Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai


It was a bit overcast when we visited Wat Chedi Luang yesterday, but even with the cloudy skies, it was simply stunning. This was our second visit to this temple complex. The moment I saw it for the first time, I told myself that we’d need to return. Not only because the batteries on my camera had just died, but because it was the kind of place that overwhelms you with its grandeur and beauty.

Just the other day, I’d mentioned to my husband how nice it would be to be caught in the rain while visiting one of the atmospheric temples in Chiang Mai and, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened on this visit. As it began to drizzle we made ourselves comfortable under one of the covered entrances and sat back to quietly take in the scenery and watch the rain fall.

Wat Chedi Luang is one of Chiang Mai’s most important and prestigious temples. Construction began in 1391 to hold the ashes of King Saen Muang Ma’s father. You can’t help but notice the ruined state of the chedi. It once stood 90 meters high, but it was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1545. After restoration, which retains evidence of its ruined state, it now stands about 60 meters high.

It’s also worth noting that in 1468, Thailand’s holiest religious object, the Emerald Buddha, was installed here. It was subsequently moved to Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, but in 1995 a copy of the Emerald Buddha made from black jade was placed in the reconstructed eastern niche for the 600th anniversary of the chedi.

The temple is just a short walk south of the intersection with the main east-west Ratchadamnoen Road.

Wat Chedi Luang
Address: 103 Phra Pok Klao Road