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The city tour includes the two most popular temples: Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh. . We even saw a cute temple kitten when we walked up. More of that Chiang Mai magic. Our pizza came and it lived up to the hype. I know I keep saying it, but the Thai’s in Chiang Mai all had hearts of gold. It was actually just outside of Chaing Mai Old City, but very close. He thanked us for coming and then we asked him where he was from since he clearly wasn’t Thai. We made our way back down to where our songthaew was waiting. 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. It houses three main structures, the main attraction being the elegantly decorated Lai Kam assembly hall and its restored murals depicting the lives of locals hundreds of years ago. In the US, that would have turned us away since it looked like it wasn’t popular. 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. 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. 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 was set within an area known as the silver village where many silversmiths lived and worked. 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. After our 5-minute tuk-tuk ride, we arrived at Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. The first road to the temple was built fairly recently in 1935. The crowning jewel of this place was the beer selection. It was never an indication of the quality of the restaurant. From Chiang Mai Zoo at the foot of the mountain and at the end of Huay Kaew Road, a good road winds its way up Doi Suthep for 15 kilometres. We arrived at the base of the temple around 8:30 am. The pizza and desserts at the restaurant looked awesome as well as the ice cream from earlier. If you stay in the Old City you probably will visit multiple Temples as they are there in abundance however, we encourage you to clear a day in your calendar and make your way up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It was so nice. I thanked her in Thai (ขอบคุณ or khob khun kha) and bowed (called ‘wai’) to show my gratitude for her kindness. As we were leaving, we heard, “Lauryn! Their AC was pumping hard too so we enjoyed our ice cream inside away from the searing Chiang Mai heat. It is a sacred site to many Thai people. It was nearly impossible to feel any type of stress, sadness, or anger. I haven’t visited a temple yet but would love to. I tried to research as much as I could about the bells but received conflicting results. Doi Suthep. In addition to those aforementioned views, the golden, gleaming temple itself is highlight, but don’t rush your visit. 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. To get to Doi Suthep you can catch a Tuk-Tuk or a Songtheaw. What are the chances?! The Naga Staircase is so IG perfect spot. You’ll also need to remove your shoes upon entering the temple. It’s like something out of a fairytale. Once we were at the entrance, our driver told us as best as he could that there was no fee to enter. When we arrived we had to purchase entrance tickets for 50 baht each ($1.52). The temple is often referred to as "Doi Suthep" although this is actually the name of the mountain where it's located. Giving alms to the monks is another way to earn merit. For food, I just ordered an appetizer (I can’t remember what it was) and Eric got Khao Soi again. That means so much to me. Then he smiled and said, “magic.” We assumed he was referring to how beautiful Wat Pha Lat was. Again, there was hardly anyone around so we were able to stand wherever we wanted to take in the view. I was ecstatic. I loved the walk because it took us through some more residential side streets with cute homes lining the roads. Yeah I was a tiny bit upset about not being able to go in, but we were in another part of the world so I couldn’t be upset at them for their own traditions. We decided to eat the rest of our breakfast while we took in the view. He saw the kitten eyeing his broom so he started playing with him. That’s crazy. After trumpeting three times, the elephant laid down and gently passed away in the jungle. We’ve talked about going to Japan at some point so I’ll make sure to put that on our list! Unlike Europe, we rarely saw any Americans as we were roaming around Southeast Asia. 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. Dinner ended around 10:00 pm and we were more than ready to call it a night. It was so quiet except for the babbling stream that ran through the property. Since Eric got to choose lunch, I decided our next stop would be ice cream. Wat Pha Lat looks so calm and beautiful! 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. I also work hard to inform others of how to be respectful so hopefully fellow travelers will start paying attention to the customs and beliefs of the places they are visiting. 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 originally built in the 1500s but the main temple that is there today was built much more recently. The founding of the temple is a bit of a mystery. We were having a wonderful night and didn’t really want it to end. I am extremely open-minded and accept all cultures, but the no-women rule irked me. Never a dull moment in Thailand! 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! The crystal Buddha, Phra Satang, was from the 8th or 10th century and is said to have rainmaking powers. One person suggested the names on the bells are of those who have passed, but I couldn’t confirm this. Once we were back at BED, we changed into our bathing suits and went swimming at the pool for a bit. So strange, but the flavor was good. This famous temple is the main attraction of Doi Suthep National Park. Situated on a mountaintop and glistening in gold, it is one … In the words of our driver, “magic.”