Ever been up on a mountain temple? There’s one in Thailand, the grandest of them all, held in high regard by the people in the country. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (or Doi Suthep for short) is your temple and 1073 meters above sea level is where you need to go.
As with most temples of high importance, there is a legend behind Doi Suthep. A monk, who followed his dream, went out looking for a relic, believed to have been Buddha’s shoulder bone. It is quite magical; it was able to glow, could disappear and duplicate itself. The Lanna King heard of it and requested the monk to come forth and show him the relic. And sure enough, it split in two. The replicated piece was placed by the king on the back of a white elephant. The animal climbed up the top of Doi Suthep Mountain, trumpeted three times and passed away. The king took it as a sign and built a temple at this spot.
Just like many temples in Thailand, designs are a mix of Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism, with images of Ganesh and the Buddha amongst others. And yes, you guessed it, the temple offers marvelous views of the city. But it comes with a price (don’t all good things do?). You will have to test your fitness and climb the 300 Naga lined stairs to the top. Well, guess what? There’s a shortcut. You can hop on the cable car and head to the top. We shouldn’t have given that away. But in any case, don’t you want to climb the stairs and fully embrace your Doi Suthep experience?
What many people don’t know is that Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is actually part of Doi Suthep National Park, which covers an area of 261 square kilometers. Green hills, pine forests and numerous bird species as well as fern and flowers are all present at the national park. There are also many hilltribes residing in Doi Suthep Mountain, such as the Akha, Shan , Hmong and Lahu tribes.
See the temple, experience the mountain and meet some of the hilltribes who call the area home. We have a day trip just for that: our Doi Suthep & White Hmong Village tour is the insight to the area you are looking for.
Whatever you are looking for, Thailand’s sure to have it (except snow maybe). See the vastness and variety present in the country via our Thailand tours page. You’re sure to be dazzled.
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