Temples to visit in Chiang Mai: Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep

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Category : Chiang Mai, Thailand, Travel, Vacation

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Before I start on about my food-ful trip, I shall talk a bit on this spiritual trip we had months ago. Thailand is an amazing country with so much to see and explore. We took a merely 3 hours flight to the northern part of Thailand, to discover the spiritual place that is packed with over 200 of temples in Chiang Mai, either small or big.

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Due to the time constrain in our trip to Chiang Mai, we (with kampungboycitygal) did quite a good job in covering 5 temples in ONE day. Pretty amazing ya?! Let’s check out our pick for temples.

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Wat Phra Thai Doi Suthep

One of the most important temples in Chiang Mai, the Theravada Buddhist temple. Doi Suthep is the name for the mountain which is located in Chiang Mai. One always says, if you didn’t hike up to Doi Suthep, you have never been to Chiang Mai at all.

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To get here, take the public transport – songthaew (the red colour pickup truck taxi with seats along the sides) from the road side of Chiang Mai University. The price is pretty standard, so worry not. You will have to wait until there are 10 people in the truck for a ride up. Alternatively, if you wish for a private trip, the driver may offer a price of 400 baht.

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You will be transported up the mountain through the entire winding mountain road till the base of the temple. Close your eyes if you couldn’t stand the winding road. The temperature turned colder as we went higher.

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When you are up at the base of the temple, you can choose either to hike up the 300 steps of the Naga (the protective serpents) staircase to the temple gate or funicular cable car ride at a fee. We picked the first one to enjoy a good stroll under this cool weather.

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The Naga

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There are a lot of food and souvenirs stalls before reaching the temple. We were too full to try on the food but we get some souvenirs and pretty scarves at a bargain.

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Remember to come with proper attire to give respect when entering the temple. Sleeveless and shorts are not allowed but if you happened to be in shorts, there are sarongs for loan. Or, you can cover your knees/legs with huge cotton scarf like what I did.

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Wat Phra Thai, the temple was built in 1383 when the first chedi was build. King Keuna of Chiang Mai selected a white elephant to carry a holy relic of the Lord Buddha to what would be its resting place. The elephant wandered up Mount Suthep until it came to a place where it trumpeted three times before finally laid down. It was interpreted as a sign and a temple was built on the spot to house the holy relic. There house the stunning larger than life replica of the famous Emerald Buddha, the original of which is now kept in Bangkok.

Adapted from Visit Chiang Mai

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The view of Chiang Mai from Doi Suthep.

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Admission fee is 30 baht for foreigners
Doi Suthep Temple is open to visitors during daylight hours from approximately 6:30am to 6:30pm

Summary Guide will be uploaded soon 🙂

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