This post is part of the series Chiang Mai
Other posts in this series:
- Wat Sri Suphan: The Silver Temple in Chiang Mai (Current)
- Wat Chedi Luang: Temple of the Great Stupa in Chiang Mai
- Wat Phra Singh: The Golden Temple in Chiang Mai
This post is part of the series Thailand
Other posts in this series:
Welcome to Chiang Mai – the biggest city in the north of Thailand and basically the temple central. Chiang Mai is famous with the tones of Buddhist Temples, more than 300 in the city’s main area itself. The oldest temples Doi Suthep and Wat Chiang Mai date from 13th century.
In Chiang Mai, you can visit a Gold Temple, a Silver Temple, a Red Temple, and Everything-You-Wish-For-A-Temple… So, there is something for every taste! Having the numbers in mind, I can totally approve the statement that Chiang Mai is the spiritual capital of Thailand!
It was the first day of our second stop in Thailand. As our hotel was located near the south gate of the old city we decided to visit the Silver Temple first. The temple is located just a 2-minute walk from the south gate but if you’re coming from anywhere in the old city, it will only cost 30 THB when you take the red truck (the so-called “Songthaew” taxi in Chiang Mai).
The temple is also very close to the Wualai Street Market, which is the Saturday’s night market in Chiang Mai. Wualai Road is a district very well known for its silver art and jewellery, so there is no surprise that the temple is completely covered by some impressive hand-crafted silver decoration! Even after visiting some dozens of temples in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand the Silver Temple was far more impressive than I expected it to be!
On our first morning in Chang Mai the sun was shining, the temperature was about 35 degrees and we visited the most beautiful temple I’ve seen so far in Thailand! The Wat Srisuphan, known as the Silver Temple, was built in 1502 under the reign of King Mengrai. The Silver Temple is the shining star of the north and is often confused with the White Temple which is in Chiang Rai. There are a lot of reasons, but its beauty makes the Silver temple a must-visit tourist attraction in Chiang Mai.
If you ask me, the Silver Temple is a literally a hidden gem of the north and a stroke of genius! Since its original construction from 1502, Wat Srisuphan has been renovated numerous times. The most recent redesign began in 2004 when local silversmiths assist in renovating the temple into what we can see nowadays.
On arrival, the first thing you will notice is the ordination hall, known by the locals as the silver ubosot. The silver colour represents the Yin energy which is linked to the moon and is meant to be very old and wise.
The silver Temple has probably the most beautiful exterior and interior you will find in all Thailand. Both covered by silver art pieces and displaying some detailed silver carvings of Buddhism legends. Anyway, not every building within this temple complex is silver! Many of the structures and statues within the temple complex are painted in the shade of crimson, metallic blue, and gold. Its surrounding area is absolutely secluded and peaceful. And the best thing – there are almost no tourist … different than the buzzling temple culture in Bangkok.
Unfortunately, only men can go inside the temple. According to Lanna belief women aren’t allowed to enter the main ordination hall.
Normally, I’m going completely crazy if I cannot visit a place because I am a woman, but this time was kind of O.K. due to the perfect exterior and the fact that I got some photos done by my husband.
You can find some signs explaining that “beneath the base of Ubusotha in the monastic boundary, many precious things, incantations, amulets, and other holy objects were buried over 500 years ago. Entering inside this area may deteriorate the place or otherwise the lady herself”. Well, my Girl Power can destroy everything explained above. Obviously.
However, the best view of the temple is certainly from the outside and the gardens are pleasant to walk around.
Things to Know Before You Go
Official Name: Wat Sri Suphan
Address: 100 Wulai Road, next to the Wualai Saturday Walking Street Market, Chiang Mai 50100
Opening Hours: Wat Sri Suphan is open every day from Monday-Sunday – 6:00 am to 9:00 pm
Tickets: Free admission
Hotels Near Wat Sri Suphan: Find the best deals here!
Enjoy the day!
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Continue reading this series:
Wat Chedi Luang: Temple of the Great Stupa in Chiang Mai