Entrance to the temple costs 50 THB per person and as you’re planning your trip, remember that dress needs to be respectable, meaning modest and shoulders and knees should be covered. It’s also known as simply ‘Doi Suthep’, after the 1,676-meter high mountain on which it stands. If you are already in Chiang Mai, you may wonder how to get to Doi Suthep. Only peace, happiness, and gratefulness flooded my mind. However, this included a free cold bottle of water for each of us so we didn’t mind paying at all. On this day, other than the morning, we had no plans at all. We decided we would just start walking and see where we ended up. The city tour includes the two most popular temples: Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh. I am so glad that momma cat was reunited with her kitten! The only other people around were monks staying there on retreat. I went with a papaya, pineapple, and mango juice. It was built around the founding of the city in 1296. 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. What was happening?! I really enjoyed reading your post – those photos are amazing! 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. No matter which option you choose, the views from the temple and the beauty of the surrounding area make for a worthwhile day trip from the city. 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. He thanked us for coming and then we asked him where he was from since he clearly wasn’t Thai. Wat Pra That (a “Wat” is a temple) was built on Doi Suthep (the mountain) in the 14th century and has operated as a Buddhist monastery from this time. We decided we had eaten enough Asian food and wanted some cheese and bread in our lives. Then we told him how we were in need of a break from rice and saw how wonderful the reviews were for his restaurant. More of that Chiang Mai magic. 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. Markets. I thanked her in Thai (ขอบคุณ or khob khun kha) and bowed (called ‘wai’) to show my gratitude for her kindness. I ordered a sticky mango beer and Eric got a Chiang Mai beer called Blossom Weizen. That center Chedi is absolutely stunning – I just love those golden stupa’s, they are beautiful. Never a dull moment in Thailand! Since there was a disclaimer, I decided to be safe and get my juice without ice. But for some reason, we noticed in Asia that restaurants were rarely full. I like the way you travel, you have respect for the locals and their customs. I love that you were able to enjoy it without tourists. Day 11: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Exploring Chiang Mai Old City November 14, 2018 April 1, 2019 LE Travels September 7, 2018 – When I was planning our time in Chiang Mai I decided to leave one day open because I wanted to make sure we had enough time just to wander the Old City without any structure. 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. He explained that they had tapas we could share as well as pizzas. Thank you so much for your kind words! But if you have your international drivers licence and feel comfortable riding, this is a good DIY option up the mountain. The details were incredible, unlike any other temple we had seen so far. Follow the road to the trail head. We’ve talked about going to Japan at some point so I’ll make sure to put that on our list! 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. It’s amazing how much detail went in to building each one of those temples! I cannot believe that there were no crowds here! Want a workout? It isn’t big, but the details and extravagance of it are mind-blowing. Around 7:00 pm we started our walk along the walls of Chiang Mai Old City to Flight 52. 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. After removing our shoes, we entered and immediately struck up a conversation with one of the monks. I was wearing my yellow jumpsuit again and upon exiting the stall was having issues getting the back of it buttoned. What are the chances?! 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. 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. I’m telling you, Chiang Mai is one magical place. It rivaled some of the pizzas we had in Italy! I spotted another orange tapestry like we had seen on our first night in Chiang Mai Old City and signed it for us. There’s something beautiful to see at every turn. In the words of our driver, “magic.”. Since Eric got to choose lunch, I decided our next stop would be ice cream. It was right around the corner from Wat Chiang Man within Chiang Mai Old City so we decided to give it a try. Turtle’s Ice Cream was connected to a motorbike shop which was weird, but it was very modern and aesthetically pleasing. In fact, any temple in the world with a Buddha relic can proudly have this in its title. It’s hard for me to put into words the immense tranquility I felt at this temple. I am extremely open-minded and accept all cultures, but the no-women rule irked me. It is a magnificent structure in remarkably good condition considering it is exposed to the elements. - Guided excursion to 6 well-known temples of Chiang Mai - Exploration of fascinating Chiang Mai ancient temples - Wat Phra That Doi Suthep with far-reaching city views - Visit to 15th-century Wat Chet Yot with its 7-spire stupa - The historic Buddha relic at Wat Suan Dok - … Anders was so excited when Eric told him he was a beer guy. So we bought our tickets and made our way to the temple entrance. One person suggested the names on the bells are of those who have passed, but I couldn’t confirm this. I was going to say no but Eric piped up and said yes. We didn’t just get dessert, we ordered both desserts on their menu: mango cheesecake and creme brulee. Read on to find out more Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, getting there, and what to expect when you arrive. The fee is 20 THB for Thais and 50 THB for foreigners. It’s located among huuuge trees on a mountain to the South of Nara. 