Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand

Filed in Travel by on July 13, 2018 0 Comments

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

in Chiang Mai Thailand

NewInZurich Travel Inspiration Series

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand

One of Northern Thailand’s Most Sacred Temples

On our recent visit to Northern Thailand we visited many wats or temples. One of the most impressive was the Phrathat Doi Suthep.  If you’re visiting Chiang Mai and want to see a very special wat, “Doi Suthep” is to be recommended.

Perched atop the Doi Suthep mountain, the wat is one of Northern Thailand’s most sacred temples and is located in deeply forested Doi Suthep National Park at 1,000m above sea level. It was founded by King Keu Naone in 1383.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand

The Legend of the White Elephant

According to the story a relic from the shoulder of Buddha was broken into two pieces and one piece was enshrined in a temple in Suandok. The other piece was placed by the king on the back of a white elephant which then climbed up Doi Suthep where it trumpeted three times before dropping dead. This was viewed as an omen and as a result King Nu Naone had the temple built on this spot.

The white elephant at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

Getting There

It’s a Theravada wat and a great example of Northern Thai architecture. It is approximately 30 km outside Chiang Mai. To get to it you can either take a taxi or minibus to the entrance base station. When you arrive you can choose to either pay a small fee (50 Baht) and take the little cable car, or walk up the steep 306 step stairway which is decorated with green serpents along each side. At the top you can purchase an entrance ticket (30 Baht).

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai Thailand

The Five Tiered Umbrella

The striking five-tiered umbrella symbolises the city’s union with Thailand and breakaway from Burma. All around there are a huge variety of Buddha statues in various poses. The opulence and the brightness of the gold is amazing and it is a good idea to bring along a pair of sunglasses as the light can be dazzling.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai 

Visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

Visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

Visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

We were lucky enough to see the procession and chanting of monks whilst we were there at around 5pm – but do check as the time varies from day to day. You can also get blessings from the monks here too.

Visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

Views From The Terrace

Don’t forget to visit the terrace as even on a cloudy day like when we visited, the views are amazing. It feels like you can see forever and you really get a sense of perspective.

Views from terrace at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai

Views from terrace at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai
Visiting Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep Chiang Mai
As we left dusk was beginning to fall and walking down the steps to the bottom the sounds of the cicadas was deafening. It is certainly a very impressive wat and definitely worth a visit.

Tips on Visiting the Temple

– Wear comfortable shoes or sandals as there is quite a lot of walking at this temple
– Wear something covering your shoulders and below the knees when entering the temple
– You will need to take off your shoes before entering too
– It’s a good idea to take a pair of socks to put on your feet when inside the temple as your feet can get dirty and there is nowhere to wash them
– Sunglasses help if you’re sensitive to brightness as there is a lot of reflection from the gold and white
– Take along some tissues with you for the wc
– You’re very close to the lush forest so you may want to take along some anti-mosquito spray
– Allow enough time to see everything – at least 2 hours

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

Open daily from 6am – 6.30pm

See location Google Maps here:
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai 

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We flew to Thailand courtesy of Thai Airways

For more information please visit the Thailand Tourism website.

We hope you liked this little travel inspiration from Thailand.

We were invited to Thailand but all views are our own

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