Wat Sri Suphan
If Chiang Mai is the next stop in your Thailand journey, you may feel regretful when skipping the chance of visiting Wat Sri Suphan, which is considered one of the oldest and most unique, beautiful temples in this famous Buddhist country.
The temple is situated at a long-standing silver-making village of Wualai District, Chiang Mai Province. Wat Sri Suphan is truly magnificent because everything in the temple including the temple itself is work of art. However, the temple is not touristy as it belongs to an off-the-beaten-path area compared to other famous temples like Wat Chedi Luang or Wat Buppharam inside the city.
Wat Sri Suphan sometimes makes visitors get first odd feelings with the temple’s name, but it seems more popular when people call it The Silver Temple, which is also the main ingredient used to build this artwork. The Silver Temple is actually covered in sparkling silver from the outside walls to the roof that never fails to grasp great visitors’ attention at anytime landing here. Not only the outer space but also the inner space of the temple is skillfully decorated by a vast array of handcrafted silverworks including holly Buddha statues as well as scenes and key moments of Buddha’s life. All of these pieces of art are exquisitely crafted by talented traditional workers living around Wualai.
Wat Sri Suphan appears spectacular since almost everything is covered in silver
History of Wat Sri Suphan
The Silver Temple is originally built around the 16th century during the Mangrai Dynasty to serve as the main temple for inhabitants from a silversmith village to pray for luck and happiness to come. It is worth noticing that the temple has been rebuilt and renovated many times since the first construction to protect and preserve the integrity of the temple over passing severe historical periods. 2008 marked the event of fully covering Wat Sri Suphan in silver that further renovations lasted 8 years more.
Even the smallest details of the Silver Temple are carefully crafted in silver
Activities in Wat Sri Suphan
When you join a trip to The Silver Temple, you will have a chance to watch skillful craftsman at work creating metal plates and you can even buy their work of silvers as meaningful souvenirs from any silver studios inside the temple.
If you want to directly interact with the silverwork, do not hesitate to roll in a silver-making short-course. However, this intriguing activity is limited in the number of participants, so make sure you book a slot at least a day before not to miss the chance to enjoy making artworks yourself.
More amazingly, The Silver Temple often offers a “monk chat” session opened from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening. You can spend a period of time to have conversations in English with monks to know about things related to Buddhism.
For other visitors desire for experiencing a prominent daily activity of monks, a meditation program is held on the same day with “monk chat’’. You can immerse yourself into the utmost tranquillity when taking part in this activity from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This program does not require any charges, but it still has a welcome to all visitors’ donations.
An important thing you should bear in mind is that all women are not entitled to enter the Ordination Hall of The Silver Temple following a set of Old Buddhist rules. But don’t worry much as the inside hall is quite small and you may watch it from outside. You can spend more time walking freely around the temple to observe spectacular details of metalworks on the outer space.
Only monks and male tourists are allowed to step inside the Ordination Hall of the Silver Temple
How to get to Wat Sri Suphan
You may find no big challenges to get to The Silver Temple since it is just 600 meters far from the Chiang Mai Gate. It is even more appealing for you to take advantage of enjoying the popular Saturday Night Market after visiting the temple since the temple shares the same street with the night market. The best time recommended for all visitors to see Chiang Mai Silver Temple is after the sunset. It is the time when the temple is filled with colourful lights that periodically changes to make the temple become more eye-catching than ever.
The Silver Temple looks more temped at night with a colourful light system
Other useful information (cost, opening and closing hour)
Every trip to Chiang Mai Silver Temple will cost you 50 Baht. The temple opens to welcome all visitors at 6:00 am and closes at 5:30 pm every day except Sunday when you can spend more time experiencing the temple until 9:30 pm.
By and large, Wat Sri Suphan is definitely a must-see destination you have to pay a visit to the old city Chiang Mai once in your lifetime. With a one-of-a-kind appearance which is dexterously made from precious silver, the temple promises to surprise you every time you watch it from its outside to inside. Hope that you find out special amazing things hidden in the trip to The Silver Temple! See you soon!
Image source: Internet