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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Must Visit Temples in Chiang Mai – Delights for the Culture Lover
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Visit Temples in Chiang Mai – Delights for the Culture Lover

You will find a number of engrossing cultural attractions in the area of Chiang Mai. Amongst these are several intriguing temples that discerning sightseers should make it a point to visit.

1

Wat Chedi Luang

A popular temple that is situated amidst the centre of Chiang Mai's Old Town, this shrine attracts a stream of devotees and sightseers. The chedi (stupa) of this temple was constructed as long ago as the 14th century and at the time of its construction was the largest manmade structure in the local kingdom. For a period of time commencing in 1468, this temple housed the greatly venerated Emerald Buddha statue. The interior of the main temple in this compound is also an attraction, featuring a splendid array of colours and numerous features of interest. Visitors will notice three large golden images as well as a number of smaller statues.

2

Wat Phra Singh

The initial constructions at this temple were made by order of the monarch Phayu who built a chedi at this site to house his father's ashes. In the course of time, other buildings were constructed here and the temple was accorded its modern name in the year 1367 after an image of Phra Buddha Singh was installed at the site. This temple is renowned for featuring buildings that display the traditional Lanna design elements and culture. As you enter the compound you will notice a library building with a wooden upper section and a stone foundation featuring rich stucco decorations.

3

Wat Phan On

This attractive shrine is another temple located in the Old Town. This temple was originally constructed in the year 1501 whilst the gilded chedi dates from 2007. You will see that this chedi has been embellished with a gleaming golden coating and features red alcoves containing golden figurines creating a lovely contrast. Visitors will notice that the temple features a number of beautiful decorations such as golden engravings on a red backdrop on the windows and doors. You will also notice golden embellishments on black pillars lining the main chamber. Another attraction in this locality is the Sunday night marketplace which is situated nearby.

4

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

This well-known temple dates to the 14th century and is regarded as a famed symbol of the Chiang Mai area. However, the handsome principal chedi of this temple to be seen at the centre of its courtyard was constructed in the 16th century whilst the entire complex was extensively refurbished in the 1990s. The temple is located atop a mountain and you must still climb as many as 300 stairs to reach the temple compound. However, your exertion will be amply rewarded by the many attractions of this place of worship, including a host of statues and shrines. One of the accommodation choices that you could consider from which this temple can conveniently be visited would be the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, amongst the available options in the region when it comes to staying at a Chiang Mai hotel.

5

Wat Buppharam

Wat Buppharam is a temple that is rather different in appearance from many of the temples to be seen in the vicinity and elsewhere in Thailand. This is due to the fact that this part of the nation of Thailand was at one time occupied by Burmese invaders; the Burmese monks who made their home at this temple modified its structure and appearance in accordance with their traditions. You will notice Burmese influences in the four-century old chedi which displays distinctive elements typical of this culture including the golden guardian lion figures. You will see that the principal temple building is a handsome structure featuring Buddha images and interesting carvings.

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