Wat Dub Phai
Also known as Dad Phai, this is a smaller temple by the northwest corner of the old walled town and has a viharn, ubosot, chedi and bell tower with a pair of white and gold Chinthe guarding the entrance gate.
Local legend tells of a seriously ill man, centuries ago, who prayed to a Buddha image named Phra Chao Dab Pai and when he recovered be built the Wat giving it the name Wat Dub Phai.
there is a large Lanna style viharn with a 2 tiered roof. Naga heads are at the ends of the golden bargeboards and the stairway has white and gold Naga serpents. The ornate gable is adorned with colorful Lanna style flower motifs. The roof is supported by red columns with elaborate golden motifs. The walls have colorful murals and seated on a raised pedestal is the Wats principle Buddha image in a subduing Mara posture with a mural of a Bodhi tree behind it.
Fenced in behind the viharn is the temples chedi. Resting on a square base and octagonal section of several tiers is the bell topped with a multi-tiered Pathein Htee (Burmese style umbrella). There are several smaller chedis around the fence.
A pair of Naga serpents guard the stairway to the ubosot. Gold on blue Lanna style flower motifs adorn the front gable and colorful murals are on the porch depicting Buddhist stories. There is a Buddha image in the subduing Mara posture seated on a high and elaborate pedestal. On the wall behind it is a mural including a large Bodhi tree. Important events in the Buddha’s life are shown in murals on the walls.
The Wat is located about 400 meters north of Wat Phra Singh.
This is a small, little visited Wat in the center of the old walled town of Chiang Mai. It is an active temple with a vihard, 2 chedis and a kuti. Built over 700 years ago it is also known as Wat Sadue Muang, which translated means “temple of the city naval” referring to its city center location.
The exact age of the Wat is not known but in 1296 King Mengrai of the Lanna Kingdom placed the Chiang Mai City Pillar on the temple grounds. It was not until 1800 that the pillar was moved to Wat Chedi Luang.
Just recently a viharn was built to enshrine the Wats Buddha image which had previously been kept in a simple shed. The viharn is an ornate dark wooden building on a stone base. This Lanna style building has a multi-tiered roof with large boards adorned with Naga serpents, golden chofahon the roof ends, and a front gable decorated in gold colors. Naga serpents guard the entry stairs while ornately decorated pillars support the roof. Enshrined here is the principle Buddha image which was made in 1794 and named Luang Pho Khon.
The oldest structure here are 2 brick chedis. The circular chedi dates back to the 15th century while the octagonal chedi is from the 14th century.
Also on the grounds are the Kuti – monks living quarters.
Finally, there is the Inthakin museum. Here on display are paintings of historical events, various models, old musical instruments, weapons, utensils, pottery and Buddha images.
The Wat is across from the 3 Kings monument and within walking distance from Wat Phra Singh.
Wat Jed Yod
This Wat was built in the 15th century, specifically during the reign of King Tilokkarat of the Lanna Kingdom from 1441 to 1487. The Wat shows many architectural styles including Lanna, Rattana Kosin, Lao, Chinese and Indian. In 1477 the 8th World Buddhist Counsel was held here to discuss the scriptures of Buddhist teachings.
The viharn is the dominate structure and is where the Wat gets its name. Jed Yod means 7 peaks which refers to the 7 chedis on top of the structure. The outer walls are decorated with 70 Theawada figures in different postures. The bas reliefs are sculpted with great detail and while some figures are in very good condition, many others have been damaged or are missing altogether.
Inside the viharn you’ll find a large seated Buddha on a pedestal with a smaller Buddha image in front of it. To one side of the viharn there’s a tunnel like structure enshrining a large sitting Buddha image. Next to the viharn are 2 large gongs with several bells plus the more modern ubosot is to the rear of the viharn.
There are 3 chedis, the largest being of Lanna style and named Phra Chedi has a square shape and a tall spire. It was built in 1487 to enshrine the ashes of King Tilokkarat. The second chedi with a brick base has collapsed while the third with an octagonal shape and multiple levels and is missing its top.
The second viharn is elegant and of Lanna style with a 3 tiered roof with an ornately decorated facade and Naga’s at the stares to guard the entrance. You can also see a large Bodhi tree that is said to have been planted by King Tilokkarat.
The Wat is located 2km northwest from the old walled city.
Wat Ket Karam
there is little information available but it is known that the Wat was built during the Phra Jao Sam Fang Kaen era in 1428. Within the temple area is the Ket Kaew Chua Manee pagoda which is used by locals as a place of worship.
Located beside the Ping River, the grounds also include a museum with exhibits of antiques and old hard to find photo’s telling the story of old Chiang Mai.
Wat Loi Kroh
At about 500 years old, this is another of the temples with very little information available other than to say it was built during the Meng rai Dynasty by Prachao Kau Na and was originally named Wat Roi Kroh.
It is located a short walk from the night bazaar on Loi Kroh Road in Chiang Mai.
Wat Lok Molee
The exact founding date is uncertain but it is generally accepted to date back to the 14th century which makes it one of Chiang Mai’s oldest Wats. One thing is certain, and that is it has one of the largest and most impressive chedis.
The massive chedi was built in 1527 and at the time, dominated the area. Over the years the chedi has been restored many times and today remains in good condition. Sitting on a large square base, each side of the upper part of the chedi has a niche that contains a Buddha image and is flanked on both sides by Theavada figures which are a type of celestial being/ The chedi houses the ashes of several Kings from the Mengrai Dynasty who were the rulers of the Lanna Kingdom from the late 13th century until 1558 when the Burmese invaded the Kingdom.
