A not to be missed attraction of Chiang Mai’s old city is its oldest Buddhist temple called ‘Wat Chiang Man’ built during the time of Mang Rai dynasty (1296-1558 A.D.) and later partly restored in the year 1571. A new building of a prayer hall called “ubosot” was constructed in 1805. A stone inscription in front of this “ubosot” in this temple complex states that the city of Chiang Mai was founded by King Mang Rai and his friends in the year 1296. The stone inscription also states that during the time of founding of the Chiang Mai, King Mang Rai stayed in the place where the present day Wat Chiang Man is situated. Certainly, its the most historically important temple of the old city of Chiang Mai. A modern temple building is constructed in the front but some very old buildings are still there in the back. Prepare to spend some time in Wat Chiang Man.
How to get to Wat Chiang Man
If you enter the old city through Thapae Gate, go straight on the main road and take the second right turn that should be ‘Rachapakinai Road’. Wat Chiang Man is situated at the far end of this road on the left side. From Thapae Gate, this should be a 15 minute walk.
To make the most of Chiang Mai’s old city, I suggest you pick up a copy of Chiang Mai’s Best Tourist Map which costs 40 THB if purchased. This map is given out free of cost by Chiang Mai Tourist Authority’s office.