At least 5 came all at once and tourists poured out of them. Enter your email below to be notified every time LE Travels publishes a post. I was going to say no but Eric piped up and said yes. The juice bar was really small but so cute. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is doubtless Chiang Mai’s most famous temple on the mountain called Doi Suthep. It looked like an expat favorite. If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I usually always have a plan. Of course, I respected their tradition, but it was one of those things that made me feel less just because of my gender. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I went with wine because wine was hard to come by in Southeast Asia. It was never an indication of the quality of the restaurant. There is another way to get to this temple. Eric didn’t get anything. We saw a small pagoda to our right as soon as we entered and noticed a group of monks walking in. The original founding of the temple remains a legend and there are a few varied versions. This tiny older Thai woman saw me struggling and shuffled over to help me. I really enjoyed reading your post – those photos are amazing! After he pointed us in the right direction, we were off to climb the 309 stairs of the Naga Staircase to the top. - See 7,663 traveler reviews, 9,487 candid photos, and great deals for Doi Suthep, Thailand, at Tripadvisor. I was so shocked that no one was there at 8:30 am. But yes, it’s part of another culture, and we just have to hope there are some guys that can go in and tell us how it was! We didn’t just get dessert, we ordered both desserts on their menu: mango cheesecake and creme brulee. Both form a square enclosing the Old City. This is not the Doi Suthep Temple. On the way to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Road to Doi Suthep passes through a serene and peaceful jungle. I felt bad for the group of girls because they didn’t have any men in their group to go in and get pictures for them. It was actually just outside of Chaing Mai Old City, but very close. The kitten pounced on the broom and immediately jumped back because his broom was basically just a bunch of pine needles bundled together. We had noticed so many expats living in Chiang Mai and besides the welcoming and kind nature of the Thai’s, we were curious why so many people decided to pick up their lives and move to such a different country. This comment just filled my heart with happiness!! Luckily, two guys exiting the temple saw them and asked if they wanted them to share their pictures. If you forget, wraps are available if needed. Being our nosey selves, we listened as they told Anders how they were taking a break from rice and found his restaurant on TripAdvisor. That was quite amazing experience you had in Chiang Mai. Anders seated us and gave us menus. It was so beautiful and peaceful with hardly anyone around. Located on the top of Doi Suthep is one of the temples of Chiang Mai that is most important. Eric enjoyed his beer. It’s hard for me to put into words the immense tranquility I felt at this temple. My sticky mango beer was so fizzy, every time I took a sip it would fizz up so much in my mouth I could barely swallow it. The other temple we saw on the mountain wasn’t crowded at all so that one is totally fine to go to later! For food, I just ordered an appetizer (I can’t remember what it was) and Eric got Khao Soi again. . I’m still not sure what the significance is, but I do know that our names are on two of them in Chiang Mai! Eric!”. Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai. Your photos look stunning, thank you for sharing your experience! If you would like to visit Doi Suthep Temple (our #1 tour attraction ), this private day tour combines a morning at Doi Suthep and an afternoon exploring Chiang Mai Old City. He wasn’t wrong. We read a sign that said it was considered respectful and good luck for visitors to walk clockwise around the golden chedi 3 times so we decided to do this before leaving the main part of the temple. It wasn’t big, but the setting on the side of a mountain and in the middle of the jungle was so beautiful. . It’s also known as simply ‘Doi Suthep’, after the 1,676-meter high mountain on which it stands. The details were incredible, unlike any other temple we had seen so far. Thank you for your support! This section will take 2-2.5 hours from Wat Pha Lat. You can walk up the 306 steps if you’re feeling energetic, or you can take funicular-style cable car, which runs from 6.00 am – 6.00 pm. It’s like something out of a fairytale. The city tour includes the two most popular temples: Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh. There was a sign, but if we were on our own I wouldn’t have known it was there. After removing our shoes and placing them on a shoe rack, we entered the main part of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Your photos are incredible – especially the one of you on the stairs. More of that Chiang Mai magic. So we bought a few along with an iced latte for me. Thank you so much for your kind words. I didn’t know much about Wat Pha Lat other than it was shown on season 14, episode 9 of The Bachelorette (no judgment please). They even had some pastries left. Wat Sri Supan is one of the most well-known temples in Chiang Mai because of the fact that its exterior is covered in silver. There was some significant cloud cover which made it hard to see the city below, but it was still beautiful to see. The best part is that you didn’t have to wake up before the sun to get there and not be crowded. Built by King Gue-Na in 