There was a viharn built at the same time as the chedi however none of the building remains today. The chedi and the brick foundation of the ubosot are the only original structures remaining.
At the end of the 18th century Chiang Mai City was abandoned and the Wat fell into disrepair and was not renovated until the second half of the 20th century.
The viharn at the Wat was built in 2003. It is built in traditional Lanna style and has two large Naga guarding the front entrance. The panels on the front of the viharn have finely sculpted wooden carvings. The large Buddha image is in the seated meditation position.
Also within the Wat is a wooden pavilion and a Kuti.
To get to the Wat – from the north end of the old city, exit through Chang Puak Gate, turn left and go about 400 meters.
Constructed in the mid to later 19th century, this Wat has two styles of buildings. There is a viharn and ubosot built in the Lanna style and then there is a brick viharn and chedi built using Burmese style, plus there is a Ho Trai.
The Lanna style viharn is the main viharn, with its imposing multi-tiered roof, was built in 1865. The ends of the bargeboards have Naga serpents. At the roofs top are chofah, a decorative thin bird, or Garuda. At the stairs to the viharn entrance are 2 white Chinthe guarding the hall. Lanna style wooden panels on the front gable are adorned with detailed carvings of deities and flower motifs in gold on a red background. Large gold lacquered red columns support the roof and to the back of the viharn on a pedestal is the main Buddha image seated in the subduing Mara posture which is surrounded by several smaller Buddha images.
The Lanna style ubosot is next to the viharn. There is an access gate adorned with detailed stuccoed decorations of mythical beings and Lanna flower motifs.
It is fitted with a 2 tiered roof, Nagas adorn the ends of the carved white bargeboards, and the gable is carved with golden flower motifs while the door contains golden flower motifs on a red background.
The Burmese style viharn is a brick building constructed at the end of the 19th century and houses a large seated Burmese style Buddha image.
Behind the Lanna style viharn is an attractive Burmese chedi ornamented with detailed stucco work. This chedi is enclosed by a low wall with large guardian Chinthe in its corners. At the center of each side there is a niche with a standing Buddha image flanked by celestial beings. The top of the viharn has spiral and very ornate Pathein Htee (Burmese style umbrella).
The Ho Trai is a teak building with a multi-tiered roof. Originally the scripture hall, it has been turned into a residence.
To get to Wat Mahawan, from The Phae Gate of the old walled town center, go east for 300 meters. It is opposite Wat Cheatawan.
Wat Pa Pao
Built in 1883, Wat Pa Pao is not like most of the Lanna style temples in Chiang Mai. Located just outside of the old city walls, this is a Shan Burmese style temple. During the 19th century many Shan Burmese migrated to Chiang Mai to work in the teak logging industry. They built Wat Pa Pao as their own place of warship.
A wall surrounds the courtyard which contains a large chedi, a viharn and an assembly hall. Next to the courtyard is a more recent Shan style viharn and another smaller building.
By the way, the name Wat Pa Pao translates to grove of Pao trees temple.
A current brick building, adorned with stuccoed ornaments has replaced the original 19th century wooden viharn. It is topped with an elegant 5 tiered Pyatthat roof decorated with colorful motifs and topped with a golden ceremonial umbrella. There are 3 large Buddha images inside, however it is usually closed to the public.
Next to the viharn you’ll see a large bell shaped chedi which is adorned with small mythical creatures. At each of it corners is a large Qilin, resembling a lion with a dragons head, it is a mythical creature associated with good luck. The chedi is set on several square tiers and a single octagonal tier. The bell is topped with a golden spire and multi tiered Pathein Htee or Burmese style umbrella. Bodies of Qilin and stairways on each side lead to niches which enshrine Buddha images.
Within walking distance, the Wat is located just north of the Northeast corner of the old walled city.
Wat Pan Ping
With practically no information available, Wat Pan Ping (Wat Ban Ping) has a large beautiful golden chedi along with several other buildings, some showing artworks depicting stories from the life of Buddha.
Wat Phan On
Built in 1501 during the reign of the Lanna King, Wat Phan On is one of the smaller temples in Chiang Mai’s old walled city.
There are 3 main structures; the large viharn, a golden chedi (one of the most beautiful in Chiang Mai), and the Kuti or monks living quarters.
The viharn is a large 2 story building with a 3 tiered roof with chofahs at the roof ends. The doors and windows are decorated with fine wood carvings showing mythical creatures. Large Theavada figures decorate the side walls with Naga serpents at the arches of the windows. In the viharn is a large Buddha sitting in the subduing Mara posture. It is a copy of a more famous Buddha image in Phitsanulok. There is another smaller Buddha image directly in front of the larger one.
Supporting the structure are Large square columns decorated with intricate motifs. The walls show several murals including one of the Buddha’s first sermons.
The chedi, named by King Rama IX, was recently built in 2007. It contains red niches on all 4 sides which have enshrined Buddha images. You can also find a very large gong next to the chedi.
The courtyard of the temple has a large Bodhi tree with several Buddha images sheltered by umbrellas.
The many bells around the grounds can be rung by Buddhists or visiting tourists.
The temple can be found on Ratchadamnoe Road which is where the Sunday evening walking street market is held.