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. We slowly made our way back to our songthaew and back to Chiang Mai Old City. I too force people traveling with me to wake up at extreme hours so we can miss the rush. FUN FACT: The reason the temple is called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and not simply Wat Doi Suthep is because Phra That means that the temple contains a Buddha relic. Once you’re up the mountain (via whatever method you’ve chosen), you’ll see a large cluster of souvenir stands and stalls selling food and drinks before you head up to the temple. But even if you’ve had your fill of temples (or think you’ve seen them all), planning a trip to see Wat Doi Suthep is worth your time, even if just for the photo-worthy views. She smiled and bowed back. 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. I guess the other tourists all slept that teeny bit longer!? We made our way back down to where our songthaew was waiting. That means so much to me. I was so thankful we came early. I loved the walk because it took us through some more residential side streets with cute homes lining the roads. Hiking: Anyone in the mood for some exercise can opt to hike up to the temple, via Suthep Road, past Chiang Mai University to find the start of the hike. The oldest part of this temple is the Chedi Chang Lom elephant monument. After taking in the rest of Wat Sri Supan, we continued on our Chiang Mai Old City adventure. There was a sign, but if we were on our own I wouldn’t have known it was there. 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It was originally built in the 1500s but the main temple that is there today was built much more recently. At least we got to see this from a distance. Another early riser Waking up early in a new city is one of my favorite things to do! Eva from our hotel had recommended Khun Kae’s Juice Bar for us to try if we found ourselves in that area. Once you get to the base of the temple, you have two options for getting up to it. It is a sacred site for many Thai people. Our songthaew driver was an older Thai man who didn’t know English very well. I got mango and strawberry and Eric got cookies N’creme. On the way to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Road to Doi Suthep passes through a serene and peaceful jungle. 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. Locals say that your stay in the city won’t be complete without visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. September 7, 2018 – When I was planning our time in Chiang Mai I decided to leave one day open because I wanted to make sure we had enough time just to wander the Old City without any structure. Learn how your comment data is processed. After exploring Wat Chiang Man, we were exhausted and beyond hot. We decided to order a couple of small plates to start and then a pizza to share. The best part is that you didn’t have to wake up before the sun to get there and not be crowded. The place where he lay is now the site of where Doi Suthep’s temple was founded. 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. At the top of the stairs over to the right, we saw a sign for tourists to purchase tickets. As I was snapping a few pictures of him, a groundskeeper was sweeping the pathway. 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. 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. Oh thank you so much!! Several of the buildings had scaffolding on them and were being restored. From the temple, impressive views of downtown Chiang Mai can be … Since it was still so early, we decided to reorganize our bag and then head down to Baan Bakery to see if they had any pastries left. It was just us and a few locals. Situated on a mountaintop and glistening in gold, it is one … Normally drivers wait for eight to 10 passengers before leaving. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! On the way up we got to witness locals giving alms to the monks. Great post, your photos are beautiful, too. My husband and I travel around the world whenever we can get away from our full-time jobs. History of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Truly the place looks peaceful unfortunately it’s sad to see some garbage in some areas. The grounds are lush and peaceful and there are many spots for good photo ops or just simple quiet contemplation. Our driver was just finishing getting his songthaew washed when we walked up. . Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. We even saw a cute temple kitten when we walked up. From my research before our trip, I knew that many monks enjoyed talking with tourists in order to practice their English. He saw the kitten eyeing his broom so he started playing with him. 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). He explained that he imports all his beers from around the world. I’ve been to so many spiritual places in the world but Wat Pha Lat by far was the most peaceful of all of them. So strange, but the flavor was good. is via 300 steps from the carpark.. I could see how someone could visit and never want to leave. Drive until the road finally widens and you see the crowds and flags in the trees. As we were leaving, we heard, “Lauryn! The Temple on the mountain Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Pagoda style temple in Chiang Saen. After our mid-morning snack, we set off to wander Chiang Mai Old City. There was another temple on our list but it was all the way across town. We finally saw what it was used for as well. 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 … Definitely try to get up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep by 8:30 to beat the crowds. To my shock and delight, there were zero tour buses there. After we saw everything within the center of the temple, we went to find the spectacular view of Chiang Mai. 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. I’ve never been to a place that felt so happy and peaceful. 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. Especially the first temple you visited. 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. The sacred chedi of the temple from 1987. It is considered one of the holiest sites in Thailand for Buddhists and is a major site for Buddhist pilgrimage. Yet again, what a small world. We were going to take a tuk-tuk but we weren’t on a schedule and enjoyed the walk. The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is located on top of a mountain South of Chiang Mai city. The marble Buddha, Phra Sila, was a bit of mystery. 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! 