Small Chiang Mai Temples

Sep 19, 2014

Eat Walk Talk Tour has article has written about Chiang Mai temples before. We are going to talk about Chiang Mai temples again, but focusing on small and unique temples that the tour companies and tourists overlook or do not know that those Chiang mai temples were existing there.

They are just small temples but have a unique design created by a local artist in the old days.

Wat Phra Sing

Visiting the smaller temples in Chiang Mai can be a rewarding and enriching experience, offering a more intimate and authentic glimpse into the city’s cultural and religious heritage. While Chiang Mai is known for its larger and more famous temples, exploring the smaller ones can provide a unique perspective and a sense of tranquility.

Chiang mai temple merit marking

Eat Walk talk Tour proud to introduce top Chiang Mai temples that we love as follow.

Wat Lok Molee

Wat Lok Molee was founded during the late 14th century, around the year 1367, by King Saen Muang Ma, one of the early rulers of the Mangrai dynasty that ruled over the Lanna Kingdom. The temple was established outside the city walls of Chiang Mai, and its name “Lok Molee” is believed to refer to the cremation site of royal family members.



Wat Lok Molee architecture

The temple’s architecture and design reflect a blend of Lanna and Burmese styles, which were influenced by the historical interactions between the Lanna Kingdom and neighboring regions, including Burma (present-day Myanmar). This blend of architectural styles is evident in the chedi and other structures within the temple complex.

The main chedi is surrounded by a spacious courtyard with lush gardens and trees, creating a peaceful atmosphere. Visitors can walk around the chedi and admire the intricate details on its exterior.

The temple complex includes an assembly hall or viharn. The viharn at Wat Lok Molee is known for its elegantly carved wooden doors and windows, which showcase traditional Lanna craftsmanship.

wat lok molee

Wat Lok Moli and Monarchy

Wat Lok Moli is known to have strong connections with Chiang Mai’s royal family. The temple grounds contain the remains of several Lanna kings and members of the royal family, making it a significant funerary site. The temple played a role in honoring and commemorating the city’s rulers.

Like many historical temples, Wat Lok Moli has undergone various restorations and renovations over the centuries. These efforts have helped preserve the temple’s architectural and artistic features. Some of the renovations were carried out during the 19th century under the reign of King Rama IV of Thailand.

Wat Lok Moli has been a center of Buddhist worship and cultural activities for generations. The temple’s viharn (assembly hall) houses ancient mural paintings that depict scenes from Buddhist stories, local legends, and historical events. These murals provide insights into the beliefs and cultural practices of the Lanna people.

wat lokmoree chiang mai
wat lokmoree chiang mai

Why this small temple is famous for tourist?

In recent years, Wat Lok Moli has become a popular destination for tourists seeking a quieter and less crowded temple experience in Chiang Mai. Its tranquil setting and historical significance make it a peaceful place to explore and appreciate the region’s heritage.

The temple stands as a testament to Chiang Mai’s rich history and cultural diversity. Its architecture, art, and connections to the Lanna royal family make it a valuable part of Thailand’s cultural heritage.


Wat Lok Moli is located just outside the old city walls of Chiang Mai, making it relatively accessible to visitors exploring the city’s historical sites. If you’re staying within the old city of Chiang Mai, Wat Lok Molee might be within walking or cycling distance, depending on your location.

Chiang Mai is a pedestrian-friendly city, and exploring on foot or by bicycle can be a great way to discover hidden gems. Tuk-tuks and songthaews (shared red trucks) are popular modes of transportation in Chiang Mai. You can negotiate with a tuk-tuk driver or find a songthaew with the “Chang Puak Gate” or “Chang Phueak Gate” sign. Ask the driver to take you to Wat Lok Molee, and they should be able to drop you off near the temple entrance.

Wat Lok Moli , Chiang mai
wat lokmoree chiang mai

Wat Srisupan

 The temple’s official name is Wat Srisupan Waram Woraviharn. However, it is more commonly referred to as the Silver Temple due to its unique feature of being adorned with intricate silver artwork.

History and value creation for community

Wat Srisupan’s history is intertwined with its unique silver artwork. The temple’s silver-coated exterior and intricate silver decorations are thought to have been added during renovations and restoration work carried out in more recent times.

Wat Srisupan was founded during the late 15th century, towards the end of the Lanna Kingdom’s rule in northern Thailand. It was established in the Wiang Kaen district of Chiang Mai. The temple was constructed as a place of worship and spiritual practice for the local community. It served as a hub for religious activities, ceremonies, and Buddhist teachings.

monk craft work


The temple’s main viharn houses a large Buddha image in the meditation posture. The Buddha statue is situated on an elevated platform and is surrounded by smaller Buddha images, as well as offerings from worshippers.

