Chiang Mai

The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the Old City contains 38 of Chiang Mai’s temples, including its
The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the
The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but t

The compact Old City can be explored easily on foot or by bicycle. The system of one-way streets can be confusing, but the plan keeps traffic moving quite effectively around the moat, which is crossed by bridges at regular intervals. The moated "one square mile" of the Old City contains 38 of Chiang Mai’s temples, including its oldest and most historic ones. The so-called Lanna style of architecture—stepped eaves, dark teak, and gleaming white stucco construction—has been adopted by the owners of boutique hotels in the Old City, where high-rise buildings are banned.

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  • 1. Wat Chamthewi

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    About 2 km (1 mile) west of Lamphun's center is Wat Chamthewi, often called the "topless chedi" because the gold that once covered the spire...Read More

  • 2. Wat Chedi Luang

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In 1411 King Saen Muang Ma ordered his workers to build a chedi "as high as a dove could fly." He died before the structure was finished, as...Read More

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  • 3. Wat Phra Singh

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Chiang Mai's principal monastery was extensively renovated in 2006. In the western section of the Old City, the beautifully decorated wat contains...Read More

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  • 4. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    As in so many chapters of Thai history, an elephant is closely involved in the legend surrounding the foundation of the late-14th-century Wat...Read More

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  • 5. Wat Phra That Hariphunchai

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The temple complex of the 11th-century Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is dazzling. Through gates guarded by ornamental lions lies a three-tier,...Read More

  • 6. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of the most venerated temples in the north, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is also one of the most striking. Surrounded by stout laterite defense...Read More

  • 7. Wat Chaimongkol

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Although rarely visited, this small temple is well worth the journey. Its little chedi contains holy relics, but its real beauty lies in the...Read More

  • 8. Wat Chedi Yot

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Wat Photharam Maha Viharn is more commonly known as Wat Chedi Yot, or Seven-Spired Monastery. Built in 1455, it's a copy of the Mahabodhi temple...Read More

  • 9. Wat Chiang Man

    Old City | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Chiang Mai's oldest monastery, dating from 1296, is typical of northern Thai architecture. It has massive teak pillars inside the bot, and two...Read More

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  • 10. Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Near the banks of the Wang River, this temple is dominated by its tall chedi, built on a rectangular base and topped with a rounded spire. More...Read More

  • 11. Wat Sri Chum

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Workers from Myanmar were employed in the region's rapidly expanding logging business, and these immigrants left their mark on the city's...Read More

  • 12. Wat Suan Dok

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of Chiang Mai's largest temples, Wat Suan Dok is said to have been built on the site where bones of Lord Buddha were found. Some of these...Read More

  • 13. Wat Umong

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The most unusual temple in Chiang Mai is Wat Umong, dating from 1296. According to local lore, a monk named Jam liked to go wandering in the...Read More

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