Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep- A must visit temple in Chiang Mai
Doi Suthep temple is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand and is situated 1,050m above the city. Not only is the temple stunning but you will be greeted with an incredible view of the city below. This Temple is a must visit whilst exploring Chiang Mai.
When to visit
The best time of day to visit Doi Suthep is at sunrise whilst it’s more peaceful. The drive through the National Park is stunning, winding roads gradually leading you higher into the mountain. As you get higher you will see the sparkling lights of the city below and a faint glow of the sun that will soon rise.
Exploring the temple
Before you get to the temple you will need to climb the dragon stairs, there are 309 in total so be prepared. Once you get to the top, walk to the balcony where you can watch the sunrise. The view is breathtaking. When the sun has risen head into the temple and see the wonderful golden stupa, the sun rays make it glow, it’s really magical.
An added magical extra is watching the Monks preform their morning routines and listening to the stories of how the temple came to be, it all adds to the wonderful charm.
Doi Suthep temple is situated around 45 minutes from the Chiang Mai Gate. There are many ways to get there and the cheapest being on the back of a red truck, I believe it’s around 60baht per person. We hired a private car which wasn’t expensive as we planned to see a few more spots that day. There are also tours that go to this Temple.
Please dress appropriately when visiting any religious monument. At Doi Suthep it is required for you to cover your shoulders and knees. You must also take off your shoes whilst inside the temple.
Before entering the temple you will often find cute children dressed in traditional clothing. They may ask for a selfie or for money. Please DO NOT give them any money. I understand that it is hard to see and you have good intentions but giving money only encourages this behaviour and life cycle. These children should be in school and not risking their livelihood by begging. There’s a lot of information about children begging online as it happens in many countries if you’d like to learn more. Supporting local organisations is a great way to help if you want to try to prevent this happening in future.
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Where to stay
We stayed at the Mickey House hostel. It’s really close to Chiang Mai gate and the lady who runs it is super sweet and helpful.
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