close

Polaroid of the week: Temple Hopping in Chiang Mai, Thailand

no thumb

Last Updated on

polaroid of the week thailand chiang mai monthian templeWhen I left Chiang Mai earlier this week, all I could think was: This visit was far too short! And short it sure was, just a whirlwind tour around the city in which I spent most of my time during my last Thailand stint, and for which I had big plans – they pretty much all involved food, eating my way through all my favorite eateries and check out new ones. But instead, we spent most of our time temple hopping around the city (did you know that there are over 300 temples in Chiang Mai? And no two are alike!), shopping for gifts and souvenirs in the weekend markets, cycling around the city, watching lady boy cabarets, and we spent a whole day with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park, which has been a highlight of my time in Thailand so far.

The temple pictured, Wat Monthiang, is located on the northern end the square that marks Chiang Mai’s old town, bordered by a 6.5kilometer long moat. While it is still in the Old Town, it somehow is not part of the tourist circuit, even though it has a giant golden Buddha statue right next to the temple, and the temple itself has an elaborate burgundy and golden color scheme which makes it one of the most beautiful temples in Chiang Mai, at least in my opinion. If you check it out when you are in Chiang Mai, make sure to also visit Wat Lok Moli, just across the moat from Wat Monthiang, which is one of the older temples in the city and still has a large ancient brick chedi (stupa) behind the temple, dating back to the 14th century.

Other than being too short (and too hot, considering it was 38C / 100F every single day!), our time in Chiang Mai was perfect – great food, amazing coffee (much needed after mediocre island coffee shops!), heartwarming encounters with the elephants, a shopping spree and rediscovering what makes this northern Thai city so special.

Opt In Image
Beyond the Blog: Get updates straight to your inbox!

Keep up with me! Get updates, additional stories that don't make it on the blog, future travel plans, and travel tips. I also answer reader questions and have some pretty sweet travel giveaways exclusive to newsletter subscribers!

Tags : chiang maiPolaroidthailand

8 Comments

    1. This time only four nights 🙁 Not nearly enough time for all the things I wanted to do but at least it was over a weekend, love both the Saturday and Sunday night markets!

  1. When is peak season in Thailand? My wife and I are considering going the last week of October 2015 & staying 2 weeks into November. Our plan is to fly into Bangkok and train north to Chiang Mai but still going through many sites to figure out our final travel path. Any suggestions or tips?

    1. That’s a great time to go to Thailand, Patty! Just after the rainy season, and before prices go up for high season. You can find some great deals on hotels! I’d definitely recommend stopping in Ayuttaya on the way to Chiang Mai (or take a day trip from Bangkok). For Chiang Mai – make sure to time your trip so that you’re up there for Yi Peng and Loi Krathong – the lantern festival is spectacular! I found a good guide for visiting both here. I recommend booking your hotels for that early though because the city gets busy for the festival (not sure if the exact date for 2015 has been announced yet). Are you planning to visit any beaches or islands?

      1. still researching islands and beaches and the more I research the the longer our vacation dates get… I have to set some dates and stick to them. Thank you so much for respond so quickly. We are too excited to express.

Leave a Response