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Wat Doi Suthep, the Temple on the Mountain in Chiang Mai [Day 5]

Our final stop in Chiang Mai is the most popular temple in the city: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, or Wat Doi Suthep

This Buddhist temple is 15 kilometers away from Chiang Mai city center and located at the mountain named Doi Suthep. The temple was built in the 1300s and is considered one of the major places of worship in the city.

From the Warorot Market, we hired a songthaew for 360 Baht (Php 490) to take us to Doi Suthep and back. 

our spacious songthaew

There's a less expensive option to go to Doi Suthep, but we didn't have much time because we have to catch our flight back to Bangkok that afternoon.

The entrance fee to the temple is 30 Baht (Php 40). There are two ways to reach the temple from the road: climb 309 steps or ride the cable car for 20 Baht (Php 27). We chose the latter. 

cable car to Wat Doi Suthep
309 steps to the temple

We took off our shoes as soon as we reached the temple. 

We got inside the main temple, where most visitors gather and pray. 

The temple is majestic, with Buddha statues placed on each corner possible. 

There are people praying while walking around the pagoda. I was intrigued but wasn't too enthusiastic to try. 

We were encouraged to write our names in the cloth which will be covered around the pagoda. 

Going down, we decided to take the stairs instead.

On our way down, we met some little Thai girls wearing traditional costumes. You can take photos of them as long as you give them tips.

There are a lot of stores where we bought some souvenirs and some snacks.

I wish we had more time to visit Bhubing Palace, located a few kilometers away, but we needed to go back to our hotel and to the airport to fly back to Bangkok. 

Note: 1 Baht = Php 1.36


  1. Hi.


    At the base of the road to Doi Suthep, you’ll see a statue of a monk called “Kruba Srivichai”.

    80 years ago, it was very difficult for people to reach the summit of Suthep mountain. There was not a wide and comfortable road as good as the present. The way was narrow and bumpy, it was through the middle of the level jungle and mountain climb, the journey took about five hours to reach the summit by foot.

    In the year BE 2477 (1934 A.D.) at that time the government couldn’t raise sufficient money to build the road, so Kruba Srivichai, the most revered monk of Lanna people initiated the road construction project which linked from the foot of the mountain to the site of the pagoda.

    With the news of the construction project of the North, Buddhists came from all directions and flooded the city to contribute their labor and effort without any wages. There were from 3,000 to 4,000 people each day from many provinces. Even hill tribes people came to Chiang Mai to volunteer to work.

    It’s very wonderful that the road on the mountain was completed within five months and 22 days without any government fund and in spite of the fact that those days volunteers used only hoes and spaded as their tools; modern machines were not yet available at all.

    Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is really a sacred place for Chiang Mai locals. There’s a tradition made for 50 years by Chiang Mai University students, esp. freshmen, to walk 14 kms from the university up the mountain to worship the temple. Faculty of Engineering will carry a small stupa and be the first of the parade, while Faculty of Fine Arts will be the last with a long strip fabric to covered the base of the Chedi. There is only one rule: Nobody get left behind. if your friends tired, you have to help them. If your friend is disabled person, you have to push his/her wheelchair. If your friend cannot walk, you have to carry him/her.

    The trekking usually hold for one any day in early September. Of that day I would not recommend anybody to visit the temple unless you want to take the pictures of the trekking since the traffic will be really jammed.

    Below is video of CMU Trekking 2 years ago.


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