. Housed inside one of its more modern structures were two small depictions of Buddha. Eric didn’t get anything. So we bought a few along with an iced latte for me. I hope you get to Chiang Mai one day! I enjoyed this temple more than any other temple we had visited so far in Southeast Asia. Turtle’s Ice Cream was connected to a motorbike shop which was weird, but it was very modern and aesthetically pleasing. We laughed. 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. I couldn’t believe that even at 8:30 am there was no one around. After removing our shoes and placing them on a shoe rack, we entered the main part of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Not just my favorite temple, but honestly one of my favorite places in the world! At least 5 came all at once and tourists poured out of them. It was lavish and extravagant. I really didn’t want to leave, but we still had so much more exploring to do within Chiang Mai Old City. When you see a green area, you'll notice some billboards and a sign reading “Nature Hike”. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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 so much for your kind words. Wat Pha Lat was on the way down Doi Suthep mountain and couldn’t be seen from the main road. Museums. The temple is 15 kilometres from the city of Chiang Mai and situated at an elevation of 1,073 meters. If you are already in Chiang Mai, you may wonder how to get to Doi Suthep. But for some reason, we noticed in Asia that restaurants were rarely full. We’re from Atlanta, Georgia!” It was exciting when we ran into people from the US. This was something I really wanted to experience while we were in Chiang Mai but with our limited mornings, I knew it probably wouldn’t happen. The food was incredible so we made sure he knew how much we were enjoying it. - See 7,663 traveler reviews, 9,487 candid photos, and great deals for Doi Suthep, Thailand, at Tripadvisor. 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. Thank you so much for your kind words and for reading! As you explore the Old City you can’t walk more than a few feet without seeing one and they are all well worth your time as a traveler. There were several dirt paths to take once we entered the grounds of Wat Pha Lat. We reached the entrance to the temple and that’s where I had to end my visit. Before we left, we walked around a little bit to see some of the other statues that decorated the base. I was reading the menu and it said in big letters “please let us know if you would not like ice”. 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. Once we took in enough of the view, we made our way to the exit to get our shoes. The steep stairs with the dragon-like railing are especially beautiful. 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 … It’s also known as simply ‘Doi Suthep’, after the 1,676-meter high mountain on which it stands. There was some significant cloud cover which made it hard to see the city below, but it was still beautiful to see. We decided we had eaten enough Asian food and wanted some cheese and bread in our lives. It’s located among huuuge trees on a mountain to the South of Nara. So pretty. Hopefully people will know how to dispose their trash properly. So we mosied back to our hotel, packed, showered, and got some much-needed sleep for our journey to Bali, Indonesia the next day. I’m an early riser, so 8:30 is late for me :). Once you get to the base of the temple, you have two options for getting up to it. 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. Normally drivers wait for eight to 10 passengers before leaving. From my research before our trip, I knew that many monks enjoyed talking with tourists in order to practice their English. We have so many friends and family from Orlando and the surrounding areas. On the way up we got to witness locals giving alms to the monks. After removing our shoes, we entered and immediately struck up a conversation with one of the monks. I love that you were able to enjoy it without tourists. In fact, any temple in the world with a Buddha relic can proudly have this in its title. Around 7:00 pm we started our walk along the walls of Chiang Mai Old City to Flight 52. . We reached BED Chiang Mai Gate around 10:30 am and said goodbye to our songthaew driver. 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. 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. They were very modern and nice, although it looks like they had an interesting problem at one point. The fee is 20 THB for Thais and 50 THB for foreigners. 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. 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. It’s amazing how much detail went in to building each one of those temples! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. For those staying in the city for a while, this hike often becomes a way to workout even once you’ve already visited the temple, and is definitely worth checking out. The best part is that you didn’t have to wake up before the sun to get there and not be crowded. Drive until the road finally widens and you see the crowds and flags in the trees. The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is located on top of a mountain South of Chiang Mai city. The only other people around were monks staying there on retreat. 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. However, this included a free cold bottle of water for each of us so we didn’t mind paying at all. The details were incredible, unlike any other temple we had seen so far. No one really knows where it came from or when it was created, but it is believed to have been created over 1,000 years ago somewhere in Sri Lanka. We were stuffed by the end of our meal. I got mango and strawberry and Eric got cookies N’creme. Eric!”. That was quite amazing experience you had in Chiang Mai. At the top of the stairs over to the right, we saw a sign for tourists to purchase tickets. 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. 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. 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. Several of the buildings had scaffolding on them and were being restored. 