Visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai
One of the most important temples in the northern region of Thailand at Chiang Mai is the iconic Wat Phra That Doi Suthep or golden temple of Chiang Mai. Built in 1383, the holy temple is said to house a relic bone of the Buddha from a monk that came up from Sukothai. The legend has it that one of the bones was mounted on a sacred white elephant that died in the jungle and is now the site of where Doi Suthep is founded.
To get to the top where the temple sits, you have to climb the 360 step staircase that is flanked by these large multi-colored glass Naga serpents. The climb for devotees builds Buddhist merit for climbing up to the temple. On the way up the stairs are these colorfully dressed children in traditional garb that will pose for you for a small contribution, you can also pose with them in the photos but I choose to capture them in a more playful way.
Inner temple compound
Steps lead up to the inner terrace, where a walkway circumnavigates the gleaming golden Chedi enshrining the relic. To enter the inner terrace and temple grounds you climb some small steps and go in a circular walk around the golden Chedi (pagoda). Along the Chedi, pilgrims lay lotus blossoms as offerings around the shrines facing the Chedi.
Receiving blessings from a monk in a shrine at Doi Suthep
Burning incense and reclining Buddha at Doi Suthep
Surrounding the circular walk around the Chedi in the inner temple are a variety of Buddha statues with different poses. Made of various materials semi precious stones, the buddhas are grouped into stunning displays filled with texture, color and sizes.
Buddhas of every shape and finished materials in elaborate displays
There are many little shrines surrounding the golden Chedi and when you enter, there are monks on elevated platforms that are there to give blessings to visitors and accept donations in exchange. Some do more elaborate chants and prayers that are fascinating to watch and observed these unknown rituals.
Offering blessings and prayers at an inner shrine of Doi Suthep
Outside of the main temple, there are several small shrines, rock gardens, monuments and other artifacts to see outside of the main temple itself. To the right side of the main temple compound is a large viewing area with magnificent views of Chiang Mai below.
Ringing the prayer bells in succession at Doi Suthep
Funny statues in many of the rock gardens
Whimsical garden objects in the surrounding gardens
I hope that this has inspired you for exploring Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and some of these wonderful attractions and landmarks around Chiang Mai, Thailand. For more about things to do in Chiang Mai, check out this linked post.
Have you been to some of these places or know some other interesting places to explore and photograph? Please do share them in the comments section below. Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Visiting Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, hopefully some of these places will inspire you to visit when you come to the city. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.
Please do check out my other posts about Northern Thailand below
15 top places to visit in Northern Thailand
Hill tribes of Northern Thailand
Eco tours in Northern Thailand
Untapped Loei in Northern Thailand
Hill tribe stay in Northern Thailand
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When I was in Chiang Mai I didn’t get a chance to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. I consider it a blessing that I got to visit it through your lovely pictures. I especially liked those sweet little girls in their pink bonnets.
I love your pictures of the kids! They are gorgeous! What an amount of gold on these temples, it’s incredible.
Very nice photos, as always. It was great to finally meet you in person last week.
Noel your photos are breathtaking. The colours, the depth, the stories they tell. You capture Thailand and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep so beautifully.
As always your photos steal the show. What a wonderful set of photos of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a place whose name I can’t pronounce or write (I had to copy and paste) in northern Thailand, but which your pictures transform into a magical exotic colorful and warm setting. Thanks for another great posting!
I have yet to visit Thailand, but your photos are very inspiring. The textural intricacy of the Buddha statues is incredible!