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If you are a culture vulture, the plethora of temples in Thailand may be the reason you booked your flight. But regardless of whether temples are your thing or not, you cannot fail to be impressed by Thailand’s huge range of temples from dazzling white artistic masterpieces to giant golden buddhas and ancient relics reminding us of times gone by. 

Thailand has over 40,000 temples, from the ancient to the super modern, some petite and quirky, others grand and ornate. 

best thailand temples

My personal favourite temple in Thailand was at Chiang Rai – the White Temple. Made entirely from white materials and fractured mirrors, it sparkles in the sun and is certainly one of the most unusual temples I have ever encountered. You can read more about the White temple below. 

Whilst I visited many temples in Thailand, I cannot profess to visiting them all and I’m sure there are some absolute gems which I’ve missed out on. So therefore, I turned to my travel writing colleagues and asked them to tell us about their favourite temples and how we can visit them too.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Thailand Temples

thailand temples at sunset

What should I wear to visit temples in Thailand? 

Most temples in Thailand will require you to cover your shoulders and knees in order to enter. So I would recommend for girls, a floaty skirt or maxi dress or harem trousers with a t-shirt which covers your shoudlers up.

Also, try and keep your clothes loose. Not only will it be cooler but in more conservative areas even leggings are frowned upon as they are so figure hugging.

If you arrive wearing shorts, they will likely give you a shawl to use as a skirt in order to keep you decent! However, other temples may well turn you away instead! 

What is the etiquette for visiting temples in Thailand.

As well as dressing modestly, it’s worth remembering that temples are a cultural place of worship and so you should act accordingly. Posing for selfies with monks and big shows of public affection are frowned upon. Basically, avoid behaving like an idiot and you should be fine! 😉

What is the best time to visit temples in Thailand? 

Whilst some temples draw more of a crowd than others, in general you should try to avoid the surge of tourists by visiting as early as possible. Why not visit for sunrise and take some spectacular photos whilst you are there? 

How many temples are there in Thailand?

According to my sources, there are 40,717 buddhist temples in Thailand, over 30,000 are still in use today

Why are there so many temples in Thailand?

Buddhist temples are an integral part of everyday life in Thailand. They form the centre of the community, a place for prayer, healing and meditation.

Did you know it is tradition that every Thai boy from Buddhist families will likely spend at least a fortnight as a monk when he reaches the age of 20?

What is the main religion in Thailand?

Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand, followed by around 95% of the population!

Which is the oldest temple in Thailand?

It is my understanding that Wat Phra Pathom in Nakhom Pathom is the oldest temple in Thailand dating back to 4th century AD. Wat Po is the oldest temple actually in Bangkok at 200 years old but thats not saying much as Bangkok itself is not much older.

Which is the best temple in Thailand?

Personally, my favourite is the White Temple in Chiang Rai. It’s just so unusual and I couldn’t stop staring at it as it dazzles in the bright sun. Stunning.

What are the Best places in Thailand to base yourself for exploring temples.

thailand temples

There are amazing temples all over Thailand but to see some of the most popular temples, you may want to consider basing yourself in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. If you choose to base yourself in Bangkok, you may want to follow this Bangkok itinerary

Best group tours for visiting temples

My favourite companies for small group adventure travel are G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. I’m actually on a G Adventures tour as I write this article. Whilst most group tours will stop at a few temples along the way, here are a few which pass through some of the cities where you will find the most temples.

Top Tip | Try to find a group tour which goes through Chiang Rai as here are some of the most spectacular and unusual temples.

If you’re not sure which tour to take I recommend G adventures or Intrepid and you can compare them in my G Adventures vs Intrepid Review.

Now it’s over to my travel writing colleagues to tell us about which they consider to be the best temples in Thailand.

The Best Temples in Thailand According to Travel Experts

Wat Khao Daeng

By Margarita Steinhardt of the

wat khao daeng temple in thailand

Why it’s the best temple in Thailand?

Wat Khao Daeng is one of the most scenic temples I have seen in Thailand after living in the country for over 5 years. It is tucked away on the fringes of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, in Khao Daeng fish-farming village.

