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“Great for dog lovers as well as historians.”

Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara
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Half-Day City Temples Tour of Chiang Mai
Ranked #3 of 267 things to do in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Built about 600 years ago, this impressive temple once housed the precious Emerald Buddha.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

OMG this was so brilliant. At 5 pm each night one of the monks' attendants comes out to feed ALL the stray dogs that also appear out of nowhere at that time of day. We actually saw a pack heading up to this beautiful temple as we were leaving. We hired a taxi tuk tuk and had it stop at a market so we could buy some chicken wings or whatever, and feed the dogs ourselves, it was unbeliveable. It's a must. Now, if it's the temple you wish to see u will notbe disappointed. Aside from the other temples on the same lot, this stands majestic and old amongst the newer and is a brilliant photographic point on its own. The sleeping Buddha next door is also a must.

2  Thank jgls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 15, 2012

Do not miss this important Wat and the little ones next door where they play beautiful Lanna music to help you reflect on the big questions or indeed, to remove them from your mind. Ignore all people who approach you at this Wat. Most of them are touts. Smile and walk on.

2  Thank morgana3761
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

The main temple at the entrance is just a standard modern Thai style temple that you see everywhere in Thailand. Not exciting.
Go behind the main (new) structure to see the Wat Datu Chedi Luang, which is the tall brick-type building (half damaged) known to house the golden Buddha statue many years ago.
The wat (in the rear) is not very old, aged just about 600 years. But its unique in its style and closer to the Myanmar architechture style than what you see around Bangkok.
The day I visited, there was some ritual ceremony underway. I joined the ceremony and sat in the front row along with some much older people of the Thai community. They kept chanting mantras in Sanskrit and Pali (however one of the elders explained that it was Thai and Sanskrit). It was nice to be a part of the brief ceremony & since I understand basic sanskrit phrases, I could understand and appreciate it.
An early morning or late evening time would be better for the visit, as observing the main brick structure requires moving around it in an open space.

Thank AmbyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

This is definitely one of the most impressive temple complexes in the Old City area of Chiang Mai, with its huge chedi ruin behind the main temple – definitely one of the great landmarks of Chiang Mai.

We were fortunate to have arrived at the temple at the start of the Intakin festival which is a religious festival held at Wat Chdi Luang, in which the city’s guardian deity is propitiated to ensure that the annual monsoon season starts on time.
The festival starts with a parade through the Old City with persons dressed in traditional dress and a highly decorated cart (on which a revered Buddha image is carried) is pulled around the Old City. This was quite something to see.

Due to the start of the festival, the main temple was very busy and full of worshipers, but the huge chedi ruin and other temples at the rear were almost deserted.

The main ruined chedi is quite a sight and one can only imagine what it looked like when it was built before it was struck by lightning – but what remains is impressive and beautiful, especially the elephant and naga statues. Spend time walking around the whole structure as there are some great photographic opportunities.

There are also some very beautiful Lanna style temples at the back of the chedi, which are very interesting and fantastic to photograph – the architectural artwork is very impressive.
Just one thing to remember, as with any temple, you need to dress respectfully and you need to remove your shoes before entering the temple, but most of all spend time visiting the impressive chedi ruin and the beautiful old Lanna style temples at the rear of the main temple

2  Thank M_Bloemhof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Partially ruined wat was very interesting. They offer "monk chats" & it was cool to be able to talk to a monk about Thai Buddhism.

Thank Trinaje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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