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. The seven-headed snake up the stairs cause lime. It was so beautiful and peaceful with hardly anyone around. They are gifts to the temple that are supposed to bring good fortune to the person who donates. The Elaborate Chedi An elaborate monument (Chedi) is the crowning grace of the temple. He wasn’t wrong. It looked like an expat favorite. We were stuffed by the end of our meal. The Zoo . 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. This hike was on my list of things to do, but since we were already visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, it was easier to just add it on to that trip. After removing our shoes and placing them on a shoe rack, we entered the main part of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. As we were sitting there, a cat kept creeping in the restaurant and meowing really loudly. We were welcomed by Anders (owner), his wife, and their little girl. This comment just filled my heart with happiness!! As soon as we started walking toward our songthaew, the buses arrived. Well, coming from a monk, I felt like we had stumbled upon a piece of heaven on Earth. 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. . It was lavish and extravagant. They also told him they were visiting from the USA, Orlando, Florida to be exact. She was so tiny I had to bend down so she could reach the button (I’m only 5’5). Eric said his Khao Soi was definitely not as great as the one he had the night before but he was really hungry so he ate it anyway. The temple is 15 kilometres from the city of Chiang Mai and situated at an elevation of 1,073 meters. Legend says it was built in 1383 and expanded over time. I’m still not sure what the significance is, but I do know that our names are on two of them in Chiang Mai! The temple is often referred to as "Doi Suthep" although this is actually the name of the mountain where it's located. Then he smiled and said, “magic.” We assumed he was referring to how beautiful Wat Pha Lat was. It’s famous for Japanese people (but not really busy) and it has a similar super-calming feeling. They even had some pastries left. It wasn’t big, but the setting on the side of a mountain and in the middle of the jungle was so beautiful. High base Inoamuam octagonal bell covered with golden pagodas Chang Ko Lan is a second class city sightseeing spots. . What a great experience! The kitten pounced on the broom and immediately jumped back because his broom was basically just a bunch of pine needles bundled together. It only took about 10 minutes to walk there. I'm Lauryn, a travel blogger with a home base in Atlanta, Georgia. 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. Anders seated us and gave us menus. If I didn’t already want to move to Chiang Mai, I absolutely did now. Woooah it’s fantastic that you made it to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep before the crowds arrived, you lucky things! Over time, the temple has expanded, and been made to look more extravagant with many more holy shrines added. Drivers might offer you a price of 400 baht (10 euro) to make your trip private. If you ever get to Japan, I hope you can make it to Muroji. If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I usually always have a plan. It was around 5:00 pm when we left Turtle’s so we decided to make our way back to BED to relax a bit before finding a place to have dinner. Once we took in enough of the view, we made our way to the exit to get our shoes. The first road to the temple was built fairly recently in 1935. Old City. I can’t help it! Especially when the more famous religious complexes in the area are overrun with tourists in the high season. I was so shocked that no one was there at 8:30 am. 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. Eric enjoyed his beer. She told us she was so happy we ran into each other and she was glad we tried out the juice bar. <3 I love quiet places to contemplate the world. Housed inside one of its more modern structures were two small depictions of Buddha. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. I know I keep saying it, but the Thai’s in Chiang Mai all had hearts of gold. If you ever get the chance to visit Wat Pha Lat I highly recommend it. I couldn’t believe that even at 8:30 am there was no one around. Jessica Padykula is a contributing writer who covers all things Toronto. 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. We reached the entrance to the temple and that’s where I had to end my visit. Women are not allowed to enter the silver temple. Have I mentioned how much I loved our hotel? The temple is split into outer and inner terraces and steps lead to the inner terrace where there is a walkway around the golden Chedi (shrine) enshrining the relic. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the holiest Buddhist Temples in Northern Thailand.As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chiang Mai, the temple receives thousands of visitors each year.Access to the temple. Thank you for your support! The Thai culture overall is so kind, respectful, and beautiful. It was a precious little moment. Master Class is a royal temple Ratchaworawihan type. 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 temple is about 15 km from the city of Chiang Mai. Eric didn’t get anything. We decided to eat the rest of our breakfast while we took in the view. I would have been so upset if I was on my own or with a girlfriend and we couldn’t see one of the most famous temples in Chiang Mai just because we didn’t have a man with us. Chiang Mai is a city filled with temples. But one of northern Thailand's most sacred temples, the one that crowns the Doi Suthep mountain on the western outskirts of Chiang Mai, is definitely something that shouldn’t be missed. There wasn’t a ticket taker or any sort of controlled entrance to get into the temple, but we weren’t about to not follow the rules. This place even had a free topping bar! It’s like something out of a fairytale. Wat Phra Singh is perhaps the second most venerated temple in Chiang Mai after Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We told him we were from the US and one of the people at our hotel suggested that we visit this temple. 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