1383, the temple houses a large copper-plate Chedi (twenty-two meters high) that is covered in gold and contains holy relics of the Lord Buddha. I loved the walk because it took us through some more residential side streets with cute homes lining the roads. We were almost finished with our pizza when an American looking couple sat down at the table next to ours. Our songthaew driver was an older Thai man who didn’t know English very well. As we were sitting there, a cat kept creeping in the restaurant and meowing really loudly. I went with a papaya, pineapple, and mango juice. There was an all-girl group of tourists hanging out there as well so I hung back with them while Eric went inside with the rest of the men to take pictures. If I didn’t already want to move to Chiang Mai, I absolutely did now. Several of the buildings had scaffolding on them and were being restored. She smiled and bowed back. I was ecstatic. The temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is certainly one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai, as well as one of the most revered among all Thais. Suthep itself is a district of western Chiang Mai city and one that gets its name from the adjacent mountain (doi means mountain in northern Thai), and the temple on the summit—Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, is found on the mountainside. If you ever get the chance to visit Wat Pha Lat I highly recommend it. Planning a trip up the mountain to see the temple is a fairly easy endeavour from Chiang Mai and there are various ways to do it. Hopefully people will know how to dispose their trash properly. I guess the other tourists all slept that teeny bit longer!? Especially when the more famous religious complexes in the area are overrun with tourists in the high season. I was already nervous that we were leaving too late to beat the crowds at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, but I tried to focus on the fact that we were getting to go at all. When you enter, the main prayer hall is to your right and a walkway on your left leads you to the stupa at the back. Situated on a mountaintop and glistening in gold, it is one … I too force people traveling with me to wake up at extreme hours so we can miss the rush. Then we told him how we were in need of a break from rice and saw how wonderful the reviews were for his restaurant. Locals say that your stay in the city won’t be complete without visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. After our 5-minute tuk-tuk ride, we arrived at Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. We arrived at the base of the temple around 8:30 am. Around 7:00 pm we started our walk along the walls of Chiang Mai Old City to Flight 52. It was so quiet except for the babbling stream that ran through the property. The Thai culture overall is so kind, respectful, and beautiful. We stopped a few times on the way to the top to snap a few pictures. I am extremely open-minded and accept all cultures, but the no-women rule irked me. I’m telling you, Chiang Mai is one magical place. . Plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring the temple and surrounding area and if you have more time, there’s the option to hike various trails and swim in waterfalls in the national park that is home to the temple. If you want to take one to the temple, they leave from Huay Kaew Road near the Zoo, costing 40 baht per person each way. You hop in one and wait until it … What are the chances?! 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Museums. Sitting next to the famous Wat Chedi Luang this temple is often overlooked but worth a visit. We turned around to find none other than Eva from our hotel. Chiang Mai is a city filled with temples. The Naga Staircase is so IG perfect spot. We ended up asking for a couple to-go boxes so we could snag some fresh croissants before we headed out on our trip up the mountain. The seven-headed snake up the stairs cause lime. I would definitely be pissed about not being able to go into a temple because of my gender, so I’m glad I know I have to drag my boyfriend with me when I go. I tried to research as much as I could about the bells but received conflicting results. He gave us a nod and we all got in to head to the next temple on the Doi Suthep mountain called Wat Pha Lat. To my shock and delight, there were zero tour buses there. I could see how someone could visit and never want to leave. The gate outside the old city is the Chang Phak Gate - just over the road from there is a little market and the songthaews gather there to leave for Doi Suthep. But if you are on a budget, head to the north of the old city near to Chang Puak Gate where songtheaws depart directly to Doi Suthep. It was a nice drive on the scooter that we had hired from Chiang Mai.On the way, you can stop at a view point from where you get panoramic views of Chiang Mai city. Because of this, it’s always pleasantly cool with some amazing views of Chiang Mai city. We climbed in the back of the truck and held on for the 30-minute ride from Chiang Mai Old City to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Once you get to the base of the temple, you have two options for getting up to it. Giving alms to the monks is another way to earn merit. It was a precious little moment. However, this included a free cold bottle of water for each of us so we didn’t mind paying at all. They kept apologizing but we didn’t care. Legend says it was built in 1383 and expanded over time. He thanked us for coming and then we asked him where he was from since he clearly wasn’t Thai. Our driver gave us a small card with his name and license plate number on it so we would be able to find his songthaew once we came down. It isn’t big, but the details and extravagance of it are mind-blowing. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a major pilgrimage destination, especially during the Buddhist holidays of Makha Bucha and Visakha Bucha (February 13 and May 11, respectively). Our songthaew driver was early and the croissants had just been put out so we decided to head out a little before 8:00 am. Expect to pay between 340-610 baht from the centre of the Old City to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, depending on which mode of transport you choose. Book your tickets online for Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Doi Suthep: See 7,664 reviews, articles, and 9,509 photos of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 6 attractions in Doi Suthep. The route is a straight one, but the road itself has some curves, so anyone with minimal motorbike or scooter experience should consider alternate transportation. Especially the first temple you visited. As we were leaving, we heard, “Lauryn! The terrace at the top of the steps is where you’ll find a statue of the white elephant that (as legend has it) carried the Buddha relic to its resting place on the temple grounds. A little temple dog joined us and Eric may have fed him some sausage. Since there was a disclaimer, I decided to be safe and get my juice without ice. Your post totally makes me wanna go back to visit the temples and to take in those stunning views! Once we were back at BED, we changed into our bathing suits and went swimming at the pool for a bit. Once we were at the entrance, our driver told us as best as he could that there was no fee to enter. It is considered one of the holiest sites in Thailand for Buddhists and is a major site for Buddhist pilgrimage. I could tell the tourists from the expats because they all looked completely relaxed, wore what all the locals were wearing, and most could speak Thai. It was so nice. Well, coming from a monk, I felt like we had stumbled upon a piece of heaven on Earth. Established to enshrine a bone piece from the shoulder of the Buddha, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai was built in the 19th century by King Keu Naone. High base Inoamuam octagonal bell covered with golden pagodas Chang Ko Lan is a second class city sightseeing spots. Wat Phan Tao is a beautiful wooden temple with a decorated garden area. So strange, but the flavor was good. Wat Phra Borommathat Doi Suthep nestles into the side of Doi Suthep some 3,000 feet above sea level amongst some of the most picturesque scenery you are likely to encounter. We decided we had eaten enough Asian food and wanted some cheese and bread in our lives. Another early riser Waking up early in a new city is one of my favorite things to do! Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Easy trip from the Old City, beautiful Temple! He explained that he imports all his beers from around the world. I spotted another orange tapestry like we had seen on our first night in Chiang Mai Old City and signed it for us. As I was snapping a few pictures of him, a groundskeeper was sweeping the pathway. Our songthaew (red truck) would be arriving around 8:00 am so it was another typical morning for us going down for breakfast at 7:30 am. Our driver was just finishing getting his songthaew washed when we walked up. I’m an early riser, so 8:30 is late for me :). Hiking to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Chaing Mai seems like the place to do that . Great post, your photos are beautiful, too. … The staircase is flanked by beautiful jeweled naga (ornate serpents) and as you walk, the majestic staircase is a great spot to take pictures. From the temple, impressive views of downtown Chiang Mai can be … They are gifts to the temple that are supposed to bring good fortune to the person who donates. I'm Lauryn, a travel blogger with a home base in Atlanta, Georgia. So we bought our tickets and made our way to the temple entrance. We’ve talked about going to Japan at some point so I’ll make sure to put that on our list! Traveling is a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing my secrets to planning incredible trips with you! The perimeter is an ancient wall as well as a river. Have I mentioned how much I loved our hotel? This is a good one. In addition to those aforementioned views, the golden, gleaming temple itself is highlight, but don’t rush your visit. Follow the road to the trail head. I was fully expecting Baan Bakery to be packed with people, but it wasn’t. Marvel at the ancient temples Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Wat Chet Yot, and Wat Suan Dok, steeped in culture and history. I was reading the menu and it said in big letters “please let us know if you would not like ice”. The temple is said to have been founded in 1383 when the first stupa was built. Pagoda style temple in Chiang Saen. I think you’d love it there. I’ve been to Thailand once before, but missed my chance at visiting Chang Mai. Overlooking the city from its mountain throne, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples, and its founding legend is learned by every schoolkid in Chiang Mai. The significance of the bells, as well as many other things around the temple, were merit offerings made by visiting Buddhists. The sacred chedi of the temple from 1987. The Monk’s Trail goes from Chiang Mai up the mountain to the back entrance of the Wat Pha Lat and takes about 45 minutes. She told us she was so happy we ran into each