After the alms offering, we continued up the mountain with a short ride to Wat Phra That, more commonly referred to as Doi Suthep (Mount Suthep). It’s about 10 miles from Chiang Mai. From the parking area at the temple’s base, you can either climb the 309 steps of the Naga Serpent Staircase or take the small tram. We took the tram.
The temple is often referred to as Doi Suthep, although this is actually the name of the mountain where it’s located. It’s a sacred site to many Thai people.
The original founding of the temple remains unknown and there are various stories. The temple is said to have been founded in 1383.
At the top of the temple were beautiful golden spires surrounded by historical murals and shrines.
We met an 88-year-old monk who blessed us and gave each of us an amulet.
You’ll notice dogs wandering the temple grounds. Supposedly, the naughty or unwanted dogs are left at the temple where the monks take care of them.
We walked down the Naga Serpent Stairs. The sides resemble a long serpent or snake.
On our way down, we were greeted by a few children from the nearby Hill-Tribe Village.
They were so cute. The one little girl was adorable and loved taking pictures.
After a few pictures, we gave each child a small donation. I’m sure that little girl made the most! The parents were standing nearby keeping an eye on things.
Walking back to the car, there was a small street cart selling fresh mulberries. Snack time! They were served with a small plastic bag holding a mixture of Thai chili, sugar, and salt for dipping.
There were a few girls standing at the bottom of the stairs collecting donations for their school.
We noticed that their poster and donation box sign were only written in Thai and our guide suggested that we help them translate it to English. My sister wrote “Donations For School Renovation” on a piece of paper and handed it to them.
The temple was interesting and there was a lot to see. It was really nice to meet the monks and Hill-Tribe children. It was time to meet our driver, we still had a couple more places to see!
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Mueang Chiang Mai District, Thailand
– Hours: 6am-6pm
– Fees: Admission = 30 baht; Tram = 20 baht