Wat Suan Dok: My favourite Temple in Chiang Mai (Stunning Photos)
Updated: Apr 4
On a late afternoon I decided to take a stroll to my Wat Suan Dok, my absolute favourite temple here in Chiang Mai. I've had an incredible day earlier, catching up with old friends, and so I decided to take some time to meditate here. It's about a 15 minute walk from where I'm staying in the Nimman Area.
Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of temples, truly earning it's status as Thailand's cultural capital. While most tourists flock to the backpacker-heavy Old Town, trendy Nimman, or up the nature-filled Doi Suthep Mountain, this temple is tucked away in the quiet residential Suthep area.
Suan Dok means Flower Garden Temple in Thai. The temple was built by one of the Kings of Chiang Mai on the grounds of his pleasure garden, originally intended to serve as a retreat for a monk from Sukothai.
The temple is so white and clean, and when the sun is shining everything reflects from the white surface in a magical way.
Then there's a large golden pagoda towering over the white, and right beside it there's a golden and sparkly Vihāra, decorated with gems and crystals.
If you find yourself in Chiang Mai, definitely check out this temple. There's also some great life tips around, like this one: "Beware of little expenses, a small leak can sink a great ship". There's also great local food nearby, so come hungry!
Entrance fee & opening hours
Suan Dok temple grounds are open from 6:00 am. until 5:00 pm. Admission is free, 20 baht to enter the Vihāra to see the buddha. It's best to come during sunrise or sunset.