other and she was glad we tried out the juice bar. We were going to take a tuk-tuk but we weren’t on a schedule and enjoyed the walk. Women are not allowed to enter the silver temple. Anders was so excited when Eric told him he was a beer guy. What a great experience! He asked us where we were from and how we heard about Wat Pha Lat since it wasn’t as popular as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. In the end, I’m so glad I did this because it allowed us to plan a trip up to the beautiful Wat Phra That Doi Suthep last minute with the help of Eva at BED. The temple is 15 kilometres from the city of Chiang Mai and situated at an elevation of 1,073 meters. He smiled and told us it was his first time there and it was possibly the most peaceful temple he had ever been to. According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Doi Suthep Temple: Amazing Mountaintop Sunrise Tour and Stunning City Views (From US$64,62) Wat Doi Suthep Temple and White Meo Hilltribe Village Half-Day … The air was cool with a slight breeze. I haven’t visited a temple yet but would love to. Not just my favorite temple, but honestly one of my favorite places in the world! You will have to wait until there will be 10 people in the van. When we arrived at Flight 52, there was only one table occupied. The wát is a beautiful example of northern Thai architecture, reached via a 306-step staircase flanked by naga (mythical sea serpents). Isn’t it beautiful?! Normally drivers wait for eight to 10 passengers before leaving. I really didn’t want to leave, but we still had so much more exploring to do within Chiang Mai Old City. I got mango and strawberry and Eric got cookies N’creme. I couldn’t believe that even at 8:30 am there was no one around. It was right around the corner from Wat Chiang Man within Chiang Mai Old City so we decided to give it a try. Anders came by and asked if we wanted to get dessert. I like the way you travel, you have respect for the locals and their customs. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Splendid Retreat from the City - See 7,663 traveler reviews, 9,487 candid photos, and great deals for Doi Suthep, Thailand, at Tripadvisor. On this day, other than the morning, we had no plans at all. This temple does not have a view of the city; The second section is more strenuous, going up more steeply from the small temple of Wat Pha Lat to the main Doi Suthep Temple. After trumpeting three times, the elephant laid down and gently passed away in the jungle. We decided to order a couple of small plates to start and then a pizza to share. Then he smiled and said, “magic.” We assumed he was referring to how beautiful Wat Pha Lat was. Taking a songthaew: One of the most popular ways to get to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is via the many red songthaews that ply the streets of Chiang Mai. He explained that they had tapas we could share as well as pizzas. Wat Pha Lat looks so calm and beautiful! Master Class is a royal temple Ratchaworawihan type. Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous destination! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Otherwise, a day trip to the temple makes for a refreshing and culturally interesting day (or half-day) excursion from Chiang Mai. Doi Suthep. Eric had found a place called Ugo Restaurant that had lots of interesting beers from around Southeast Asia so we decided to make that our lunch spot. There was another temple on our list but it was all the way across town. We’re from Atlanta, Georgia!” It was exciting when we ran into people from the US. I was on my second glass of wine so there was no hesitation when I turned around and said, “I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re from Orlando. Definitely try to get up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep by 8:30 to beat the crowds. Anders was from Denmark and moved to Chiang Mai 10 years ago. It is a sacred site for many Thai people. He told us, like the few others we had met, he visited Chiang Mai on a trip when he was younger and immediately fell in love. They wrapped the base of the gold chedi (monument) in the middle of the temple with the tapestry. So we mosied back to our hotel, packed, showered, and got some much-needed sleep for our journey to Bali, Indonesia the next day. It was nearly impossible to feel any type of stress, sadness, or anger. The temple ‘Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’ is Chiang Mai’s most famous temple, and also the most sacred temple in northern Thailand. Want a workout? There are several ways to get yourself up Doi Suthep to see Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, including renting a car, a motorbike or scooter if you’re an experienced rider, hiking, getting a ride in a red songthaew (red trucks that act as shared taxis all over Chiang Mai), hiring a songthaew for the duration of your trip, or by doing a guided tour. This should cost 300 THB for one way (as many people as you can fit), or 500 THB if you want the driver to wait at the top and bring you back down after visiting the temple. I’ve never been to a place that felt so happy and peaceful. The fee is 20 THB for Thais and 50 THB for foreigners. Turn right onto this narrow road, go straight for about 100 meters then take the first (and only) left. is via 300 steps from the carpark.. It’s no secret that Chiang Mai is home to many temples, which you may have seen several of on a visit to the Northern Thai city. Never miss new blog posts and receive LE Travels monthly newsletter by subscribing below. 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