Photo: Gazing at Wat Mae It.


Our rating:

While we’re not suggesting going all the way to Chiang Dao just to see them, if you’ve done the caves, been on a hike, checked out Makham Pom and still have some time on your hands then there are a couple of temples in town that we’d say are worth a look.

Primarily the conveniently placed Wat Mae It which boasts some quite remarkable sculptures plus a decent coffee shop while Wat Don Sri Sa-ard is another attractive if less conveniently sited, Buddhist temple just to the north of the centre of Chiang Dao.

Bad day. Photo taken in or around Temples, Chiang Dao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Bad day. Photo: Mark Ord

If you’re walking or cycling between Ban Tham and Chiang Dao Town then you’ll pass right by Wat Mae It (or Ead—spellings vary), which is situated aside the Chiang Dao Cave road a short distance up from the main street. The modern Buddhist temple’s main attractions are a group of highly vivid and graphic sculptures though it also offers a viewpoint and handy coffee shop. These graphic and gruesome sculptures of torture and punishments are intended as warnings of what will befall naughty Buddhist boys and girls in the afterlife.

You do see these themes repeated in many Thai temples across Thailand, but these were particularly gruesome—probably because they seem to receive regular fresh coats of scarlet paint—and though the subject’s intentions are serious, we reckon the monks must have had great fun putting these together.

Take a calming moment. Photo taken in or around Temples, Chiang Dao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Take a calming moment. Photo: Mark Ord

The sculptures lie in front of the main worshipping hall behind which is a small chedi with fine views out the rear towards Doi Chiang Dao. In the small temple carpark you’ll find a coffee shop with WiFi so you can sip an iced mocha, peruse the torture and post it on Instagram at the same time.

Back on the main street, on the north side of town and just before the bypass re-appears, is another imposing temple, Wat Don Sri Sa-ard. This is a much older and larger structure set amid tall trees, and the complex includes an elaborately decorated wiharn, (main hall), a golden chedi, plus a large, white, seated Buddha image almost hidden by the vegetation. The smaller but much older Lanna style hall to the right is also a notable building. Impressive and well worth a look around if you’re passing that way.

Wat Don Sri Na Saad Highway 1354–Chiang Dao main street, north of the town centre, Chiang Dao.
Wat Mae It Moo 5, Chiang Dao Cave road, (soi 25), Chiang Dao.

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Scattered around Chiang Dao town

Location map for Temples

Popular attractions in Chiang Dao

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Dao.

Best places to stay in Chiang Dao

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Dao.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Dao.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Dao.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Chiang Dao.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Dao, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chiang Dao? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

See below for more sights and activities in Chiang Dao that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chiang Dao? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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