Wat Sri Suphan: The Silver Temple in Chiang Mai

One of my recent goals since moving to Chiang Mai over a month ago has been to visit more of the attractions around town. My first few weeks here were spent lounging around and seeking out new restaurants without doing much in terms of sightseeing. However, this past week that finally changed and I set off in search of Wat Sri Suphan.

Silver temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Sri Suphan

Located just outside of the walled city near the southwest corner of the moat, Wat Sri Suphan is nicknamed the Silver Temple (not to be confused with the White Temple which is located in Chiang Rai).

Considering the temple sits on a small side street just off of Wualai Road (which is where the Saturday Night Market takes place), a district known for its silver making workshops, it’s not all that surprising to discover it is clad in silver; but I have to admit, even after four months of temple hopping around Southeast Asia, this temple was far more impressive than I expected it to be.

Silver temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Sri Suphan

Detail of the Silver temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Sri Suphan

The amount of detail on each of the panels along the exterior of the temple is quite the feat. These panels depict scenes of elephants roaming the jungle, elaborate clouds hanging over stupas, and key moments from Buddha’s life.

Think of how many hours it must have taken the metalworkers, many of them monks from this very temple, to complete just one panel!

Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Details inside Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Another thing that surprised me was discovering that not every building within this temple complex is silver. There are various structures within the temple grounds, many of these painted in hues of crimson, metallic blue, and gold.

Much like with the silver detailing in the main temple, the intricate woodwork on the other structures is something to marvel at, plus the small glass mosaics add a nice bit of sparkle.

Details of a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you’re looking to make your visit to the Silver Temple a bit more special, you may want to consider visiting on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday between the hours of 5:30-7:00pm when the temple holds a ‘Monk Chat’. These programs are very popular in temples across Chiang Mai, and they allow visitors the opportunity to sit down with a monk and spend some time chatting in English.

Stupa in Wat Sri Suphan in Chiang Mai, Thailand

This temple is just one of the many gems hidden within my very own neighbourhood, so I can’t wait to see what else I can find.

Have you been to the Silver Temple?
What’s the most impressive temple you have visited?

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29 Comments

    1. says: Audrey

      I’m heading to India later this year so hopefully I can swing by Amristar. A few friends of mine have been to the Golden Temple and they said it was one of the highlights of their time in India. 🙂

  1. says: Lori

    Amazing! The photos are gorgeous – as always – and this silver temple is on my list of places to see when I’ll be in the area 🙂

    1. says: Audrey

      Thanks Lori. This isn’t one of the best known temples in town, but it’s worth the visit in my books. I hope you get to see it too. 😉

  2. says: Megan

    Gorgeous! I remember walking by Wat Sri Suphan when I was in Chiang Mai, but I never got up close and personal with it. I was kind of wat-ed out by that point, but it was definitely a mistake not to check it out more!

    1. says: Audrey

      That’s too bad you missed it, but it’s understandable after spending a long period of time here – there are wats everywhere you turn! There are still a few more I’d like to visit around town, like Chedi Luang, which I believe is one of the oldest in the city. 😉

  3. says: Tricia

    What beautiful architectural details you’ve captured here! We passed through Thailand several times during our Southeast Asian adventures last year, but admittedly only spent a few days in transit in Bangkok. We’re now trying to decide where to head for the winter, and considering Thailand, maybe Chiang Mai. I’ve heard that the city is a mecca for cooking classes – have you done any yet? 🙂

    1. says: Audrey

      Chiang Mai would be a nice little spot to escape winter. 😉 I haven’t taken any cooking classes here yet, but there are loads of cooking schools around town, plus the food here is amazing! I have been spending most of my time restaurant hopping and trying new Thai dishes.

  4. says: Tim Horgan @ On and Off the Gringo Trail

    Looks like a top place. The last hidden corner of Southeast Asia is soon to open up and there’ll be a whole new wealth of culture to explore – have you seen Anthony Bourdain’s show ‘Parts Unknown’. He does a ripping episode on Burma

    1. says: Audrey

      I’ve watched a few episodes of Anthony Bourdain on YouTube, but I haven’t seen the Burma one yet. That’s one place I’m really looking forward to visiting later in the year. I did cross over into Burma and wander around for a bit when I did my visa run, but that doesn’t feel like a proper visit.

      1. says: Tim Horgan @ On and Off the Gringo Trail

        yeh nice, apparantley there’s only a ‘small triangle’ that is open to outsiders. It still gets pretty hairy in most parts of the country

  5. says: Apol of Wanderful Together

    wow I would love to chat with a monk!

    This temple is impressive too!! I would like to see people doing these intricate carvings.
    I’m so curious how they do it, so much detail!

    1. says: Audrey

      If you come at the right time, you might be able to catch the monks working the silver. This neighbourhood is home to a lot of silver-making shops.

  6. says: chinamatt

    That’s a beautiful temple. Can’t believe I missed it when I was in Chiang Mai (of course, I only had 2 days to see as much as possible). Maybe I’ll get to go back this year.

    1. says: Audrey

      It would be easy to miss. There are hundreds of wats scattered across Chiang Mai and this one is kind of hidden in a back street outside the walled city.

  7. says: Sally

    I want to say more, but I’m really just speechless at how gorgeous this temple is! I can’t believe how “simple” Korean temples seem compared to pictures of temples like this.

  8. says: Charli l Wanderlusters

    How intricate, it’s just mind blowing to think of the hours of work that have gone into creating such an incredible building. Awesome photographs 🙂

  9. says: Heather

    I loved this temple, though we were certainly spoiled for choice in Chiang Mai. It’s great your taking in the sights of your adopted home! We had just five days there which was a bit rushed. I so would have enjoyed taking your slow approach!

  10. says: Nicole @ Green Global Travel

    What a beautiful place. Can’t wait to get back to South East Asia and explore all the incredible temples. Soon!

  11. says: Maria

    Drop everything gorgeous! Love the spare use of such bright colors and all the intricate details within the architectural elements. Makes my afternoon to scroll through these photos.

  12. says: Gavin @ Best Adventure Travels

    that certainly looks like another interesting temple to visit. we’re preparing for our trip to Thailand next month.

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