The temple’s delicate structure and the intricate carvings of the temple’s roof and pillars provide such a stark contrast to the towering limestone cliffs, that it immediately arrests your attention. You just don’t expect to see such a fine structure in such a rugged landscape.

The quiet setting of the National Park gives the temple that incredibly serene feeling you usually get in the forest temples and monasteries.

And to capitalize on that feeling, you can take an afternoon cruise through the mangroves of the Khao Daeng channel. The pier is right across from the temple.

How to get to Wat Khao Daeng

The easiest way to reach Wat Khao Daeng and explore the National Park is by renting a car in Hua Hin 58 km away. Alternatively, you can rent a scooter in Hua Hin or hire a taxi or a songthaew for the day. The turn off to the temple is about 2 km from the start of the Khao Daeng Viewpoint trail.

Tips for photographing Wat Khao Daeng

Wat Khao Daeng is incredibly photogenic at any time of the day. I quite like the muted colours on an overcast day. But if you prefer a more vivid look, try photographing the temple in the first hours of the day when the low morning sun hits the gilded roof and the columns of the temple.

Facts about the Wat Khao Daeng

Wat Khao Daeng lies amongst limestone cliffs and shrimp farms – the main industry in the area. It is a typical rural temple that serves as much a cultural as a religious role for the surrounding villages.

Wat Suan Dok – Chiang Mai, Thailand

By Henry Wu

Why Wat Suan Don is the best temple in Thailand?

There are so many beautiful temples in Thailand, but the one that sticks out to me is Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai. Located near Chiang Mai University just west of the walled Old City, this stunning temple complex is not nearly as crowded as some of the other temples in the city.

I love this temple for all the white colored chedis next to the large golden Sri Lankan style giant Chedi. The smaller chedis contain ashes from the Chiang Mai Royal Family while the large golden Chedi contains a relic of the Buddha. 

How to get to Wat Suan Dok

The best way to get here is via red taxi (Songthaew) where you just wave one down and tell them where you’re going for 30 thai baht. Alternatively, Grab, the Uber of Asia, works very well also. 

Address: 139 Suthep Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Tips for photographing Wat Suan Dok

The best time to visit to get the best angles for photography are sunrise and sunset. Otherwise, it’s not ever that crowded, so you can go anytime really! Just be aware that the official closing time is around 5 pm, but since it’s Thailand that time is somewhat variable.

Facts about Wat Suan Dok

About that relic – it was originally believed to be a shoulder bone of the Buddha. The monk from Sukhothai who discovered the relic was invited to Chiang Mai so they could enshrine the relic inside the temple in the 14th century. When the monk arrived, the relic broke in two. One was enshrined in Wat Suan Dok and the other at the mountain temple of Doi Suthep, which is also worth visiting.

Wat Tham Sua

By Audrey Chalmers of

Wat Tham Sua temple, Thailand

Why is it the best temple in Thailand?

Wat Tham Sua in Kanchanaburi is also known as the Tiger Cave Temple. It was named after a small limestone cave that was once home to live tigers. The Tigers are long gone, and the cave now houses a small tiger spirit shrine. This is easily outshone by the temple’s huge 18 meter golden Buddha statue named Chin Prathanporn.

How to get to Wat Tham Sua

Wat Tham Sua is located about twelve kilometres from Kanchanaburi town. Some people like to cycle out to the temple, but we preferred hiring a motor cycle taxi for the day. The temple is free to enter.

Tips for Photographing Wat Tham Sua

The complex is home to beautifully decorated chedi the most impressive of which is the orange Ketkaew Prasat. Inside you’ll find holy relics and tinkling bells, and at eight stories high it’s a great spot to take photos of the Buddha image. But your photo opps don’t stop there as the temple’s hill top location provides glorious views of the surrounding area.

Top Tip |The best views are at the start and end of the rainy season when the fields are lush and green.

Facts about Wat Tham Sua

It is said to be the largest Buddha image in an outdoor setting and the statue can be seen sparkling in the sunshine from miles away.

The Blue Temple in Chiang Rai

By Amy Trumpeter of

Blue Temple Chiang Rai

Why its the best temple in Thailand?

