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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 24, 2021
Headline for Must-Visit Temples in Chiang Rai - Top Temples to Explore in Chiang Rai
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Must-Visit Temples in Chiang Rai - Top Temples to Explore in Chiang Rai

Home to some of Thailand's most spectacular temples, Chiang Rai is a dream destination for all culture and heritage buffs. Here's a rundown of some of the area's most iconic temples every visitors must tour at least once during a Chiang Rai holiday.

1

Wat Klang Wiang

Tipped to be one of the most elaborate and an ornate temple in the region, the rich decor of Wat Klang Wiang is what sets it apart from similar temples building during the same era. Home to a Viharn, Ubosot and a Chedi, the temple is built in the classical Northern Thailand architectural style with guard pillars and a city pillar.

2

Wat Huai Pla Kang

Travellers based at Hotel Sooknirund or any similar hotel in Chiang Rai should venture down to Wat Huai Pla Kang, one of the most coveted places of worship in the area. As a sacred spot for all Buddhist devotees, the temple which was only built in 2001 was deemed a "National workplace of Buddhism" by the local government.

3

Wat Jed Yod

Regarded as one of the most visually arresting temples in all of Chiang Rai, the Wat Jed Yod temple is believed to be a life-size representation of Bodhgaya's Mahabodhi Temple. The picturesque exterior facade of the temple features iconic sculptures while the central hall in the temple is cave-like and is supported by not one but 7 Chedis.

4

Wat Ming Muang

Having been abandoned in the early 1980s, Wat Ming Muang was rebuilt in the modern Lanna architectural mode in recent times. The topmost pillar features an engraving of the four faces of Brahma which was a relic uncovered in the ruins of the former temple's Vihara.

5

Wat Rong Khun

Often referred to as the perfect amalgamation of modern and traditional building styles, Wat Rong Khun is another captivating creation designed by none other than Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. The main attractions at the temple include the many art installation-like mirror decorations and paintings.

6

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Regarded as one of the oldest religious institutions in all of Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is known to have been constructed to house various holy remains of Lord Buddha. Elephants have always been a part of this temple's heritage while some of its key features include the Golden Chedi located in the heart of the temple.

7

Wat Phra That Chedi Luang

Sacred and revered by all residents, the Wat Phra That Chedi Luang temple is also one of the largest temples in Chiang Rai. Towering above the town at a height of 88m and with a width of 24m, the temple is easily the tallest religious attraction in the area. Having been badly damaged during the earthquake of 1545, the Chedi as it stands today is half its original length.

8

Wat Phra That Chom Kitti

Noted for its crooked and slanting pagoda, the Wat Phra That Chom Kitti temple is home to one of the largest Buddha images in Chiang Rai. Housed in the Ubosot, the sculpture sits under a fake Bodhi tree in this compound which is home to not one but two temples. Wat Phrathat Chom Kitti also encompasses Wat Chom Chaeng, which is a more modern structure which was built in the style of Chiang Saen.

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