I’ll be the first to admit it; I’m a tiny bit obsessed with temples. There’s nothing more relaxing than strolling through one when there’s no one around, not to mention I love finding out about all the legends and histories behind each one! As a predominantly Buddhist country, Thailand obviously has no shortage of places of worship. But if there’s one temple you have to visit in Chiang Mai, make it this one – Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a literal temple in the sky.
After a lengthy drive up the mountain, you’ll be greeted by just the start of a long staircase to the top. Don’t be fooled by my smile though – it was damn hard work climbing up those steps, all 309 of them! To the side there’s an elevator that’ll take you straight to the temple, but y’know… why do that when you can squeeze in your daily exercise? On the way up you’ll also find rows of souvenir shops, as well as an array of snack stands.
Fun fact! According to legend, the location of Doi Suthep is no accident. Apparently a relic, either Buddha’s shoulder or collarbone, was placed on an elephant that was then released into the jungle. The creature climbed up this mountain, and apparently died on the location where the temple sits today.
When visiting Doi Suthep (or any temple, for that matter) be sure to wear slip-on shoes, and not sneakers like I did! Within most temples shoes are off limits anyway, but this one actually has an enclosed area that enforces the rule.
On another day we also visited Wat Sri Suphan, aka the Silver Temple. My photos don’t do it any justice, but the level of detail on this temple was insane! Although beautiful, the silver was so shiny it also made it literally difficult to look at, haha.
Some snippets of Chiang Mai’s nightlife. The tourist crowds at this market were insane, to the point where I felt a little claustrophobic! I’m pretty sure it was because of Loy Krathong, aka the famous lantern ceremony that happens once a year. Sadly we just missed out on the main event, so I didn’t get to have my Tangled moment… I guess that just means I’ll have to make another trip to Chiang Mai in the future!