The Blue Temple Chiang Rai is the best temple in Thailand because of the vibrant cobalt blue exterior, adorned with gold. Angellic beings and nagas (snake like dragons) guard the Blue Temple. Inside the temple, a large white porcelain Buddha reflects the blue from the walls.

How to get to The Blue temple in Chiang Rai

Take a tuk-tuk North across the river from Chiang Rai city centre (it shouldn’t cost more than 50-100 baht) or cycle if you are feeling fit! When you get there, the temple is free to enter. The Blue Temple is now starting to appear on most Chiang Rai tours.

Tips for visiting and photographing the Blue Temple in Chiang Rai

The tours including the White Temple and the Black House don’t leave much time for photography, and so I recommend that you take the tuk-tuk to give you more time. Spend time on photography of both the interior and exterior of the temple, and the stupa. As you leave the main Viharn (prayer hall), look up above the door for the Buddhist depictions of hell.

Remember to cover up and observe silence inside as it is an active place of worship. Avoid taking selfies with the Buddha as this could be offensive to Thai worshippers.

Facts about The Blue Temple

The Blue Temple was built on the site of ancient ruins that were abandoned some 100 years prior. It was actually built by Phuttha Kabkaew, a student of Kositpipat, who designed and built The famous White Temple.

Wat Mahathat in Sukothai

By Wendy Werneth of

Wat Mahathat Sukothai Temple

Why Wat Mahathat is the best temple in Thailand?

Wat Mahathat is the largest and most important temple of the Sukothai Kingdom and offers unique insights into Thai history and culture.

How to get to Wat Mahathat

Base yourself in New Sukothai, which has plenty of accommodation and restaurants serving both Western and Southeast Asian food. There are buses to Sukothai from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and other cities in Thailand. From New Sukothai, catch a ride in the back of a songthaew (converted pickup truck) for the 12-kilometer journey to Old Sukothai, where the temple ruins are.

Tips for visiting Wat Mahathat

The temple is inside the Sukothai Historical Park, which is a quiet and pleasant place to walk around. Most visitors rent bicycles to visit the ruins, but my husband and I chose to walk. In three hours, we were able to see everything we wanted to see.

Facts about the Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat is the largest and best-preserved of all the temples in the complex. It contains several rising tower-shaped stupas and large Buddha images, which were popular during the Sukothai era. 

Wat Tham Chiang Dao

By Stephen

Wat Tham Pha Plong temple in the jungle by Chiang dao - Thailand

Why Wat Tham Chiang Dao is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Tham Chiang Dao is unique from many other temples I’ve visited in 
Thailand, mainly because the majority of the temple is in a cave. You’ll 
find no ornate designs or walls lined in gold here. Instead, the walls 
are covered in stalactites and stalagmites.

For a couple of hundred baht, you can rent a lantern and wander through the caves looking at the rare Buddhist artifacts hidden in the nooks and crannies.

Lying just outside the cave are two noteworthy sites. The first is Tham Luang Chiang Dao. A small shrine encased by a towering spire jutting out of the jungle. The second is the pond that has been formed from water 
runoff from within the cave. This mineral-rich water has a deep amber 

Another perk that makes this one of the best temples in Thailand 
are the nearby hot springs that are free to use.

How to get to Wat Tham Chiang Dao

Wat Tham Chiang Dao is in Chiang Mai province. The temple lies just 
outside of Chiang Doa and the temple can be easily reached by bike or 

Tips for photographing Wat Tham Chiang Dao

Because a good portion of this temple is in a cave some extra camera 
gear is needed to get good photos. A remote shutter release and a  
tripod are essentials for shooting in the low light of the cave. 

Also, make sure to set your camera in raw and raise your iso.  Outside the 
temple, you will have no problem getting great shots with extra gear.

