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Tags : Buddhist Temple

Timings : 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Wat Pha Lat, Chiang Mai Overview

Located deep within a forest, Wat Pha Lat is a temple that merges the spirituality of Buddhism with the beauty of nature. It can be reached after a delightful hike along the monk's trail, completing which the temple offers a rewarding experience. One finds that stone images and carved statues are set amidst freely flowing waterfalls, sounds of birds and a peaceful atmosphere.

Wat Pha Lat, also meaning a monastery at the sloping rock is also one of the best-kept Chiang Mai secrets. Nestled on the way to one of the most popular attractions, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, this jungle temple is believed to have been discovered when a white elephant belonging to King Kuena, direly needed some rest.

The same elephant later passed away at the nearby jungle, which is now Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. After the jungle's discovery, the king ordered for temples to be built on both these sites, which then became a resting stop and a monk pilgrimage. Roads leading to temples constructed in 1935 eventually became a meditation centre and a monk residence.

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Monk's Trail Hike

Used by monks for several years, the monk's trail is about a mile long trek. Moderately easy, the trail is approximately a 45-minute trek. The path also has quite a few steep sections covered in the shade along the trek.

The Course of the Monk's Trail
The trails here are easy to follow with guided signs along the way. Beginning in the middle of the two green flags, trekkers would have to follow the same path to reach uphill. If you go through the non-marked trails, monk robes tied around the trees will lead your way.

After hiking up a couple of miles, visitors will see an emerging naga-flanked staircase. The whole stairway here is lined with Buddha structures along with a beautiful stream between the temple and the monk's trail.
As you reach up the temple, explore the temple grounds and witness many other Buddha statues.

How to Reach Wat Pha Lat

Wat Pha Lat can be reached either by taking a songtaew (red rickshaws) or a rented motorbike/scooter from Chiang Mai. Since Wat Pha Lat is situated near Chiang Mai Zoo, the Zoo also acts as a parking space here.


  • Carry a bug spray as you hike up the trail.
  • Dress comfortably and by the local rules and conditions. Cover your legs and shoulders while visiting temples.
  • Wear proper hiking footwear.
  • The monk's trail hike is best done early in the morning around 7:00 am or 8:00 am, to avoid scorching heat during mid-day.
  • There are no food vendors and stalls on the trail. Hence, pack basic essentials before heading in for a hike here.

What to Expect at the Temple

Bracketed within pristine views where monks still reside and meditate, the temple-top provides an excellent city view as well. The mini-temples, pagodas, multiple figurines from the Thai mythology and intricate wall carvings and elephant heads are some of the attractions. Visitors would also come across dragon-adorned staircases here.

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