windy road to Samoeng. The Botanical Garden Chiang Mai was opened in 1992 and is a centre to promote research, biodiversity and allow visitors to see the most diverse natural plants that Thailand has to offer. The Garden is set in a valley surrounded by rainforest and there is a whole range of different areas to visit. Visitors can walk around the flower gardens, banana path or enter one of the many different greenhouses – Savanna house, Orchid house or the carnivorous plant house. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 8:30 -16:30
- Location: 100 m.9 mae ram Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai 50180
- Tel: +66 (0)53 841 000
The Raintree Resource Centre provides free lending library with over 7000 English books and 600 videos. They also hold the occasional special interest workshops (ex. English conversation classes, flower arrangement, ethnic cooking). A good place to venture out to, if you plan on staying in Chiang Mai some time. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10.00-12.00
- Address: First Level - CMCC Center 3 Charoen Muang Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 262 660
Chiang Mai is proud of its reputation as ‘The Rose of the North’, and it is only fitting that the Kingdom’s second-largest city is a proud host of Southeast Asia’s biggest horticultural exposition. The first exhibition took place in 2006, as a tribute to King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the year of His Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. In 2011, the exhibition celebrates HM the King’s 84th birthday anniversary and is set to run from 9 November 2011 to 15 February 2012. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00-20:00 daily, from 9 November 2011 to 15 February 2012
- Location: Royal Agricultural Research Center, in the Mae Hia district outside Chiang Mai City
A lovely and very well maintained pubic park that is a great place to stop and soak up some sunshine. Situated in the southwestern corner of the old city it is Chiang Mai’s equivalent to Lumpini Park. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
- Address: The Southwestern corner of the Old City walls.
Tha Pae Gate is one of the most famous landmarks in Chiang Mai and is part of the crumbling city wall which once acted as a fortress for the ‘Old City’ (and still today acts as a geographical boundary). The gate area is an epicentre for tourism in Chiang Mai, boasting more hotels, bars, restaurants, cafes, massage parlours and shops than anywhere else in the city.
Staying near Tha Pae Gate not only means you’ll be surrounding yourself with fellow travellers, but it also means you’re well-placed to walk to many of Chiang Mai’s main attractions such as the Night Bazaar, the numerous temples in the Old City, and even Read More...
- Location: Moon Muang Rd., Chiang mai City
Can't tell an Akha from a Hmong? Do you think that Yao is just a big guy who plays in the NBA? Then you need to pay a visit to the Chiang Mai Tribal Museum. Recently moved from its location on the Chiang Mai University campus, this museum is now housed in a modern, three storey building in Ratchamankla Park. Anyone planning on paying a visit to the many hilltribe villages around Chiang Mai will definitely benefit from a visit to this museum. On display here are costumes, tools and art from all of the major northern hilltribes, as well as daily slide shows which tell the stories of these Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00 fever
- Address: Ratchamangkla Park
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 210 872
The son of, Mr. William Bain, who was a “Teak-Wallah” in the service of the East Asiatic Company, Uncle Jack opened the Ket Karam museum over four years ago. Having refurbished the old (580 years old to be exact) wooden structure there is a well organised display of artifacts from a previous era – the idea being to preserve the beauty of old Lanna culture.
Items include an old gramophone, with a Dinah Shore 78 rpm on the turntable, coins and antique crockery, vintage bank notes, ancient household appliances, farm tools, wood carvings and Buddha images. The gallery of photographs of a bygone era is considered to be of the
- Address: 96 Jaroenraj Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 89 850 1252
Wat Bupparam is one of Chiang Mai’s most visited temples and has a strong Burmese influence from the past. Located on Thapae Road and 500 metres from Thapae Gate, the old entrance to Chiang Mai city, Wat Bupparam has a strong historical significance. Thapae Road used to be the route traders would take as they entered the city and so many Buddhists would have stopped off at this impressive temple. Wat Bupparam was originally built in 1497 but the stupa was rebuilt in Burmese style in 1958 with four large lions around the base for protection. The temple has a mix of Burmese, Thai and Lanna designs with an impressive Read More...
- Opening Hours: 7:00 – 18:00
- Location: Thapae Road
Wat Chang Kong is located on Loi Kroh Road. It was constructed by Chang Kong villagers who immigrated from Chiang Sean at the beginning of the Rama Period it now stands as an abandoned chedi which is completely surrounded by shops and dwellings on three sides. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00-19:00
- Address: Kampaengdin Road (next to Chez Gibus)
Built sometime between 1385 and 1402, during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, 7th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty, Wat Chedi Luang's massive chedi (pagoda) is a distinctive feature of the Chiang Mai skyline. At its peak, the chedi measured 60 metres across at the square base and 80 metres tall and was once the home of the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most sacred religious relic. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00-17:00
- Address: Phrapokklao Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 24 8604
This is the oldest temple in the Chiang Mai, built in 1296 at the time of the city's founding. The temple served as the residence of Chiang Mai's founder, King Mengrai, for a time. The buildings are finely decorated in red lacquer, gold leaf and mosaics of tinted mirror, wonderful examples of Lanna style architecture. Wat Chiang Man is located on Ratchaphakhinai Road, near the Chang Puak gate in the northern part of the old city. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 - 18:0008:00 - 17:00
- Location: The corner of Ratchaphakhinai Road and Phra Poklao Road soi 13
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 24 8604
Another visually striking temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Lok Moli, well-known for its three-tiered wooden roof and prime location very close to Chang Puak Gate on the north edge of the Old City. The main temple hall has been well-restored, although the weathered chedi at the back shows the temple's true age, dating back to around the 14th century. Although Wat Lok Molee is located very central, it’s just hidden out of the way meaning most tourists miss it, allowing it to enjoy a little more peace and tranquillity compared to some of the city’s other temples. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 17:00
- Location: Thanon Manee Nopparat Soi 2, Chiang Mai
Wat Phan Tao
Directly adjacent to Wat Chedi Luang, although there is a wall between the two you can walk through one to get to the other. The name of this temple means "Monastery of a Thousand Kilns", in reference to the numerous Buddha images within the magnificent Wat Chedi Luang. The temple has a viharn, which is one of the few remaining all wood structures in Chaing Mai, this was originally the ho kham whicgh literally translates as ‘guilded hall’ and was the palace of Chiang Mai's king, Chao Mahawong, who ruled from 1846 to 1854.It now functions as a monastery.
- Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00
- Address: Diagonally adjacent to Wat Chedi Luang, Phrapokklao Road
This venerable temple, located at the end of Ratchadamnoen Road, is perhaps the most venerated in Chiang Mai, behind Doi Suthep. While the dusty parking lot and hordes of taxi drivers may be discouraging at first, this temple is certainly worth a look.
Although the main hall of the temple dates back to 1512 and is quite beautiful, the real attraction of this temple is the smaller Lai Kam worship hall behind it. This small building is a wonderful example Lanna (northern) architecture, especially the signature roof design, which is meant to represent a bird's wings.
The interior artwork has recently been restored, allowing visitors an excellent view into the Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00-19:00
- Address: Singharat Road
- Tel: +66 53 24 8604
Wat Phraphutthabat Si Roi is a beautiful temple built near the place that pilgrims found four different footprints believing to be made by Buddha. The footprints are housed in a separate building to the temple and the largest footprint is close to 3 metres, while the smaller ones look more realistic. Wat Phraphutthabat Si Roi is located in Mae Rim, about an hour away from Chiang Mai city and in the countryside. It is not easy to find as you need to drive through rice paddies and small villages but at the entrance there is a large stone Buddha to mark the way. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Location: Sa Luang Subdistrict, Mae Rim
Famous (mostly among locals) for its huge seated Buddha, Wat Phra That Doi Kham is one of the lesser-known temples in Chiang Mai thanks to its slightly out-of-the-way location, but nonetheless just as spectacular as many of the more popular temples in Chiang Mai. The Giant Buddha structure towers nearly 20 metres into the air, painted in bright white and gold colours. The whole temple complex dates back more than 1,000 years, with plenty of shrines, pagodas and relics to explore in the tropical garden area in the foothills of the Doi Suthep Mountain range. It is also known as the ‘Temple of the Golden Mountain’. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 18:00
- Location: Mae Hia, Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0) 8 4373 4440
Just beyond the walls of the old city on the west side stands Wat Suan Dok, which dates back to the 14th century. Built by the King of Lanna on the grounds of his pleasure garden, this temple was originally intended to serve as a retreat for a revered monk from Sukothai.
This temple is a wonderful place for photography and has spectacular vistas of Doi Suthep at sunset. Wat Suan Dok also figures heavily in the legend of Doi Suthep's founding. A Buddha relic was to be housed in its central chedi when it broke in two. The other half was placed on the back of a white elephant, Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00-19:00
- Address: Suthep Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 24 8604
Off the beaten track and more than a little odd is Wat U-Mong, which is located about 1 km south of Suthep Road, west of the canal. The halls of this temple are actually tunnels which crisscross an artificial mound.
The tales say that this temple was built for a highly revered monk who was so in touch with the Buddha that he was a little out of touch with everything else and had a habit of wandering off. The temple grounds are heavily forested, owing partially to the temple's long period of abandonment. Between the maze of tunnels and the overgrown jungle you may find yourself wishing you had Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 17:00
- Address: 135 Moo 10 Suthep, Chiang Mai
This central Chiang Mai temple really stands out from the rest with its shiny coat of silver paint that glistens brightly in the sunlight. The tips of the stupas are solid silver and at night they have a neon light display which turns the temple into multiple colours – a stunning sight indeed. The temple complex actually dates back to the 16th century, although the main silver building is much newer, with additional halls and monks' buildings nearby. There is also a silver-working school housed here, which helps to pass on the traditions which led to the temples creation. Find it just south of the Old City walls on Wualai Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 21:00
- Address: 100 Wulai Road (next to the Wualai Saturday Walking Street Market)
Located in attractive countryside about five kilometres south of Chiang Mai along the Ping River, Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient city dating back to the eighth-century Haripunchai Kingdom. Later on it served as the capital of the then Lanna Kingdom for a short while until Chiang Mai was chosen to replace it in 1296.
Expect to see many interesting items and structures such as stone tablets with Mon inscriptions, Buddhist sculptures and architecture, earthenware and pottery. Taking a horse-drawn carriage is a popular way to enjoy the ruins although some visitors prefer to take their time to appreciate this large site on foot or by rented bicycle. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- Location: About five km southeast of the Old City (take Route 106, or Chiang Mai – Lamphun Highway, from Chiang Mai City)
- Tel: +66 (0)53 277 322