Facts about Wat Tham Chiang Dao

This temple has some historical significance based on the ledgend 
surrounding the cave. The legend goes that long ago a prince chased a 
girl, who was disguised as a golden deer, into the cave. And neither of 
them were ever seen again. Later locals built a shrine to the missing 
prince, and that was the start of Wat Tham Chiang Dao.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

By Eloise from

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple (c)MyFavouriteEscapes

Why Wat Arun is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Arun is a majestic temple in Bangkok, with a premium location on the bank of the river. The architecture is different from all the other temples in Bangkok, and it has the highest prang in Thailand. If the overall temple looks incredible, the details are also fascinating. One may spend most of the visit admiring the fine craftsmanship and the thousands of tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain that shine with the sun.

How to get to Wat Arun

The best way to reach Wat Arun is by boat. From Saphan Taksin, you can hop on the tourist boat or the smaller boats that locals use. If you’re at the famous Grand Palace and Wat Pho, there’s a shuttle boat going from one side of the river to the other all day. 

Taxis and tuk-tuks can also take you there, but traffic is often hectic.

Tips for visiting or photographing Wat Arun

It’s worth checking out Wat Arun at a different time of the day. It is called “Temple of the Dawn”, but sunset colours look amazing. The night illuminations make it look incredible too.

Wat Arun is on every Bangkok itinerary, so go there early in the morning if you want to beat the crowd.

Facts about Wat Arun

Wat Arun is one of the few surviving buildings from the Chakri dynasty of Thailand. It used to host the famous Emerald Buddha before it got moved to the Grand Palace on the other side of the river.

Wat Mae Kaet Noi

By Chris Backe of

Wat Mae Kaet Noi temple in thailand

Why Wat Mae Kaet Noi is the best temple in Thailand?

Wat Mae Kaet Noi is the creepiest, scariest Buddhist hell temple around
As a digital nomad, I spent two years in Thailand looking for the weird and offbeat. In those two years, this is the wildest, most ‘WTF?’ Buddhist temple I found.

This is a ‘hell temple’, a type of Buddhist temple that aims to show what will happen to sinners in Buddhism. These aren’t always explained on signs or panels, but is definitely not a place to bring kids (you wouldn’t expect nudity and gruesomeness at a Buddhist temple, but there it is).

 If you’re of the squeamish nature, this isn’t for you. If you’re of the adventurous nature, there’s no reason not to go.

How to get to Wat Mae Kaet Noi

This requires your own transportation, though a songthaew may take you if you can give good directions. From the northern part of the Chiang Mai-Lamphang superhighway, head north onto route 1001. This is about 800 meters from where you cross the Ping River. Once on 1001, go 9.3 kilometers to an intersection (Maejo University is across the street). Take the sharp right, go 3.3 kilometers, and look left for the temple.

Wat Mae Kaet Noi AKA Wat Si Don Chai Pa Tung Ngam
Address: along route 1001, Tambon Pa Phai, Ban Mae Kaet, Chang Wat, Chiang Mai 50210 (GPS: 18.877943,99.03681)

The Temple of The Golden Mount, Bangkok

By Ben Reeve of

Temple of the Golden Mount, Thailand _

Why The Temple of the Golden Mount is the best temple in Thailand.

The Temple of the Golden Mount in Bangkok a fantastic temple to visit. Not only do you have a place of religious significance, but also the amazing view over the skyline of Bangkok. We visited whilst on a 3 month sabbatical and found it to be one of the most peaceful places in Bangkok.

This high up, the traffic noise fades a little, and in the evening you are greeted by the drones of meditation as the monks in nearby Loha Prasat pray before sunset.

How to get to The Temple of the Golden Mount

It is about a half hour walk from the Grand Palace in Bangkok, and also easy to access via taxi or tuk-tuk.

Tips for visiting The Temple of the Golden Mount

There are about 300 steps to the top, though ther are quite shallow, but can get a bit slippery in the wet. There is a coffee shop halfway up if you need to stop off! The views from the top over Bangkok are fantastic, so don’t forget your camera.

Facts about the Temple of the Golden Mount

The Golden Mount is about 77 metres tall, and isn’t a natural hill. It is the ruins of a huge old temple that collapsed and was abandoned. Over the years its shape rounded over the rubble as nature took over, and during the reign of King Rama V a small temple was constructed on top of it.

