The verdant hills surrounding cosmopolitan Chiang Mai have long been dotted with hill tribe villages of Thailand’s many ethnic minorities. Visiting one or more of these rural outposts has become a quintessential northern Thailand experience. Here’s what you need to know.
Wat Chiang Man
171 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Chiang Mai, 50200
If you only have time to visit a couple of Chiang Mai’s 300 temples, Wat Chiang Man is a good place to start. Besides being one of the city’s oldest temples, this wat is also one of only two to have a lotus pond.
Many sightseeing tours of the old walled city, including those on foot, by bike, or Segway, make a stop at Wat Chiang Man. For a more in-depth look at Thailand’s Buddhist heritage, opt for a city temples tour, which typically include visits to Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, and Lai Kham Chapel.
Loved this bike tour!
What a great way to experience old Chiang Mai up close and personal! Our guide Nene was very knowledgeable and gave us background of all that we saw. She is also friendly and personable. When we arrived at the office, our bikes were ready to go and in great shape. The trip was well organized and our safety was of utmost importance. We even got to stop for a smoothie at a local’s business connected to her home! I highly recommend this one-of-a-kind excursion!!
juliannam89, Nov 2019
Things to Know Before You Go
Wat Chiang Man is a must-visit for spiritual travelers and first-time visitors.
Remember to dress respectfully with your shoulders and knees covered.
Give yourself at least two hours to explore the temple grounds.
Wat Chiang Man is accessible for both wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Wat Chiang Man is in the northeastern section of the moated Old City of Chiang Mai, within easy walking distance of most attractions in the Old City. If you’re coming from farther away, hire a tuk-tuk or songtaew (pickup-truck taxi). Alternatively, visit as part of a guided city or temple tour.
When to Get There
Wat Chiang Man is open daily from dawn to dusk. Since it’s located within the Old City walls, plan to visit while you’re in the area exploring nearby attractions such as Wat Phra Singh or the Three Kings Monument.
Lanna Features of Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man is an excellent example of the Lanna-style architecture popular in Northern Thailand. The complex’s most notable feature is the Lanna chedi (Buddhist stupa) supported by buttresses shaped like elephants. The main sanctuary also houses the oldest-known image of the Buddha from the Lanna kingdom, made in 1465.
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- Baan Chang Elephant Park
- Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre
- Three Kings Monument (Anusawari Sam Kasat)
- Saturday and Sunday Walking Street Market
- Wat Phra Singh Waramahawihan
- Araksa Tea Plantation
- Wat Chedi Luang
- Thapae Stadium
- Warorot Market
- Elephant Parade House
- Elephant Nature Park
- Art in Paradise
- Mae Ping River
- Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
- Chiang Mai National Museum