19.12.2012 - 19.12.2012
When visiting Chaing Mai, one of the biggest tourist draws is Doi Suthep. And for good reason! That's where we decided to go today.
The temple Wat Phra That is perched high on the mountain offering amazing views, not to mention the temple itself, which is stunning!
Tuk tuks are not allowed to go up the mountain as the roads are too steep, so we got a tuk tuk as far as the entrance gates to the Zoo and carried on the journey by songthaw up to the top of the mountain. In hinesight, we would have taken a songthaw (return trip) from town all the way up and saved ourselves the time of hanging around at the zoo gates waiting for the taxi to fill before he set off up the hill.
The round trip worked out at around 500 baht
There are two options to reach the actual (temple). One is walking the steep 307 stairs, which we did, or you can ride the tram up. At the top, to get into the temple grounds, there was a sign pointing to buy tickets for a 30 baht fee. No one was there checking tickets, and I think we were the only ones who did, which is a bit sad.
As soon as we reached the top, we were greeted with the sight of the golden spire in the centre of the mountain top temple. The walls around the spire form a mini enclave and are richly decorated with historical murals and shrines. Here you find a beautiful copy of the Emerald Buddha statue on display. The real Emerald Buddha statue is now in Bangkok.
Just past the viewing terrace is one of the worlds largest gongs, which makes an earthly rich sound when struck. Give it a try, it is allowed.
At the top there's the white elephant, some beautifully ornate chedis, a model of the Emerald Buddha, bells, shrines, huge jackfruit trees, and stunning views. It is a great spot to watch the sun go down or watch it rise over the city of Chiang Mai.
Monks with iPads getting photos with Olivia
O doing her homework, with a little girl trying to add some art work to the page.