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. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is doubtless Chiang Mai’s most famous temple on the mountain called Doi Suthep. Eva from our hotel had recommended Khun Kae’s Juice Bar for us to try if we found ourselves in that area. Anders seated us and gave us menus. She told us she was so happy we ran into each other and she was glad we tried out the juice bar. We turned around to find none other than Eva from our hotel. While we were down there we did some research to find a dinner spot. This is a good one. They wrapped the base of the gold chedi (monument) in the middle of the temple with the tapestry. Doi Suthep Temple Chiang Mai. We said goodbye to the friendly monk and continued on through the grounds of Wat Pha Lat. 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. It’s hard for me to put into words the immense tranquility I felt at this temple. Luckily, there was a highly rated ice cream place called Turtle’s Ice Cream right around the corner from where we were. So we bought our tickets and made our way to the temple entrance. Your photos look stunning, thank you for sharing your experience! I think that would be my favourite temple too. Read on to find out more Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, getting there, and what to expect when you arrive. 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. Sounds like a movie, doesn’t it? Follow the road to the trail head. They didn’t know these girls at all but clearly had some empathy since they got to see the inside but the girls couldn’t. It looks like you had a packed, but amazing day! I ordered a sticky mango beer and Eric got a Chiang Mai beer called Blossom Weizen. We decided to grab a tuk-tuk instead of walking since it was so hot out. 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. Grab a snack if you’re hungry, and then it’s time to climb the 306-step staircase (or take the funicular). 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 is not the Doi Suthep Temple. The area around the temple was very beautiful. Anders was from Denmark and moved to Chiang Mai 10 years ago. What a wonderful experience. We told him we were from the US and one of the people at our hotel suggested that we visit this temple. 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. The air was cool with a slight breeze. Woooah it’s fantastic that you made it to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep before the crowds arrived, you lucky things! 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. Yay! I try really hard to be as respectful as possible when I travel because I know so many tourists do not. The original founding of the temple remains a legend and there are a few varied versions. Markets. The temple ‘Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’ is Chiang Mai’s most famous temple, and also the most sacred temple in northern Thailand. I am so glad that momma cat was reunited with her kitten! There was another temple on our list but it was all the way across town. 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. The peace you described at Wat Pha Lat sealed the deal for me – thank you for sharing and here’s to many more adventures! It was just us and a few locals. It only took about 10 minutes to walk there. View all posts by LE Travels. The Temple on the mountain Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. I’ve never been to a place that felt so happy and peaceful. I spotted another orange tapestry like we had seen on our first night in Chiang Mai Old City and signed it for us. If you ever get to Japan, I hope you can make it to Muroji. I am usually a huge proponent of waking up before the sun to beat the crowds, but Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was one place where we could actually achieve “no crowds” status without losing sleep. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Wat Phan Tao is a beautiful wooden temple with a decorated garden area. This is also where you’ll find various other shrines and monuments to explore. It wasn’t big, but the setting on the side of a mountain and in the middle of the jungle was so beautiful. He smiled and told us it was his first time there and it was possibly the most peaceful temple he had ever been to. What a great experience! It takes about 1 hour and 1/2 each way. Truly the place looks peaceful unfortunately it’s sad to see some garbage in some areas. Oh thank you for telling me about that! Definitely try to get up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep by 8:30 to beat the crowds. From the temple, impressive views of downtown Chiang Mai can be … I can’t help it! Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: Easy trip from the Old City, beautiful Temple! Located on the top of Doi Suthep is one of the temples of Chiang Mai that is most important. Over time, the temple has expanded, and been made to look more extravagant with many more holy shrines added. The mountain, plus neighbouring Doi Pui, form Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. We didn’t just get dessert, we ordered both desserts on their menu: mango cheesecake and creme brulee. Want a workout? 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. 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. The Zoo . Not only did she recommend this juice place to us but she just happened to be there at the exact same time we were on her day off. 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). This section will take 2-2.5 hours from Wat Pha Lat. I think you’d love it there. Isn’t it beautiful?! 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. The Elaborate Chedi An elaborate monument (Chedi) is the crowning grace of the temple. Traveling is a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing my secrets to planning incredible trips with you! I was so shocked that no one was there at 8:30 am. 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. 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