February 23, 2024

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham – Chiang Mai Thailand




Wat Phrathat Doi Kham – Chiang Mai Thailand


17 meter high Seated Buddha – Wat Phrathat Doi Kham



  High atop a forested mountain in Northern Thailand, Wat Phrathat Doi Kham and it’s gigantic Buddha Statues stand vigil over the countryside below and the City of Chiang Mai. The temple complex has a somewhat modern look and feel, one which belies it’s early roots. The original temple on this site was built around 687 A.D. Reconstruction and renovations began around 1981 with most major work completed around 1995.  None-the-less, today’s visitors will still encounter continuing smaller construction and expansion projects. Visitors and pilgrims to the temple can climb the 300 steps which ascend up the hillside to reach the terrace of  Wat Phrathat Doi Kham.  Fortunately, for those who want to visit but aren’t necessarily looking for a workout such as myself – it is also possible to drive to the temple using the roadway which winds its way up the mountain.     ***

The Standing Buddha  located on the eastward facing terrace of the temple complex  looks out on the valley and the City of Chiang Mai below. ***

The supersized Standing Buddha of the temple is a landmark in the area.  It is easily seen from various locations such as the The Royal Park Rajapruek at the base of the mountain where the photo below was taken.



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The temple terrace is a popular place for locals and tourists alike.  It’s a great place for a “photo op” or a “selfie.”  Many gather here for wedding photos. Views from the terrace are sweeping and spectacular.   ***

The terrace area is also a wonderful spot to simply rest and relax – perhaps do a bit of meditating? Maybe recover and catch your breath if you climbed up all those stairs?  The reclining Buddha seen below is right in the spirit of the restful qualities of the terrace.   ***

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is not really on the typical “tourist trail” of temple visits in the Chiang Mai area.  It tends to be more popular with locals and those from elsewhere in Thailand.  Many come to seek the favor of “Laung Phor Thun Jai”, the Buddha Image of Success.  

Laung Phor Thun Jai Buddha with Jasmine Garland Offerings


Directions Regarding Vows & Offerings to Laung Phor Thun Jai

The “directions” as shown above explain the process of making a vow to the Buddha. Supplicants to the Laung Phor Thun Jai Buddha come to make a wish or request a favorable outcome to a problem, pledging an offering of jasmine garlands ( a minimum of 50 but you can always pledge more ) If the  wish is fulfilled within 3 months the supplicant must return with the promised garlands, asking Laung Phor Thun Jai to kindly accept the offering.  Fortunately there are many venders on site selling jasmine garlands – just in case you or others are lucky enough to have your wish fulfilled. And it seem that many requests are indeed successful.  The area in front of the Buddha is quite literally covered with piles and piles of jasmine garlands!

Constructed around 687, the golden pagoda or Chedi at the center of the complex is the oldest structure at Wat Phrathat Doi Kham. ***

The temple area has a variety of small shrines for specific idols.  Several venders also offer refreshments if you get hungry or thirsty during your visit.

How To Visit

 Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is located about 15 km southwest of The Pae Gate Central in Chiang Mai.  The drive takes about 30 minutes depending on traffic.  It’s an easy drive if you have your own car or motorcycle.  If you have no transport you can arrange a visit through a travel service which can package the visit for you.  But it’s easy to visit the temple on your own.  Efficient and reasonably priced Uber service is available both to and from the site. For a pleasant and interesting day trip, a temple visit can easily be combined with an exploration of the expansive gardens and exhibits at  The Royal Park Rajapruek which is located at the base of the mountain just below Wat Phrathat Doi Kham.

Visit Wat Phrathat Doi Kham ………. And Enjoy The Adventure!








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