Wat Suan Dok is believed to have been constructed in 1373 under the reign of King Keu Na who ruled over the ancient Lanna Kingdom.
The aim of building the temple was to facilitate the visit of a respected priest as well as provide him with a place to stay during the harsh seasons of Northern Thailand.
Wat Suan Dok Buddhist Temple & Meditation Retreat, Chiang Mai Thailand
In addition to its unique name, the other aspect of Wat Suan Dok that makes it unique is the exquisite collection of stupas that are spread out over the grounds. There are two large pagodas and the stupas contain the cremated remains of the previous rulers of Chiang Mai. Come by for “Monk Chat” which is held Monday – Friday from 5pm and learn more about Buddhism from a practising monk.
You will also notice the presence of Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University on location. Just as the name suggests, this institution of higher learning targets monks who live in the area as well as any foreigners who may be interested. In addition, the meditation retreats at the temple are also a popular activity for foreigners, with many classes conducted in English.
As with all temples in Thailand, visitors must ensure they are dressed respectfully. This includes covering knees, shoulders and midriffs.
The temple is just 2kms from the west gate of the Old City and can easily be walked. However, a red truck (songthaew) will only cost 20 THB per person to get there if you would prefer not to walk.