Asia Thailand Chiang Mai Chiang Mai Guide Bangkok Chiang Mai Thailand Islands More to Explore All Chiang Mai Top Chiang Mai Temples to Visit By Suzanne Nam Suzanne Nam Suzanne is a freelance writer who has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has written two guidebooks about travel in the country. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Fact checked by Patrice J. Williams Fact checked by Patrice J. Williams on 06/28/19 Instagram LinkedIn Temple University Patrice J. Williams is a travel and style content creator and fact checker and author of thrift shopping book "Looking Fly on a Dime." TripSavvy's fact-checking on 06/28/19 Share Pin Email There are hundreds of interesting Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai. Some are historically significant, some contain beautiful artwork, some are popular with local Buddhists and some offer foreigners a chance to learn about Buddhism. Here are five worth a visit. When you go, remember that a temple (called a wat in Thai) isn’t just a tourist attraction. Most of Chiang Mai’s Buddhist temples are there to serve Buddhist and the community, so you’ll be expected to wear modest clothing and be quiet. Nearly all Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai are free or ask for a donation. 01 of 05 Wat Chiedi Luang TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre Although the front of the grounds houses new, ornately decorated temple buildings, Wat Chiedi Man is home to the ruins of a 600-year-old temple that was once home to the Emerald Buddha that now resides on the Grand Palace grounds. The brick and stone structure, surrounded by carved elephants, has not been fully restored but was once the tallest building in Chiang Mai. 02 of 05 Wat Pan Tao photo copyright Suzanne Nam This small temple right next door to Wat Chiedi Luang is notable because it’s made entirely of wood. Though it lacks the “bling” many of the city’s other temples are covered in, the elegant wood carvings that decorate Wat Pan Tao are worthy of a visit. 03 of 05 Wat Phra Singh TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre Wat Phra Singh means “Lion Buddha” and that’s what this 600-year-old temple in Chiang Mai’s Old Town is best known for. The large temple grounds also house numerous ornately designed buildings with impressive roof lines and intricate mural work. 04 of 05 Wat Doi Suthep TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre Nestled into the side of Doi Suthep, the large mountain to the west of central Chiang Mai, is this temple filled with hundreds of images of the Buddha, a gleaming gold chiedi and scores of followers praying. Climb the few hundred steps from the base of the temple to get to the top, or take a 30 baht cable car. Continue to 5 of 5 below. 05 of 05 Wat Chiang Man TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre Chiang Mai’s oldest temple was built in 1292 and is a exceptional example of Lanna-style architecture. The golden chiedi surrounded by carved elephants is a favorite among visitors but the ornate red roofs and gold carvings on the newer temple buildings are also exceptional. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit The Perfect Two-Day Itinerary for 48 Hours in Chiang Mai Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand Is Worth the Effort 8 Scenic Nature Parks Around Chiang Mai The Best Time to Visit Chiang Mai The 12 Best Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand Chiang Mai's Wat Chedi Luang: The Complete Guide The 10 Best Day Trips From Chiang Mai, Thailand Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok: the Complete Guide These Are the Top 8 Temples to Visit in Bangkok Feel You're a Part of Something Bigger at These 12 Sacred Sites in Asia Laos' New Year is a Splashing Good Time for Everyone Guide to the Bangkok National Museum in Thailand Must-See Temples in Angkor, Cambodia How to Behave When Visiting the Temples in Thailand Eight Sacred Sites You Should Visit in Southeast Asia Where Can You Find the Largest Temple in the World?