ThailandChiang Mai $$$$$ All Year Mostly Outdoor
Religious

Wat Chedi Luang

A 14th century Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. Former home of the sacred Emerald Buddha relic, which now resides in Wat Pra Kaew at the Grand Palace complex in Bangkok. Wat Chedi Luang features three ornate buildings with golden Buddhas, intricate paintings and religious sculptures. 

The main temple structure originally stood 80 meters tall before losing almost half of its height during an earthquake in 1545.

Also within the complex is a wihan which houses a large, 14th century golden Buddha statue and the Chiang Mai Pillar City Shrine which is only accessible to men. The sacred pillar is said to have been handed to the Lawa people from the god Indra to protect against disaster.

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Price

฿40 (USD$1.29)

Time Spent

1hour

Fitness level: Very easy

Hours

6am-5pm7 days

Look Around

Eastern facade of Wat Chedi Luang in the early morningEastern facade of Wat Chedi Luang in the early morning
Western facade of Wat Chedi LuangWestern facade of Wat Chedi Luang
Ancient semi-restored temple
Ornate Buddha statueOrnate Buddha statue
Wall frescoesWall frescoes
Inside Chiang Mai Pillar City shrine
Emerald Buddha replicaEmerald Buddha replica
Exterior of shrine for Emerald Buddha replicaExterior of shrine for Emerald Buddha replica
Monk walking past templeMonk walking past temple
Reclining Buddha statueReclining Buddha statue
Buddha statueBuddha statue
Around the Wat Chedi Luang complex

Who Will Like Wat Chedi Luang

Culture Buff

Admire skillful architecture and stone carvings from the 14th century. Venture inside the temples to see detailed wall paintings and golden statues. Learn Thailand's history before it was founded as the modern country we know today.

Insider Tips For Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang holds regular 'monk chats' for tourists where young buddist monks can be asked questions about Buddhism and Thailand.

Where Is It

103 Prapokkloa Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Open map...

How To Get There

Car

The best way to get to Wat Chedi Luang is via taxi, rideshare, or tuk-tuk.

Driving directions...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Water Bottle
  • Modest clothing. Strict dress code requiring shoulders and knees to be covered. 
Don't:
  • Food should not be consumed on the premises.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: Yes

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Early Morning

Drones

Drones allowed: No

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Backstory

Construction of Wat Chedi Luang began between 1385 and 1402 by King Saen Muang Ma of the Mengrai dynasty. The building was left unfinished after 10 years of construction and later completed in the mid-15th century. At that time, it was the tallest building in the Lanna kingdom standing 82 meters high and 54 meters wide.

Thailand's most sacred relic, the Emerald Buddha was moved to Wat Chedi Leung from Lampang in 1468 where it stayed until 1552 when it was moved again. In 1995, the Thai king gifted Wat Chedi Luang a jade replica of the Emerald Buddha to commemerate the temple's 600th anniversary.

Another sacred relic, the Chiang Mai Pillar City Shrine was moved to Wat Chedi Luang by Chiang Mai's King Chao Kawila in 1800. The city pillar is still honored every May/June in an 8-day festival at Wat Chedi Luang.  

Reconstruction works to repair damage from the 1545 earthquake were carried out in the 1990s but never completed, leaving the unique and recognisable temple slope in its current state. 

Etiquette

  • Wat Chedi Luang is a sacred religious site and all visitors must dress modestly. T-shirts and sarongs can be hired for a &#฿3,647;฿100 (USD$117,685.00) deposit which is refunded upon return of the clothing.
  • Couples must not hold hands, kiss, or show affection within the temple grounds. 
  • Voices should be kept low as to not disrupt the peaceful complex.
  • Buddhist monks dressed in orange robes must be shown respect. Woman must not approach or initiate conversation with a monk.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Rich history. Skillful stone architecture dating back to the 14th century.
  • QR code on ticket booth that links to an information vidio in English, Thai and Mandarin.
  • Ornate wall paintings inside the temple buildings.
  • Modest clothing available for hire. Visitors dressed unsuitably don't need to buy clothing as is required at several Thai temples. The hire fee is a deposit which is later returned.
Could Be Better:
  • Lack of seating and shade. Few places to sit down and escape the Northern Thailand heat. 
Ticket booth at entranceTicket booth at entrance
QR code on side of ticket boothQR code on side of ticket booth
How to access visitor information via smartphone
My itinerary Save View

Oh, you're so close

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Joining only takes a minute and it's... um... free! Plus you get other perks like badges, points, and unicorns.

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