Activity in temple

Wat Srisupan is not only a place of worship but also a center for cultural and spiritual activities. The temple hosts events, workshops, and meditation sessions, providing opportunities for visitors to learn about Buddhism, engage in meditation practices, and immerse themselves in Thai culture.


Wat Srisupan is especially vibrant during the annual Loy Krathong Festival, a Thai holiday where people release decorated floats into rivers and waterways to pay respects to the water spirits. The temple’s proximity to the Ping River makes it a popular spot for this festival.

The temple is located outside the city wall. It’s situated on Wualai Road, which is known for its Saturday Walking Street Market. Adjacent to the temple, there is a marketplace where you can find various silver items and handicrafts for sale. These items can make for meaningful and unique souvenirs of your visit to the Silver Temple. The temple becomes a center of Northern Thai to practice and become the silversmith. 

This is one place which is highly concerned about social care and support. They joined with other temples to have developed a community awareness support part of which is the rejuvenation of the silver crafting industry.

Silver temple in chaing mai - craft work
Silver temple in chaing mai - craft work
Silver temple in chaing mai - craft work

Wat Umong

Wat Umong, also known as the “Tunnel Temple,” is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It has a unique history and features that set it apart from many other temples in the region.

Wat Umong Chiang mai


Wat Umong is believed to have been founded in the late 13th century, during the reign of King Mangrai, the founder of the Lanna Kingdom. The temple was established by King Mangrai’s trusted advisor, a monk named Thera Chan, who sought a peaceful and secluded location for meditation and retreat.

What is Umong word?

One of the most distinctive features of Wat Umong is its underground tunnel system. The temple was designed to provide a serene and conducive environment for meditation and contemplation.

Wat Umong Chiang mai

The tunnels, which run beneath the temple’s main chedi and surrounding grounds, are said to represent the complexity of the human mind. The tunnels of Wat Umong are adorned with intricate murals that depict various Buddhist teachings, legends, and stories.

The main chedi of Wat Umong is said to enshrine relics of the Buddha. The temple’s architecture showcases a blend of Lanna and Sri Lankan influences. The chedi is surrounded by a tranquil garden area, which includes a pond and various meditation spots.

While Wat Umong continues to be a place of meditation and spiritual practice for monks, it also welcomes visitors seeking a serene and contemplative environment. The temple’s tranquil setting and historical significance make it a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

In recent years, Wat Umong has offered meditation retreats for both beginners and experienced practitioners. Those retreats provide participants with the opportunity to learn and practice meditation techniques in a supportive environment.

These murals provide insights into the cultural and religious beliefs of the time and are a valuable historical and artistic asset. The tunnels and other structures have been maintained to ensure that visitors can still experience the temple’s original atmosphere.

Wat Umong Chiang mai - meditaion center
Wat Umong Chiang mai
Wat Umong Chiang mai


The temple is situated at the foothills of Doi Suthep mountain, which is located to the west of the city center of Chiang Mai. It’s not far from the popular area of Nimmanhaemin Road and Chiang Mai University. It is very easy to travel there by Tuk-tuks, Songthaews (shared red trucks) ,Taxi and motorbikes.

Wat  Ton Kwen

 This temple has an official name as Wat Inthrawat which is in the countryside of Chiang mai. Currently, it is a temple that does not have monks. It was built to serve as a camping place for the procession of Sri Chom Thong in the tradition of the procession of God into Wiang.


wat ton kwen chiang mai plam tree

Design and architecture

The temple has a classical Lanna style layout. The main hall is called Wiharn decorated with wood craft and surrounded with the gallery hall. The temple was built in 1850 by Thai Lui influential. The temple is 10 kilometers away from Chiang Mai which is in Ban Ton Kwen in Hang Dong district. The temple opens daily; 08:00-18:00 hr.

Inside is enshrined the President on an elaborately patterned glass pedestal. Of interest is the Chaturmuk pavilion, which is found only one in the north. In addition, the traditional Lanna art within this temple is considered a complete and valuable prototype. 

From the beauty of the past passed down through a long time, it inspired architects to use it as a model to design the Royal Presidential Hall, which stands in the middle of the Royal Park Rajapruek, a distinctive symbol that captivates both Thais and foreigners. Many times, the charm of this temple fascinates the director of a television series into beautiful scenes. In many dramas with content about Lanna glasses.

wat ton kwen chiang mai
wat ton kwen chiang mai

Wat Ched Yod (Wat potharam)

Wat Jed Yod is situated a short distance to the northwest of the old city walls of Chiang Mai. The temple’s official name is “Wat Photharam Maha Viharn”. The reason for the name of the temple is that when King Somdej Lokraj heard a sermon from the Sihalese Buddhist Monastery.