Wat Pho

By Alex Waltner of

Reclining buddha at wat pho bangkok temple

Why Wat Pho is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Pho is one of the most famous temples in Thailand, and if you go to Bangkok, you should definitely visit Wat Pho.

How to get to Wat Pho

You can easily get there by taxi or bus in Bangkok. I suggest using Grab because they are usually cheaper than regular taxis and its easy to order in their app.

Tips for visiting Wat Pho

The best time to visit is in the morning when the temple opens. Then you will avoid the crowds and can capture some amazing photos.

Facts about Wat Pho

Perhaps the most famous part of the temple is the hall where you can admire the Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is basically a temple complex with several halls, statues and rooms. It was finished in 1788, but there are older parts, and it’s actually one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. 

It covers an area of 80,000 square meters and is home to more than 1000 Buddhist images. 

Phimai temple complex

By Kate and Kris from

phimai temple thailand

Why the Phimai Temple Complex the best temple in Thailand

Phimai temple complex was part of the ancient Angkor civilization, but it’s now in Thailand so you can visit without heading to Cambodia.  As it’s less well-known that some of the other old cities in Thailand like Ayutthaya and Sukhuthai, you can almost have it to yourself to play Lara Croft and explore.

It’s also interesting because the modern town has grown up around it, which makes a cool contrast of carvings of Khmer dancers with fluorescent 7-11 convenience store signs.

How to get to the Phimai Temple Complex

Phimai town is near to Khorat in the northeast of Thailand, which is four hours from Bangkok. We visited in combination with a trip to Khao Yai national park, taking a bus from Khorat to Phimai. 

Tips for visiting the Phimai Temple Complex

It goes without saying that Thailand gets pretty hot, so it’s best to visit early in the morning or late afternoon. At sunset the light makes photos very atmospheric.

Facts about the Phimai Temple Complex

The temple complex originates from the 9th century, so much of it is now in ruin. However, towers have been rebuilt and there are carvings and statues all around.

Wat Bang Phra

Bradley Williams from

Wat Bang Phra thailand temples

Why Wat Bang Phra is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Bang Phra is the best temple in Thailand because it’s home to one of the best Buddhist traditions still around: The Sak Yant tattoo.

It’s possible to get Sak Yant tattoos all across Thailand, but Wat Bang Phra is where hundreds of people flock to each and every week as it is where the legendary Luang Pi Nunn practices. He is perhaps the most famous of all Buddhist monks because of his abilities and skills at Sak Yantra tattooing.

How to get to Wat Bang Phra

Getting to Wat Bang Phra is easiest by Uber. It takes around an hour to get there from Bangkok and you can ask the driver to wait around so as to take you back as well. 

Tips for photographing Wat Bang Phra

If you are interested in photography, then Wat Bang Phra will not disappoint you! It’s a beautiful complex of temples built as far back as the early 1700s. It has grown in size and splendour over the years and is a very popular Buddhist monastery.

To capture some truly epic photos, you could aim to be there during a famous Sak Yant festival in which thousands of people gather and carry out ancient rituals.

Facts about Wat Bang Phra

  • It was initially built in early 18th century
  • It is situated 50 west of Bangkok
  • The power of a Sak Yant reduces over time so people go back for years to have new designs added to their bodies
  • It costs just 70 baht for a Sak Yant

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a 13th-century temple considered one of the truest examples of Lanna architecture in all of Thailand  This temple is venerated because according to legend the Buddha visited this temple and gave to the temple one of his hairs which is preserved in temple’s chedi.

Wat Phra That is a wiang or fortified temple. It is constructed atop a mound and enclosed by a brick wall but the wall did not prevent the temple and grounds from being overrun by Burmese invaders in the 18th century.  The villagers lead by Thippachak eventually retook temple. In gratitude, a stature of Thippachak was erected on the grounds.

This temple has a very active and market-like atmosphere surrounding the chedi, viharn, and bot . One of the best ways to experience the grandeur of this temple to hire a horse-driven carriage for a ride around the exterior. 

Wat Rong Khun

By Kelly Edgar of

Wat Rong Khun by Kelly Edgar the white temple chiang mai

Why it’s the best temple in Thailand.

