Wat Chedi Luang ~ Thailand

The ruined stupa of Wat Chedi Luang in the old city of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Inside the walls of the old city in Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang is probably the second most famous temple (after Wat Phra Singh).

Built in the mid-15th century and damaged after an earthquake in 1545, it used to be the home of the famous ‘Emerald Buddha’ (which is now in Bangkok).

The ruin stands about 60m (200ft) tall, making that tree next to it look quite impressive. It’s one of my favorite trees in Chiang Mai actually.

For those who don’t know, Chiang Mai is a big city that extends in every direction but is not a very “tall city”. There are almost no tall buildings (over 5 stories) except for a few hotels and condos around the old city, giving the capital of the north a very laid back and enjoyable feel.

In fact, inside the walls of the old city, no building can be built taller than Wat Chedi Luang’s stupa. Seen from afar, it’s the tallest standing structure in the center of town.. well… it’s competing with that awesome tree anyway.

The effect on the photo was achieved using Lightroom. I tried to give it an old vintage postcard feel with sepia-ish colors. I have saved my settings in a Lightroom preset that I’d be happy to share if people are interested.

Do you use presets when working on Lightroom?

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  • Great shot. Where were you standing to get this view? I love the angle as you are able to show the height of the wat relative to the tree, which I love as well, and the rest of the surrounding building. Plus, I love the muted tones you used on the image. I would love to get the preset to play around with in Lightroom myself.

    Thank you for the background as well. We walk by this often but did not have all the history yet. Glad to see it through your eyes.

    • Thanks a lot Warren :)

      Well, easy to guess, I got it from our rooftop at Smith (and a telephoto lens to zoom in).


  • I didn’t make it to Chang Mai when in Thailand (I have this obnoxious habit of heading straight for the beach) and this pic of Wat Chedi Luang makes me sad I didn’t… looks like I gotta go back!

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