Discover Chiang Mai: Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chedi Luang

Inside Old City, there are more than 30 temples around the area. It is nearly impossible one could have discover so many temples in your trip except you’re a temple hoppers. If you’re in Chiang Mai, the two temples you shouldn’t miss are Wat Phan Tao and Wat Chedi Luang. They are the most visited and popular temples in the old city area of Chiang Mai.

Wat Phan tao

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The Wat Phan Tao is one of the older temples of Chiang Mai found in the old walled center of the city. According to the guide, the first structures were approximately built during the end of 14th century. Wat Phan Tao – meaning “Temple of a Thousand Kilns’ derives its name from the ovens used to cast Buddha images of another temple.

Went there on the first day in Chiang Mai and one of the highlights in this temple which amazed me were the hundreds of Buddha statues lining up on the pond. They also provide a bamboo mini bridge for visitors to walk around and enjoy the view. It was truly an eye opening experience while wandering around the temple. Besides, if you have time to spare – there are monks around would like to invite you for a chat. For me, I didn’t as I look like more towards a local than ‘farang’. Probably they thought I am a Thai.

wat chedi luang

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Another not-to-miss temple while you’re in Old City is the Wat Chedi Luang, one of the most popular and must visit temple while you’re in Chiang Mai. Situated just right beside Wat Phan Tao, it has become one of the famous landmarks in the old city of Chiang Mai. Many visitors skip all temples just to pay their visit to this Wat and even there are crew filming around the area.

As you wander around the chedi, you can easily spot the four naga stairways in each of the cardinal directions. It leads to all tourists to the upper part of the stupas thou I didn’t see any people climbing up the stairs.

(Most of the temples in the old city might incurred certain entrance fee. Do your research first before heading to the temples)


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