Wat Rong Khun, commonly referred to as the white temple is located in the north of Thailand and is one of the most recognised temples in the country.

A visit to Wat Rong Khun is a must, the design and architecture of the temple is absolutely magical. A mix of modern culture with tradition. On a clear sunny day the sunlight makes the white look like glistening snow.

Famous Thai artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat designed and constructed the temple to be a centre of learning and meditation of Buddhist teaching, with a focus on heaven, hell, karma and sin.

Chalermchais design showcases an unconventional approach to temple architecture, white was chosen to signify the purity of the Buddha and the use of glass is to highlight Buddha’s wisdom. A true artistic masterpiece.

How to get to Wat Rong Khun / The White Temple

Located in Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand, the nearest city is of the same name Chiang Rai. The temple is located 13 km from the center of the city. The journey will take approximately 20-30 minutes from the city center depending on your mode of transport. The cheapest option is to take the local bus which departs from the Chiang Rai bus terminal one. Other modes of transport include using a tuk tuk, taxi or joining a private tour.

Tips for visiting Wat Rong Khun/ The White Temple.

Arrive early and visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Try to visit on a sunny day to take advantage of the contrast of the white temple against a clear blue sky.

Facts about Wat Rong Khun.

The temple is a privately owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple. The temple is a result of the reconstruction of the old temple which was in need of restoration,

Chalermchai Kositpipat has funded this project himself, and it is still a work in progress with construction predicted to occur for decades. Every aspect of the temple and the grounds contains Buddhist teachings and symbols.

Wat Doi Suthep

By xxxx of My Travel Scrapbook

wat doi suthep chiang mai

Why Wat Doi Suthep is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Doi Suthep is one of the best temples in Thailand due to its beauty, unique location and fascinating legends.

How to get to Wat Doi Suthep

It is easy to get from Old Town Chiang Mai to Wat Doi Suthep. Renting a scooter is the most convenient way to get there, especially if you want to get up early enough to watch the sunrise on Wat Doi Suthep. You could also hop in a grab taxi or in a red Songthaew.

Tips for visiting and photographing Wat Doi Suthep

Ideally, arrive at the temple as early as you can. Wat Doi Suthep receives around 120,000 visitors per month as it is one of Thailand’s most popular temples. If you arrive around 6 am you will have most of the complex to yourself making it easy to get those perfect Instagram shots. Also if you can race up the mountain early in the morning you may make it in time to see the most gorgeous sunrise in Chiang Mai on Wat Doi Suthep.

Facts about Wat Doi Suthep

Legend declares that the location of the temple was decided by a white elephant.

In 1386 a monk discovers part of Buddha’s shoulder bone in Sukhothai.  

The King was sceptical of it authenticity and ordered to see the relic. The bone was in fact magical and miraculously replicated itself. The replica was strapped to the back of a white elephant and set free.

The white elephant decided to climb through the jungle up onto the mountain of Doi Suthep. Once he reached the top the trumpeted three times, knelt down and died. Thus it was decided that this would be the location of an important Buddhist shrine. 

Wat Hua Lamphong

By Claire from

wat hua lamphong

Why Wat Hua Lamphong is the best temple in Thailand

While it is somewhat overshadowed by temples like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on people’s trips to Bangkok, Wat Hua Lamphong is well worth a visit. It’s quiet, cheap and charismatic.

My favourite thing about Wat Hua Lamphong is the fact that it maintains its serenity, even though it is literally nestled amongst skyscrapers. Driving past, it seems a bit absurd – Bangkok’s modern CBD is all around its traditional architecture, but once inside, it’s a wonderful oasis from the city centre.

How to get to Wat Hua Lamphong

To reach Wat Hua Lamphong, take an MRT to Si Lom or a BTS to Sala Daeng.

Tips for visiting Wat Hua Lamphong

The temple has several buildings nestled in a large complex. The main grounds are free to explore, but after a certain point, it costs 40 baht to go further.

It’s well worth exploring the entire complex; there are very few tourists, so you’ll really get a sense of just how tranquil Thai temples can be.

So make sure you really take the time to take it all in and enjoy your break from the madness that is Bangkok!

