tha pae gate

Walking to visit the temples in the old city

  • Post category:General
  • Post last modified:June 4, 2024

Make your leisure day by exploring the old city and finding things to do while we take a break for laundry day after a long journey. Or arrive in Chiang Mai and feel jet lag and need to rest.

Outdoor activities or exposure to natural light can assist in resetting the body’s internal clock and acclimating to the current time after jet lag.

And this is a bucket list to do on your plan. It’s a great activity and lets you appreciate how Chiang Mai was in the past. Of course, it saves time and money.

chiang man flag

Pay respect at the 9 temples.

Thai people frequently do this, especially when celebrating a happy occasion such as New Year’s Day, a birthday, or a major event. They do so in the hopes of good fortune and favorable outcomes. This is the Thai way of looking at things and hoping for the best.

The number nine is good because it has homophones that mean progress and taking a step forward. For example, “new” and “knew” have the same pronunciation but are spelled differently.

wat chedi luang inside

Furthermore, temples with names, or temples with names of Buddha images related to might, victory, fame, and good fortune, are popular places to pay respect.

They also visit the city pillar shrine to pay respects and express their wishes for security and stability. And when you have free time, you will probably visit these temples.

wat phra singha buddha

6 places in Chiang Mai’s Old City.

I’ll only show you a few well-known temples, and then you’ll have to find your own. It could be right next door or just a dot on the walk route. You might come across a unique restaurant, a coffee shop, or a Thai massage. Have fun.

Did you know?

The area of the walled city of Chiang Mai is exactly one square mile (1.6 km.), the length of each side being one mile.

wat chedi luang

1. Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai is one of the more popular temples for foreign visitors. In the heart of the Old City, it is easy to reach as it’s near many hostels and restaurants.

When it was built in the 1400s, this massive red brick structure stood 80 meters tall, making it the tallest building in the Lanna Kingdom—the ruins of a large pagoda that was destroyed in a 1545 earthquake.

The temple was once home to one of Thailand’s holiest Buddhist statues, the Emerald Buddha, which now resides in Bangkok’s Grand Palace.

Wat Chedi Luang has the same name as the temple in Chiang Saen Ancient City in Chiang Rai.

wat phra singha

2. Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh is one of the best temples in Chiang Mai because it’s the Old City’s most visually stunning temple. The temple was constructed in the 1345s.

The temple’s main draw is its gleaming gold architecture, which is in addition to the classic Lanna style. It is sometimes called the Gold Temple for a good reason. This is the most revered temple in the old city.

wat chiang man

3. Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man was built in the 13th century by one of the city’s founders and the first Lanna King, King Meng Rai. The temple is an important part of Chiang Mai’s history, and it houses the city’s oldest mention of its founding date.

Chiang Mai was founded on April 12th, 1296 CE, according to a stone in front of the ordination hall. One of the best Chiang Mai temples is also one of the oldest in the region.

wat pan toa

4. Wat Pan Tao

More modest-looking than its neighbor, Wat Pan Tao, this peaceful wooden temple and garden is much less crowded than others in the Old City.

The Viharn (Chapel) is one of the last remaining all-wood structures in the city. Its charming interior is made out of dark teakwood and was formerly a royal residence.

three kings

5. Three Kings Monument

Located in front of the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center, the monument pays homage to the three founders and kings of Chiang Mai: King Meng Rai, King Ngam Muang of Payao, and King Ram Kham Haeng of Sukhothai.

According to legend, the kings swore an oath of alliance to protect their territories in what was, at that time, the harsh northern Thailand region. Observing the monument, it appears that the three are forming that pact.

tha phae gate

6. Tha Phae Gate

It is the venue for various annual events, both traditional and cultural. There is a wide concrete yard and a seat under the tree. Some pigeons have both pros and cons. The original orange brick wall has been repaired.

Of course, from late morning until late afternoon, you will see tourists taking pictures and sitting or walking around the moat.

Sunday mornings are also a center for eco-friendly exercise, including walking, running, and cycling. In the evening, it is a walking street where people come to shop for local products.

chat with monk

Discover Buddhist secrets from the “real deal.”

If you have even an inkling about Buddhism or want to learn more about religion, then it’s best to speak directly with experts: monks.

Chiang Mai makes having a friendly chat with monks easier than ever. You can learn about their lives and beliefs or ask questions about the meaning of Buddhism.

It’s all part of the “Monk Chat” program offered at a few temples around town, including Wat Suan Dok and Wat Chedi Luang.

yui walk

What’s the best way to see them?

Walking is one option: just a polite dress and walking shoes. Go outside and start walking. No visit to Chiang Mai is complete without a temple tour.

Except for Wat Chedi Luang, the old city area has a lot of temples that are open during the day and have no admission fee.

Suppose your hotel is located in the old city area. This will give you an advantage and allow you to choose your travel time conveniently.

Please be advised to follow local customs, respect beliefs when visiting sacred sites, and dress properly.

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