Wat Ban Den
While Wat Ban Den is 45 km from Chiang Mai, I’ve included it here as the basic way to visit the Wat would be to start from Chiang Mai.
As one of Chiang Mai Provinces largest Wats, it includes an ubosot, viran, meditation hall, kuti, drum hall and several other structures in including 12 chedis. The structures are relatively new but have been built in the traditional Lanna style.
Up until 1988 the Wat was falling into disrepair. During that year a new abbot was added leading to may donations from the local people. Through those donations, the Wat has been completely renovated.
The most impressive structure is the very large teak wood viharn done in the Lanna style. It has a 3 tiered blue roof with golden bargeboards with intricate wood carving decorations.
Many of the other buildings are ornately decorated with Lanna style wood carvings and mythical creatures. Several are guarded by Naga serpents while Singha (large white lions) guard other areas.
Another of the features of this Wat are the 12 chedis located here, each of which represents one of the 12 zodiac animals. Ancient custom says that everyone should visit the zodiac chedi that represents their animal sign because upon death their spirit will stay in that chedi.
To visit Wat Ban Den you’ll need to arrange a taxi or similar transportation to get you the 45 kms from Chiang Mai. Be sure to arrange a round trip or you may find yourself stranded there!