The Thai people say "If you haven't visited the temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, then you haven't truly visited the city of Chiang Mai". This temple, which is one of the most important & sacred in all of Thailand sits in the lush green mountains of Doi Suthep. The temple overlooks the ancient city and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this region.
|The gold plated chedi at Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep|
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep dates back to 1383 when a monk from Sukhothai asked the Thai King to take a relic to the mountain. The relic was mounted onto the back of a white elephant, which was allowed to roam freely in order to find a site on which to build the temple. As the elephant roamed up Doi Suthep it stopped and died and it is this spot where the elephant died, the temple was built.
Once you arrive at the foot of the temple you have two choices. You can either take the 306 step naga (snake) style stairs if you are feeling energetic. Alternatively a cable car / tram can be used costing 30B one way or 50B return for foreigners, it is free for Thai nationals.
|The White Elephant|
|The inner area of the temple|
A visit to Chiang Mai is not complete without a visit to this temple.