Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara

Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara, Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara
Ancient Ruins • Architectural Buildings • Religious Sites
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6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6:00 AM - 6:30 PM
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Built about 600 years ago, this impressive temple once housed the precious Emerald Buddha.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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8,008 reviews
Very good

Traveller of the world
1,239 contributions
Dec 2021 • Solo
This must be seen! You can't see all the Wat's in Chiang Mai but I highly recommend coming here. Located in the old city and a simple five minute walk from Tha Phae Gate. There appears to be a cheap entrance fee but nobody was there or even checking. I am unsure if this was because it had only recently opened post-pandemic or if this was due to the main part of the Wat being under construction (December 2021). The grounds are huge and there are many parts. Take your time and explore the area. There is a lovely courtyard with benches where you can relax and take it all in. Near the entrance, there are a few stalls selling mainly religious items and coffee. If like me, you are travelling without a guide then there are some information boards in English too. However, I highly recommend going to the Buddhist Manuscribt Library and Museum which is right next to it as this museum has detailed information about the Wat that will explain so much. Many people ignore this as it appears to be separate. As always cover your shoulders ladies. There were quite a few monks around. Inside the temple area, there appeared to also be a coffee shop.
Written December 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Duncan, Canada4,109 contributions
Jan 2020
Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara is located in the centre of the walled City. The temple's was constructed in the 14th century. King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury his father's ashes there. After 10 years they left it unfinished. The Kings widow later continued it after his death but did not complete it. In the mid 15th century King Tilokaraj finished it. It stands just under 270ft high and the base is just over 177ft long. In 1545, the top 100ft collapsed after a large earthquake. In the 1990s it was reconstructed by UNESCO and the Japanese government.

I believe it cost 80baht (about $3.40CAD) per adult. You also must be dressed respectfully. Shoulders and knees must be covered at all time. We arrived at 5:15pm and it closed at 6pm. We felt rushed with only 45mins. But I don't think you would need more than an hour maybe an hour and 15mins. The grounds are very large and there is a lots to see. It was not busy.
Written June 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

peter z
20 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Unbelievable!! As someone from Canada who never sees architecture of this age, stature and beauty.
This is (I think) the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, one of the oldest in thailand. Over 800 years old, all the old parts of it appear to be coming loose or falling off of it, it lies on approximately an acre or two of land in the middle of the old city, it's very tough to describe without just seeing it, if your in Chiang Mai I would highly recommend seeing this temple, even first to break you in for what's to come!
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Julian F
3 contributions
Mar 2020 • Couples
I think it’s a very impressive area in the City of Chiang Mai but it’s definitely not the most beautiful temple around the City. And in contrast to other temples you have to pay an entrance fee (40 THB per person). Maybe it’s a good opportunity to visit it in the evening to get around the fee.
Written March 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hilton Head, SC4,077 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
Beautiful grounds and temple, especially at sunset. Although Wat Chedi Luang isn’t free, it was well worth the entry fee. Much less crowded than some of the others, the series of buildings really stand out and are unique compared to others in the city. The massive stone structure can be seen from blocks away and it’s amazing to think that it is more than 500 years old. It was reconstructed in the 1990s and they did a fantastic job. The only thing that I didn’t like was women aren’t allowed in one of the buildings and that seems outdated to me. With hundreds of temples to choose from, out this one at the top of your list.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore519 contributions
Jan 2020
Getting into Chiang Mai's old city means traveling back in time during the 14th century. Well preserved, restored and maintained, it is one of the many temples that can be found in the Old city. We visited the temple complex on January this year and our hotel is nearby at the North Chang Puak gate so it is about 20 mins walk to the temple or other option is to take Tuk Tuk or Taxi. Ticket for adult is 40 Baht. The temple is a Holy ground so proper dress code is a must - no shorts or dress above the knee. The temple itself is a complex of 3 temples. The Pagoda (Chedi) sits at the center with its glorious shape missing a half of its original size but still resonates its glorious beauty during the 14th century founded by King Saen Muang Ma. Standing 82 m high with 4 Naga staircase (water serpent) on each faces and Elephant statues at its base. There are 4 Buddha statues on top of the stairs on each faces. With its pinkish brown color it glows specially during the day. It once housed The Emerald Buddha, the Palladium of Kingdom of Thailand. The Wat Sukim (the city pillar) is also housed here with the Buddha image inside, which protects the city of Chiang Mai. Giant Gum trees are also located around the complex. At the southern end of the Chedi is also a small chapel housing The Reclining Buddha. Another temple here is Wat Ho Tham where a standing Giant Buddha image is inside here. The temple has an ornate Red carpet on its floor, high ceilings, lovely murals, and beautiful Buddha statues including the Seven Days Looking Buddha statues. Overall, we spent around an hour at this complex not only taking memorable photos and videos but also praying. It is definitely incredible and inspiring while visiting this historically beautiful Holy ground.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ipoh, Malaysia1,361 contributions
Jan 2020
We visited this temple as part of the walking tour of the old city of Chiang Mai. This is a Buddhist temple. This temple is also the current ground for the city pillar, transferred here from elsewhere. The main attraction here is the chedi which is in the centre of the compound. You can walk around it and admire it from all the four directions. The compound is large with a number of beautiful buildings within. In the main Viharn is a standing Buddha statue, flanked by two disciples. On the other side of the chedi is another pavilion housing a reclining Buddha statue? There was a big friendly German Shepard, strolling around with a Monk here. We spent about one and a half hour here. A lot of photography opportunities here. Transport back is easily available. We were there at noon and it was quite a hot weather and best to carry a hat, sunblock and water with you. Alternatively, if you have ample time, then, going early morning or late afternoon may be an option.
Written December 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phi Somchai
Bangkok, Thailand3,582 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
We liked the temple very much as it was very majestic and beautiful. The Chedi (pagoda) was partially destroyed during an earthquake many years ago, but most parts of the structure still remained and in good condition.

We came in the evening before sunset and was able to capture lots of lovely pictures.
Written April 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edward M
Alexandria, VA159 contributions
Dec 2019
Why head into the jungle when you can see a 600-year-old temple in the civilized confines of Chiang Mai?

The highlight is the vast, mostly restored stupa, just ahead of a walkway with strung-up paper lanterns.

Take your times walking around it, examining the heights from all angles. It evokes Angkor Wat, or the Mayan ruins of Guatemala, but in an urban setting. Buttresses keep the mighty walls from falling down.

Coconut vendors are conveniently located to the right of the entrance. Phrapokkloa Road, with its many eateries.

Foreigners pay a small entrance fee.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Copenhagen, Denmark35 contributions
Sep 2021
We were blown away by the size, details and beauty of this temple. We had the pleasure of seeing it all by ourselves due to covid and if you are in Chiang Mai during the pandemic, we definitely recommend doing this. But we would visit even with a thousand other people present. It is a must see and worthy of at least an hour to walk around and enjoy the temples, monuments and surroundings.
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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