One of the most distinctive features of Wat Jed Yod is its unusual architectural style. The main chedi (stupa) is modeled after the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. The temple complex also features other traditional Lanna-style buildings.


This is an old Chiang Mai temple, was built in 1453 by King Tilokkarat. In 1477 , this temple was hosted the eighth meeting of the World Buddhist Council, convened to clarify conterminal matters.


This temple has wonderful lower base relief stucco decoration. There is a large Bodhi tree located near the pagoda can worship the Bodhi tree crutches for auspiciousness. The pagoda containing the body of King Tilokkarat is located behind the temple.

Around the temple and design

At the entrance to the temple ,the art of the mega arch that is interesting and seeable is the molding pattern, decoration of the arch frame and the tail of the arch that is the assembly of the arch on both sides.

The cathedral is an archaeological site of great importance in this temple. His Majesty King Tilokkarat favored it to be used as a meeting place for Mahathera throughout the Kingdom of Lanna Thailand. In the Tripitaka is the 8th Atma Sangkhaina in the world. The cathedral was established in 2020.

In addition, it is an annual temple for people born in the year of Ma Seng or the Year of the Small Snake. The relics of this year’s birthday are the Bodhi Throne, Mahabodhi Chedi Temple, Bihar in India. But since the place is so far away, The Seven Yod Pagoda with similar characteristics is the relic of people born this year instead.

The temple opens daily 08:00-18:00 hr.  If coming from the city via Huay Kaew Road, at Rin Kham intersection (with Maya Mall), turn right towards the highway road, not far to see a red light. When you turn suddenly, keep right to enter the temple.

Wat Palad

Wat Palad is situated on the slopes of Doi Suthep mountain, not far from the more famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It’s often visited in conjunction with a trip to Doi Suthep due to its proximity. Unlike some of the more crowded and touristy temples in Chiang Mai, Wat Palad offers a tranquil and serene atmosphere. The temple is surrounded by nature and provides a peaceful retreat for meditation and reflection.

Jungle forest

The temple is nestled within a lush forest, and the journey to reach it involves a peaceful walk through the trees. The trail leading to the temple is well-marked and features beautiful scenery.

Wat Palad is believed to have been established during the late 14th or early 15th century. It was originally founded as a forest meditation retreat for monks seeking solitude and tranquility.  The architecture and design of Wat Palad reflect the Lanna and Lao cultural influences of the region. The temple’s structures are characterized by their wooden craftsmanship, intricate carvings, and traditional roofing styles.



At certain points in its history, Wat Palad fell into disrepair and was abandoned. It wasn’t until the 20th century that efforts were made to restore and revitalize the temple. Local communities, along with Buddhist devotees and conservationists, played a role in restoring the temple to its former glory.

Over the years, various restoration projects have been undertaken to preserve the temple’s architectural heritage and natural surroundings. These efforts have allowed visitors to experience the beauty and historical significance of Wat Palad.

Wat Palad provides a serene backdrop for learning about Buddhist teachings and practices. You can take time to read informational signs about Buddhism and its principles as you explore the temple. The temple’s serene and secluded environment makes it an ideal place for meditation and introspection. Many visitors come to the temple to find a quiet space for mindfulness and contemplation.

One of the main attractions of Wat Palad is the journey to the temple itself. The trail leading to the temple is a moderate hike that takes you through a lush forest and past beautiful waterfalls and streams. The hike provides an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Along the trail to Wat Palad, you’ll encounter small waterfalls and streams. You can take a break to cool off and enjoy the refreshing natural beauty.

If you visit Wat Palad early in the morning, you might have the opportunity to participate in the traditional practice of offering alms to the monks. This is a meaningful way to engage with the local Buddhist community. The temple is usually open during daylight hours 06:00-18:00 hr.

Visiting small temples in Chiang Mai can indeed be a wonderful idea if you’re looking for a peaceful and authentic experience. Less touristy temples often offer a serene and tranquil environment that allows you to connect more deeply with the spiritual and cultural aspects of the region. Smaller temples often provide a more authentic glimpse into the local way of life and religious practices. You may have the opportunity to interact with monks or local worshippers, gaining insights into their daily routines and rituals.

When visiting small temples, it’s important to be respectful of the sacred space and the people who worship there. Remember to dress appropriately by wearing modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check for any local customs or guidelines before your visit.

If you like some of Chiang mai temples above, plan your trip ahead, talk to your tour operator, or your tour guide. I am sure that you will love the place.

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