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Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Temples

Umong Temple

Umong Temple Tranquility and Nature

umong temple, wat umong

Umong temple is a unique temple outside from the touristic visit and very much worth the visit.

Set in the jungle, nestled at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain, yet just a couple of kilometers from Thapae Gate, there is a certain air of mystery that reigns around Umong Temple. From the parking area, you will have to walk through a big park before getting to the main chedi and the tunnels.

umong temple, wat umong
umong temple, wat umong

One of the most beautiful aspects to this temple is its tunnels, dating back to the 13th century. After removing your shoes, the air, which smells of spicy incense and damp earth, becomes obviously cooler as you walk through one of the three entrances. Inside, there are a few Buddha statues in enclaves where locals will leave flowers and pray.

umong temple, wat umong
umong temple, wat umong

The bell shaped chedi above the tunnel can be reached by a stairway. You can walk from this chedi to the North, above the tunnels, to see a fine Buddha image cast in the ascetic style. Umong temple is home to a famous meditation center, that is why the area is so quiet and relaxing. If you are interested in learning more about Buddhism in general, there is a monk chat every Sunday at 3pm. A western monk, who has studied and lived in Thailand for a long time will answer any question you have.

umong temple, wat umong
umong temple, wat umong

Another interesting aspect of Umong temple is the large pond replete with fish, turtles and birds. You can cross the bridge to the little island and feed the animals. A short trail takes you around the pond. The natural aspect of the temple makes it a great place to observe birds. Wat Umong is only 10 minutes’ drive from the city’s center.

Categories
Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Temples

Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple the jewel of Chiang Mai

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Overlooking the city of Chiang Mai, the 5,283-foot mountain called Doi Suthep is part of the twin-peaked Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park. There was no proper road up the mountain until the mid-1930’s, when a monk named Phra Khruba Srivichai initiated the construction of one, mainly with volunteer labor, to help pilgrims who wanted to visit the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near the summit. This temple offers spectacular views and much lower temperatures even in the hottest months.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Doi Suthep temple is one of the most beautiful temples in the North of Thailand, but it is also one of the most famous amongst visitors. If you wish to discover this beautiful temple in a quiet and more private atmosphere, get there early in the morning. Before 8am the temple is very silent, still bathed in the light of the sunrise and blissfully empty. If you arrive around 7am, you will also have the pleasure of seeing monks returning by foot from the city for their morning alms ceremonies.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Another magical moment of the day to discover Doi Suthep temple is in the evening. The evening monks chanting ceremony is an unforgettable moment to witness (around 18.00).

As Doi Suthep temple has public opening times, you might want to contact your hotel’s receptionist and arrange a tour for these two private moments.

Construction of Doi Suthep temple began in 1386 under King Kuena and was completed within a few years. The temple complex was periodically expanded and embellished over the following centuries.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

According to legend, holy relics discovered during the reign of King Ku Na (1355-85) were placed on the back of a white elephant, which transported them to near by Wat Suan Dok. The elephant was then set free to wander, and it climbed the mountain to the site of the actual temple, were it trumpeted three times, turned around three times, knelt down and then died. The temple was immediately built on the miraculously chosen site.

Wat Doi Suthep is approached by a steep flight of 300 stairs flanked by green trees and guarded by 16th-century Naga (mystic snake) figures. An easier, if less atmospheric, route is via an adjacent cable car.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Enclosed by a frescoes cloister, the upper terrace is home to a tightly-packed complex of small shrines, bells, golden umbrellas and Buddha statues. In the center of the upper terrace is the great chedi, a 16th-century expansion of the 14th-century original. The dazzling gold plated temple is modeled on Wat Phra That Haripunchai in Lamphun (build in the 9th century).

Doi Suthep temple is part of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, and surrounded by forest and rich jungle, supporting some 330 species of birds. From the temple’s lower terrace, you will see spectacular views over the city of Chiang Mai.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

TIPS:

  • Please note that shoes must be removed when entering the temple upper terrace and shoulders must be covered.
  • Other places to be visited around Doi Suthep Temple are Phuping Palace, Mon Tha Than Falls and the Hmong Village.
Categories
Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Temples

Phra That Doi Kham Temple

Phra That Doi Kham Temple is a lovely temple with magnificent views

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

Phra That Doi Kham Temple is a beautiful temple situated on a lush mountainside near Chiang Mai Town.

‘Wat Phra That’ refers to the fact that this temple houses relics of the Buddha, and ‘Doi Kham’ means ‘Golden Mountain’. The sacred temple was built more than 1300 years ago, in 687 A.D. It had been abandoned, but in 1966 villagers discovered a hidden chamber containing many ancient Buddha images of various sizes, and this find prompted a revitalization.

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

In the temple you can find the Buddha image of the success. Named “Luang Por Tun Jai”. Because of this image, most believing Buddhists come to the temple. They want something from the image of success. If the desire is eventually fulfilled, the faithful return to show their gratitude.

You will see people sell jasmine flowers since on the street before reaching the top where temple located. Or you still can buy jasmines for worship in the temple. Do a wish, do things all make your wishes come true. And finally, you wait for success result.

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

The temple’s courtyard containing the chedi and the viharn is partly enclosed by a gallery lined with square green pillars decorated with golden flower motifs. The gallery contains numerous seated Buddha images in various postures seated on white pedestals surrounded by smaller Buddha images. A number of prayer boxes are placed inside the gallery.

The courtyard contains large numbers of bells and very large gongs that visitors can strike. Several large warriors armed with swords similar to those at the Grand Palace in Bangkok and white lion figures or Singha guard the grounds. The viharn contains beautifully carved window panels, its roof is decorated with Naga bargeboards.

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

The large seated Buddha image of Wat Phra That Doi Kham is visible from far, being located on the foothills of the mountains south of Chiang Mai. At 17 meters tall, it’s the largest seated Buddha in Chiang Mai. It’s also larger than a number of other famous giant Buddha images, such as those at Kamakura and Nara in Japan. The Buddha has characteristic Lanna features typical of Buddha images from Northern Thailand, such as a round face and lotus bud shaped crown protrusion.

The temple grounds include a large terrace that gives a vantage point out over fields and towards the city below. You can also find the Hindu gods Vishnu and Ganesha hanging out on the viewing platform and enjoying the scenery.

From the terrace of the temple, visitors could see the view of the Royal Flora Rajchapruk Park where the Thai people honor the show the respect to His Majesty the King of Thailand for his 60th years on the throne with the big cerebration. This is one of the place to visit in Chiang Mai because you could also visit to the park as well as Chiang Mai Night Safari as well.

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

There are different ways to get to Wat Phra That Doi Kham but for the true experience, take the staircase. There are 300 steps from the bottom to get to the temple and the staircase is decorated with a serpent on each side winding down the mountain.

phra that doi kham temple, wat phra that doi kham, wat phrathat doi kham, phrathat doi kham temple

How to get to Phra That Doi Kham Temple

Phra That Doi Kham Temple is quite easy to get to the temple with your own transportation. Just head south on the Canal Road and turn right at the sign for the Night Safari and Ratchaphruek Royal Flower Gardens. You’ll then see the temple up on top of a hill ahead of you. The road twisting up the mountain is not difficult. The easiest way to get there is to hire a taxi. Most tour agencies in Chiang Mai can book for you. 

Entrance fee & opening hours

The entrance fee is only 30 baht per person, Thai nationals are freel. It’s open times are 8:00 until 178:00 daily.