Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai

Wat Pha Lat Temple - Hidden Gem in Chiang Mai

In the shade of the trees, just beside the waterfall on the hillside of Mount Doi Suthep you will find one of the most unique temples, the historic Wat Pha Lat. What sets it apart from the others is its location, incredible atmosphere of serenity and stunning temple structures. A blend of the perfect artwork created by man and nature that will take your breath away [...]

For an even better experience and impression, I suggest entering the temple through the jungle following the Monk's Trail. As you emerge from the forest, you will hear the noise of a waterfall and the gong ringing. There is just a small bridge separating you from the temple. After crossing the bridge, you take the path next to a shrine with a Buddha statue. 

Na szlaku Monk's Trail - szlak mnicha w Chiang Mai Tajlandia z dzieckiem
Wat Pha Lat Monk's Trail

You can take a taxi to Wat Pha Lat temple, but why not combine a temple visit with a pleasant hike along the Monk's Trail?

Wat Pha Lat Temple

Right after the Buddha shrine, there is an open area located on the mountainside with a waterfall flowing through it. Everything around is covered with lush greenery and in the distance you can see a view of Chiang Mai. However, this is not the end of the beautiful views as Wat Pha Lat Temple is shady, full of hidden places, incredibly beautiful and stunning. 

View of Pha Lat waterfall
Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai view from the hillside

The oldest buildings of the temple are estimated to be around 650 years old and were built during the reign of Phaya Kue Na about 2 years after the construction of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. 

The name of the temple Wat Pha Lat (วัดผาลาด) is probably related to its location on a slope because Pha (ผา) means cliff, Lat (ลาด) means slope, inclination. There was a period of time, between 1962 and 1991, when the temple was abandoned by the monks. For several years now, the temple has been restored and its shine returned.

 

Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai
Hor Pracha, hall with Buddha statues

Distinctive to this temple are two structures, separated by a waterfall. One is the narrow Hor Pracha chamber, which is a shelter for few statues of Buddha. 

The second structure is the ancient Phra Borommathat Chedi, which was crafted in the Burmese style. The Chedi is covered with moss and fine vegetation which only enhances its charm and extraordinary atmosphere.

Old Chedi Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai
Phra Borommathat Chedi

We have seen many stunning places and many beautiful temples in Thailand, but Wat Pha Lat just thrilled us

What you need to know before visiting Wat Pha Lat Temple

  • The temple can be visited for free and is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm
  • You can walk to Wat Pha Lat as we did, hiking the Monk's Trail or by taking a taxi to the main entrance. You can also catch the red song taew in Chiang Mai.
  • If you choose to take a round trip walk, it is better to do so well before the closing of the temple, as it will already be dark by 6pm.
  • It is possible to continue the trip from Wat Pha Lat temple to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple. That can be done by following the trail, however, this is a more difficult and challenging route according to the information I gathered. You can just catch a taxi. 
  • At the main entrance to the temple, drinks and ice cream can be bought. 

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