The 10 Most Beautiful Temples of Chiang Rai

The temples of Chiang Rai are famous for their beauty and their extraordinary style. Walking through the old town you will discover many beautiful sacred sites, but also outside the city there are some temples really worth visiting. Probably the most famous temple in Chiang Rai is the White Temple, a work of art that is unparalleled. But many more facilities can be visited in Chiang Rai. Only which temples are the most beautiful in Chiang Rai and which temple complex should you have seen?

In this blog post we have summarized the 10 best temples in Chiang Rai. Perfect for your next trip to Northern Thailand.

Wat Phra Kaew

One of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai is certainly the Wat Phra Kaew. This temple complex is one of our absolute favorites of the city. The Lanna-style temple is located in the northern part of the Old Town, just 2 blocks from Wat Phra Singh. Famous is the temple due to the Emerald Buddha, which was discovered in 1436 under a plaster layer. Although the emerald Buddha is now in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, nevertheless, this temple is still beautiful and absolutely worth seeing. There is also a museum in the area, which is nice to visit.

White Temple – Wat Rong Khun

The White Temple of Chiang Rai is one of the most famous, but also one of the most extraordinary temples of Thailand. Completely white, it stands out from a typical Thai temple. But the visit is a bit different than elsewhere. Through a one-way system you walk from hell towards heaven – turning around is not allowed here. Inside you can admire some very bizarre murals, which probably you wouldn`t expect. The White Temple in Chiang Rai is a temple truly worth seeing, which should not be missed on any trip to northern Thailand.

Wat Klang Wiang

Wat Klang Wiang is also one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Rai. Its name means something like “the temple founded in the city center”. And indeed, when the city of Chiang Rai was built in 1874, a survey revealed that Wat Klang Wiang was right in the heart of the city. Today you can admire the finest ornaments, beautiful elephant figures and Buddha statues.

Black Temple – Ban Dam

The complete counterpart to all temples in Chiang Rai is the Black Temple, also called the Black House. This temple is an art project, which was opened to the public only a few years ago. During a temple tour, a kind of dark open-air museum awaits you. Many of the exhibits are made of animal remains, which is sometimes very macabre and often demands good nerves. Nevertheless, the Black Temple is really interesting and is part of every travel program for Chiang Rai.

Blue Temple – Wat Rong Seur Ten

Another temple highlight of Chiang Rai is the Blue Temple. Decorated in blue and gold exterior, this sacred place is just beautiful. Inside, too, the temple is completely in color and in the middle sits a huge white Buddha. For a visit you should definitely plan some time, because in the temple there are some really nice details to discover.

Wat Huay Pla Kang – 9 Tier Temple

Wat Hua Pla Kang is one of the most impressive temples in Chiang Rai. The main attraction of this temple complex built in 2001, is a 100-meter high white Buddha, which can be seen far from the distance. The special feature of Wat Huay Pla Kang: With the lift, it goes up to the Buddha head, to enjoy the great view over the landscape of Chiang Rai from the eyes of the Buddha.

Wat Phra Singh

The Wat Phra Singh Temple is located in the north of the old city, just near the old bell tower and is one of the oldest temples of Chiang Rai at about 700 years. The temple complex includes 2 buildings and a Buddha footprint. Wat Phra Singh, like the famous temple in Chaing Mai, is said to have once housed the Phra Singh statue, which is now exhibited in the Bangkok National Museum. An interesting temple that should not be missed on a temple tour in Chiang Rai.

Wat Jed Yod

Also, this wonderful temple is located in the center of Chiang Rai, just south of the Golden Clock Tower. In this rather untouristed temple building one finds a lot of rest and relaxation. Particularly impressive is the large beautiful golden Buddha statue, which is located directly inside the main building. Here you can unwind in peace and enjoy the unique silence. One of the best temples to visit in Chiang Rai!

Wat Tham Phra

A temple off the beaten track is Wat Tham Phra. It is beautifully located on the banks of the Kok River and can be reached by bike or scooter. The Buddha Stone by the river marks the entrance to the temple. The interior of the temple is located in a cave where thousands of bats frolic and if you are lucky you will see monks praying.

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong is located on a small hill near the old town. It is one of the oldest temples of Chiang Rai. The temple complex has a very unique Lanna-style pagoda. Legend has it that the temple existed before the founding of Chiang Rai.

Special travel tip: As a special hotel tip we can recommend you the Mora Boutique Hotel. This boutique hotel boasts a gorgeous pool, really lovely rooms, amazing breakfasts and free afternoon snacks. As a budget alternative, we can recommend the Hostel Baan Mai Kradan just around the corner.


Conclusion: There are really many unique temples to discover in Chiang Rai. If you want to know more about the most beautiful sights and excursions in Chiang Rai, have a look at our Chiang Rai Travel Guide.

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