Facts about Wat Hua Lamphong.

It’s not hugely popular with tourists, but is amongst Thais. This is due to the fact that many people donate money for coffins here; the poor who cannot afford a coffin for a family member will come to the Wat to receive donations for their deceased. Tourists are, of course, welcome to leave donations as well!

 Wat Chedi Luang, Chang Mai

By Hannah and Adam Lukaszewicz of

WAT CHEDI LUANG Chiang Mai Temple

Why Wat Chedi Luang is the best temple in Thailand

We have spent several years travelling Southeast Asia and over a year living in Chiang Mai and hands down our favourite temple is WatChedi Luang. There are over 300 temples in Chiang Mai alone but Wat Chedi Luang sticks out the most.

How to get to Wat Chedi Luang

The temple is located in the Old City and can easily be reached by foot, bike, or taxi. Most tourists stay in hotels in the Old City as it is centrally located and near most of the attractions, markets, and temples. 

Tips for visiting Wat Chedi Luang

You can enter the temple during operating hours for 40 baht. If the temple isn’t open you can still visit you just won’t be able to go inside. Our favourite part of the temple is from the outside anyway. 

We suggest going early in the morning around sunrise or shortly after and again around sunset. There are very few people visiting then and the light is good. It’s super peaceful in the morning, on our last visit it was just us and locals Thais who were “temple walking” similar to mall walkers but walking around the massive temple.

Facts about Wat Chedi Luang

The temple was built in 1441 and was once the biggest structure in the Lanna Kingdom. It stands over 200 feet tall. There aren’t any temples in Thailand quite like it.


By Greta from

Ayutthaya Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Why Ayutthaya is the best place to see temples in Thailand

Ayutthaya is a city in Thailand 80km north of Bangkok, famous for the numerous temple ruins located in the city centre. If you’re looking to visit temples in Thailand I think Ayutthaya is one of the best places to do so, since there are so many and they are all so close to each other.

How to get to Ayutthaya

From Bangkok, you can reach Ayutthaya by train, car or organised tour and it takes about 1.5 hours.

Entry to each temple is 50 THB or you can purchase a day pass for all the temples for 220 THB. The temples are spread out across Ayutthaya and the easiest way to easily get around and see them all is by renting a bicycle. There are a number of bike rentals around the city centre that charge around 50 THB per bike per day.

Tips for Visiting Ayutthaya

The main temples that in my opinion are absolutely a can’t miss are Wat Maha Tat, Wat Phra Sin Sanphet and Wat Phu Kao. These are the best preserved temples and amongst the largest ones in Ayutthaya, so you can really immerse yourself in the history and vibe of the place.

It is not uncommon to see monks wandering around Wat Phra Sin Sanphet. Ayutthaya, with its numerous temples all so close to each other, is a must visit in Thailand for any history, art or architecture lovers.

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

By Jerome of

wat phra that lampang luang temple in thailand

Why Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is the best temple in Thailand

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a 13th-century temple considered one of the truest examples of Lanna architecture in all of Thailand  This temple is venerated because according to legend the Buddha visited this temple and gave to the temple one of his hairs which is preserved in temple’s chedi.

Tips for Visiting Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

This temple has a very active and market-like atmosphere surrounding the chedi, viharn, and bot . One of the best ways to experience the grandeur of this temple to hire a horse-driven carriage for a ride around the exterior.

Facts about Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

Wat Phra That is a wiang or fortified temple. It is constructed atop a mound and enclosed by a brick wall but the wall did not prevent the temple and grounds from being overrun by Burmese invaders in the 18th century.  The villagers lead by Thippachak eventually retook temple. In gratitude, a stature of Thippachak was erected on the grounds.

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Hopefully you are inspired by this collection of the best temples in Thailand as suggested by 18 travel writers. With ancient temples like those at Ayutthaya and modern artistic masterpieces like the White Temple in Chiang Rai, there is bound to be a temple which piques your interest.

Temples are such an important part of Thai culture so make sure you include at least one or two temples on your Thailand itinerary.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Thailand’s temples. Here are some pretty pins for your Pinterest Boards…