Just outside the old walled city center of Chiang Mai, the Wat Lok Molee is of the city’s older temples. The temple that is also known as the Wat Lok Moli holds one of the largest and most impressive chedis in Chiang Mai.

Although the exact founding date of the temple is not known, it is likely that the first structures were built during the 14th century. The temple was probably a Royal Wat, since the Kings of the Mengrai dynasty maintained the temple.

King Kuena who ruled Lanna during the second half of the 14th century is said to have invited a number of monks from present day Myanmar to Chiang Mai to spread the teachings of the Buddha. During their stay in Chiang Mai the monks lived in the Wat Lok Molee temple.

The massive chedi was built in 1527 when it must have dominated the area. It has been restored several times over the centuries and is in good condition. The chedi sits on a large square base. Each side of the upper part of the chedi has a niche that contains a Buddha image. The niches are flanked on both sides by thevada figures, a kind of celestial beings.

The chedi contains the ashes of several Kings of the Mengrai dynasty, who ruled the Lanna Kingdom from the end of the 13th century until 1558 when the Burmese invaded the Kingdom.