Chiang Mai has an abundance of Buddhist Wats but there are a handful that stand out as just that bit special. Wat Sri Suphan, or the silver temple, is one.
The temple complex is easy to get to being located to the south of the moat just off Wualai Rd (the location for the Saturday night walking market). If you’re going to the Saturday night market then it’s definitely worth the small detour – just follow the signs to either the silver temple or the silver Ubosoth. At night the temple is illuminated by a changing colour light show that gives it a totally different view compared to a daytime visit.
Unfortunately, like many other parts of temple complexes, the interior of the main ordination hall, or Ubosoth, cannot be entered by women. Don’t let that put you off – everywhere else is accessible by all and is very interesting.
We returned a few days later during the daytime to have a good look around the complex and found a small museum/interpretive centre located next to the Ubosoth. It was here we discovered that the complex is also a very important centre for the preservation of many lanna skills and handicrafts and helps to preserve the silversmith tradition of this part of Chiang Mai. Many of these skills are disappearing in the modern world and one of the visions of this temple is to ensure these skills are not lost. You can see local artisans at work in an area to the left of the complex and it’s worth a few minutes to stop, watch and see how the magnificent panels in the Ubosoth have been created.
There are so many beautiful panels in, and on, the Ubosoth that I went quite mad with the camera. Here’s a few of them as individual images as well as a slide show to give you an idea of what is here.
We thoroughly recommend you visit here when travelling to the beautiful northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
Suan: unfortunately women cannot get inside the temple! But yes the silver crafting and local arts are being preserved through the efforts of the temple. Very noble undertaking.