Chiang Mai City Temples
Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, Thailand
This half day tour takes in Chiang Mai's best known and most impressive temples. Accompanied by your own English-speaking guide, learn more about the history of Chiang Mai and northern Thai culture and craftsmanship.
Begin your tour by heading to the center of Chaing Mai where you will visit the Tapae Gate. This was once one of five gates into the walled city, and is now the main one, having been the only gate to be fully reconstructed. This is a great spot to start your introduction to the history of Chiang Mai.
From here you will venture onwards by pedal-powered trishaw, stopping briefly at the Three Kings Monument before continuing to Wat Phra Singh. This is one of the city's most revered temples and offers an excellent example of classic Lanna architecture. It is most well known for its beautiful Phra Singh (Lion Buddha) image, which is housed in a small but ornate chapel, and first came to Chiang Mai in the 1360s.
You will then take a stroll to Wat Chedi Luang. This was originally one of the tallest buildings in ancient Chiang Mai, however it took significant damage either in an earthquake or from cannon-fire. Whilst it no longer boasts a towering spire, there has been extensive restoration work to the exterior, including new Buddha images, nagas and elephant statues. The temple was also the previous home of the Emerald Buddha, currently in Bangkok, and visitors can now see a jade replica, which was given as a royal gift in 1995 to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Chiang Mai.
Continue onwards to the city's silver craft neighborhood. Here you can see some of the silversmiths at work, creating murals that are unique to northern Thailand. It is then only a short drive to reach Wat Sri Suphan. The temple was originally built in 1502, and it is often referred to as the Silver Temple due to the ornate silverwork that adorns the walls.
This tour can either be in the morning or afternoon, starting at around 8am or 1pm, lasting approximately four hours. As you will be visiting temples, you will need to cover your shoulders and knees, and you will need to remove your shoes at certain points.