Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Temples and Attractions

 Wat Suan Dok, built in late 14th century, houses several structures of historical significance. Among them include the principal pagoda that enshrines the Buddha’s relics, a garden of whitewashed mausoleums housing the ashes of late Chiang Mai rulers and a large open-air wiharn (assembly hall).

The temple is found outside the old city wall, about 1km east of Suan Dok Gate on Suthep Road. Built by a King of Chiang Mai on the grounds of his pleasure garden, this temple was originally intended to serve as a retreat for a revered monk from Sukothai.

Read More

Wat Suan Dok Highlights

From the main street, the mausoleum garden containing whitewashed pagodas fashioned in exquisite Lanna style is clearly visible. These mausoleums belong to past rulers and important nobles of Chiang Mai, starting with King Kawila (r.1802-1813) to Princess Kokaew Prakaykavil (1934-2005).

Next to the mausoleum garden is the golden principal pagoda, built in Lankan style and set on a raised whitewashed square base. On each of the four sides, there’s an opening which allows access to the pagoda. Inside, it houses the Buddha’s relics brought over from another temple in Sukhothai.

The assembly hall – an open-air pavilion with low, sweeping roofs and wrap-around terraces – lies next to the principal pagoda. Its large, open-sided structure is considered unique, as the assembly halls are almost always closed structures. Inside the assembly hall, the two main Buddha images, one in a sitting meditation posture and the other standing, face the opposite directions. A smaller Buddha image, set right in front of the sitting Buddha, is in similar style.

The principal Buddha image is housed inside the ordination hall. Sitting at 4.7 metres tall, it is cast in the ancient Chiang Saen style.

Good to Know about Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok is a wonderful place for photography and has spectacular vistas of Doi Suthep at sunset. The temple also figures heavily in the legend of Doi Suthep's founding. A Buddha relic was to be housed in its principal pagoda when it broke in two. The other half was placed on the back of a white elephant, which climbed Doi Suthep and then died. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was founded on the site of the elephant's demise.

Wat Suan Dok

  • Location: Suthep Road, about 1km east of Suan Dok Gate
Hide Map Show Map
Rate This Place: ( votes)

Related Pages

  • Wat Chedi Luang

    Wat Chedi Luang

    Built sometime between 1385 and 1402, during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, 7th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty, Wat Read More»

  • Wat Phra Singh

    Wat Phra Singh

    Wat Phra Signh is perhaps the second most venerated temple in Chiang Mai after Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It houses three Read More»

  • 10 Must-See Temples in Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai is not exactly short of a temple or two. There are over 300 ‘wats’ scattered throughout the city and Read More»

  • Where to Stay in Night Bazaar

    Make your visit to Chiang Mai an unforgettable experience with a comfortable stay at a hotel or resort perfectly suited Read More»

  • Mae Sa Waterfall

    Mae Sa Waterfall

    Mae Sa Waterfall is an impressive eight level waterfall with a small plunge pool for swimming in. It is popular with Read More»

  • 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Chiang Mai Old City

    10 Best Luxury Hotels in Old City

    The best luxury hotels in Chiang Mai Old City make the most of the stunning architecture and rich traditions for which Read More»

We try to provide free information that is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. However, if you are planning to travel it's a good idea to double check specific dates and information to avoid surprises.