Historic Site in Chiang Mai

Old City Temples

Explore Chiang Mai's Old City for historic Lanna temples with simple beauty and calm courtyards.

Chiang Mai's Old City Temples are important symbols of the city's spiritual and historical identity. Located within the ancient city walls, these temples serve as active places of worship and maintain the art and architecture of the Lanna era. Each 'wat' offers a unique view of northern Thailand's history, with beginnings dating back to the founding of Chiang Mai in the 13th century.

The Old City has over 30 temples that display the heritage of the Lanna Kingdom with their detailed woodwork and Naga serpent staircases. The well-known Wat Phra Singh houses a venerated Buddha image and is recognized by its golden exterior and preserved murals.

Additionally, visit Wat Chedi Luang where the large chedi, despite earthquake damage, still stands tall. Here, visitors can have conversations with monks, increasing their understanding of Buddhism and monastic life.

Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai's oldest temple, is known for its Elephant Chedi and crystal Buddha. The quieter, yet calming Wat Phan Tao made of teak, provides a relaxing space.

These temples are busy centers of culture. Within their courtyards, one might see locals giving offerings to monks, children practicing traditional dances, or craftsmen perfecting their skills.

Hours and Dress Code: Temples are usually open from 6 am to 5 pm. A respectful dress code is required; shoulders and knees must be covered. Entry is free, but donations are welcomed.

Getting There: The Old City is easily walkable on foot, but songthaews and tuk-tuks can be found without trouble. Bicycle rentals are also an option around the city.

Visiting the Old City Temples of Chiang Mai offers a strong connection with the city's spirit and a pause from the modern pace.

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