Wat Chedi Luang: Explore a Temple inside the City Walls of Chiang Mai

Temples in Chiang Mai are like Duomos in Italy or sea lions on the Galápagos Islands, they are everywhere. You will spot them next to convenience stores, tucked in between souvenir shops and smack dab in the middle of bustling business sections of town.

Even though there was not a Chiang Mai temple that quite compared to the unconventionality of the White Temple in Chiang Rai, there was one wat inside the city gates that warranted a closer look.
Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Temple

Right across the street from my home away from home, the 3 Sis, sat Wat Chedi Luang, an eye-catching Buddhist temple. How convenient. It’s positioning, inside the center of the city walls and next to my hotel, made it incredibly easy to visit daily. And I did. Once would not have been nearly enough.

Walking through the gates of the stone white barrier I was greeted by a jovial looking Buddha, a ceramic pot filled with several incense offerings and one very lazy dog.

He may have found the absolute perfect meditation/napping spot.
Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Temple

Beyond the entrance, and the sleepy pooch, was a large viharn (sermon hall) that donned naga dragons at it’s doorstep.

I took my shoes off, a requirement to entering this sacred temple, and stepped inside the grand building. The interior of the wat was a frenzy of flowers and gold.
Dragon at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Buddha at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai
Interior of the Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

After getting my fill of the gilded interior, I exited and walked to the back side of the vihran where there was a striking sight.

The ruined brick chedi that sits behind the grand assembly hall was incredibly impressive with its monumental stairway, elephants standing guard and stone nagas. Stunning.Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Thailand
Bells at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

As I approached the chedi, there were locals peddling strands of  flowers to leave as an offering. Of course, I bought one and walked closer to the stairs to place it close to a naga.
Dragon at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Dragon at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai | Annette White

I continued to explore the perimeter, every step being just as notable as the last: metal bells hung, sitting Buddhas peaked through archways and active worshippers gathered at the bottom of the steep, stone stairs.
IMG_8081 (800x533)
Prayers at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai Thailand

On my last day in Chiang Mai, I went back to Wat Chedi Luang in an attempt to participate in their Monk Chat, a time that is set aside for the monks to have conversation with visitors and practice their English.

Unfortunately, on this particular day there was one guy intensely questioning the one and only monk. So instead, I spent an hour reading the blue inspirational signs posted around Wat Chedi Luang that said things like “Wisdom is the knowing what to do next”, “Better an ugly face than an ugly mind” and “Do good, receive good; do evil, receive evil”.
Monk Chat at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang MaiMonk Chat at Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai

Have you ever explored a temple in Thailand?

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Helpful Resources

Map of Chiang Mai

DETAILS: Wat Chedi Luang is smack dab in the middle of Chiang Mai’s city center walls and can easily be gotten to via tuk tuk, songthaew or by foot. There was never a problem with a transportation driver knowing where it was when I simply said “Wat Chedi Luang”. That was not the case with some of the smaller wats.
Address: 103 Phra Pok Klao Road | Phra Singh, Chiang Mai, Thailand | Map
2018-12-27T13:21:18+00:00April 15th, 2014|Categories: Asia, Thailand, TRAVEL|Tags: , , |


  1. Jen Seligmann April 16, 2014 at 3:10 am - Reply

    Great post Annette. I’ve been feeling really drawn the Chang Mai of late. I feels like the whole blogging world has visited there over the past few months and I feel like I am missing out. It looks amazing so I am going to have to get myself there soon I think!

    • Annette White April 16, 2014 at 4:24 am - Reply

      It does attract a lot of travelers due to its affordability. But, I also found the people so friendly, the food delicious and the foot massages heavenly!

  2. Melissa April 16, 2014 at 5:00 am - Reply

    What a stunning place to have so close to your hotel! If I were a dog, I would nap here every day, too. Beautiful photos.

    • Annette White April 16, 2014 at 6:28 am - Reply

      It was pretty awesome that as I was eating breakfast on the hotel patio my view was of Wat Chedi Luang!

  3. Sucheta April 16, 2014 at 7:01 am - Reply

    This reminds me a lot of Bali, Indonesia. They have 3 temples per capita & after a couple of days, the novelty of stepping inside them & taking photos fades away, although there are some extremely beautiful ones on the beaches. You can feel the spiritual energy of the island.

    • Annette White April 16, 2014 at 7:33 am - Reply

      That is what I would imagine of Bali, loaded with temples!

  4. Ryan April 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    I’ve been there! =P Living in Chiang Mai now. Even though there are hundreds of temples, this is definitely a beautiful one!

    • Annette White April 17, 2014 at 11:52 pm - Reply

      I was only there for a few weeks, but could absolutely see living there for a while. I’d eat pad thai and get foot massages every day!

  5. iluvtour.com April 23, 2014 at 7:50 am - Reply

    hey you should come to malaysia. One of our team is a Tour Guide in Kuala Lumpur. It would be nice to meet you. We can show you around Kuala Lumpur.

    • Annette White April 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I would love to, I have heard wonderful things about Malaysia!

  6. MACH May 13, 2014 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Interesting info and photos. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Escape Hunter January 7, 2015 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Lovely photos, great details on the statues!
    I can’t count how often I’ve dreamed of visiting northern Thailand. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai… I hope eventually I’ll set off for the great trip!

    • Annette White January 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      I really am a big fan of Northern Thailand, I hope you make it there one day!

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