Thought to be the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man is a typical Northern Thai temple, with massive teak columns holding aloft the central sanctuary. The wat has two important Buddha images: one on a marble bas-relief, the other a crystal seated Buddha. They’re visible in a glass cabinet housed in a smaller sanctuary.The Basics
If you only have time to visit a couple of Chiang Mai’s 300 temples, Wat Chiang Man is a good place to start. Besides being one of the city’s oldest temples, this wat is also one of only two to have a lotus pond.
Many sightseeing tours of the old walled city, including those by foot, bicycle, or Segway, make a stop at Wat Chiang Man. For a more in-depth look at Thailand’s Buddhist heritage, opt for a city temples tour, which will typically include visits to Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, and Lai Kham Chapel as well.Things to Know Before You Go
When to Get There
- Wat Chiang Man is a must-visit for spiritual travelers and first-time visitors.
- Remember to dress respectfully with your shoulders and knees covered.
- Give yourself at least two hours to explore the temple grounds.
- How to Get There
- Wat Chiang Man is in the northeastern section of the moated Old City of Chiang Mai, within easy walking distance of most attractions in the Old City. If you’re coming from farther away, hire a tuk-tuk or songtaew (pickup-truck taxi).
Wat Chiang Man is open daily from dawn to dusk. Since it’s located within the Old City walls, plan to visit while you’re in the area exploring nearby attractions such as Wat Phra Singh or the Three Kings Monument. Lanna Features of Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man is an excellent example of the Lanna-style architecture popular in Northern Thailand. The complex’s most notable feature is the Lanna chedi
(Buddhist stupa) supported by buttresses shaped like elephants. The main sanctuary houses the oldest-known image of the Buddha from the Lanna kingdom, made in 1465.