Monkey Temple of Chiang Rai Thailand


Monkey Temple of Chiang Rai

CR monkey entrance

Main Entrance to the temple grounds at Wat Thampla


Wat Thampla, or The Monkey Temple, is a pleasant hour’s drive north of Chiang Rai, Thailand through some very beautiful rolling countryside.

CR countryside


It’s a picturesque and historical region known as The Golden Triangle near the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos intersect.  The temple can be part of an interesting day trip from Chiang Rai or a unique stop on the way to Myanmar via the border crossing at Mae Sa which lies 13 Km further to the north.


CR Monkey sign


CR map


The main temple building backs up to cliffs rising to the Shan Plateau.

CR Temple side

CR monkeys


The Monkey Temple gets it’s name from the large number of macaque monkeys which wander the grounds. For the most part they are harmless but visitors are advised to keep their distance, just in case.





Climbing 300 plus steps (why, I ask myself, must there always be hundreds of stairs?)  will bring you to the Tham Pla Cave from which the temple gets its name. (The brown sign to the left of the stairs reads: Beware of Monkeys! Do not let your children go into the cave alone.)

CR monkey stairs2


At the top of the stairs is a long narrow gorge leading to Tham Pla Cave.

CR monkey cave 1


The interior of the cave is home to a small Buddhist Shrine.

CR monkey cave 2
CR monkey 2

Enjoy Wat Thampla – but

 Beware of the Monkeys!

(The little ones seemed quite sweet, however their parents were close by and seemed less friendly)










Beware The Monkeys At Wat Thampla ……………….. And Enjoy The Adventure!


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photography by Bruce W Bean

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© 2017 – 2018, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Photographing and wandering the world - close to home and far away. Enjoying life's adventure.
Bruce W Bean, Ph.D